As Way Opens

I hope that each of you had a special and sacred Christmas with family, friends and our faith community.  Our service on Christmas Eve was beautiful and what a treat to have our children depict the story of Jesus birth and have a real baby Jesus (thank you Sally Mitchell Scharbrough and Peter Scharbrough) in the manger.  There was something powerful about a real baby Jesus that brought the presence of Jesus in an intimate and fleshly way to all of us that evening.  We had a special time of brunch, caroling and worship Christmas morning with about 25 of us gathered in the parlor.  My son Greg said afterward that this is what Quaker worship is all about.

We now are reflecting on the closing of 2016 and what might lie ahead for us in 2017.  I came across this plaque that I have in my office that identifies 26 attributes (following the alphabet) that I want to embrace, adopt and enhance in my life in 2017.  If we all did this our world would be changed.  

-        Accept Differences

-        Be kind

-        Count your blessings

-        Dream

-        Express thanks

-        Forgive

-        Give freely

-        Harm no one

-        Imagine more

-        Jettison anger

-        Keep confidences

-        Love truly

-        Master something

-        Nurture hope

-        Open your mind

-        Pack lightly

-        Quell rumors

-        Reciprocate

-        Seek wisdom

-        Touch hearts

-        Understand

-        Value truth

-        Win graciously

-        Xeriscape

-        Yearn for peace

-        Zealously support a worthy cause

Blessings on each of you this New Years.


Joys & Concerns

Many thanks to Greg H, Terry T, Ann P, Jim K, Bill and Kathy F for helping at mid-north food pantry Dec. 21.  A total of 92 families were served.  The next pantry date is Jan. 4.  We continue to need help for this date.

Paula G. wanted to send the Meeting her thanks for the Christmas gifts. She very much enjoyed the teddy bear, chocolates, the electric blanket, everything! She was overjoyed with the Meeting’s generosity. Thank you all!

We are deeply saddened to hear about the passing of E. Banker, Sr (Stan Banker’s father), who passed away early in the morning on Saturday, December 24. He was a wonderful man who touched a lot of people during his 70+ years of ministry. A viewing will be held 4-8 p.m. on Wednesday, December 28, 2016, at Needham-Storey-Wampner Funeral Service, North Chapel, 1341 N. Baldwin Ave., Marion, IN Services to celebrate Stanley's life are at 11 a.m. on Thursday, December 29, 2016, at College Wesleyan Church, 200 E. 38th St., Marion, IN. Rev. William Kinnan will be officiating with burial following at Grant Memorial Park. Read the full obituary here:

What a beautiful gathering we had on Christmas Eve celebrating the birth of Christ.  Our children dressed up as shepherds, wisemen, Mary’s, Joseph and angels and gathered around Finn S. (Dan M's grandson) as the baby Jesus.  We sang hymns, read scripture, heard some beautiful singing and opened our hearts up to the Spirit of Christ.  Thank you for all that joined us on this special evening. 

Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities

Join us for worship on New Year’s Day! We will have unprogrammed worship in the Parlor on Sunday, January 1st at 10:15, led by Mary B and David B. Please join us!

Please note, the office will be closed Monday, January 2nd in observation of New Year’s Day.

Jon and Ruthie Tippin are traveling in Washington State for the holidays, visiting their family and meeting their new grandson, Conor.  They will return Wednesday, January 4th.  Ruthie will be in the office January 5th.  In the meantime, if you have any needs or concerns, please contact the Office, Beth, or any member of our Ministry and Counsel.

Sunday School Classes begin for all Ages on Sunday, January 8!

·         Coffee Circle; ‘Wired Word’ – shared leadership

·         Seeking Friends; Thomas Kelly’s ‘Eternal Promise’ – shared leadership

Beth's Parenting Class will also start Sunday, January 15 in the Parlor.

Monthly Meeting will gather Sunday, January 15th.  Mark your calendars!

The 2017 Directory is here! We now have the printed pocket directory available for 2017. Please stop by the office if you’d like a copy, or let us know if you’d like one sent to you through the mail. You can also access the directory online at The page is password protected; if you need the password, please call the office. For security reasons, the password will only be given to members and attenders over the phone.

The Pastoral Search Committee also invites you to contemplate and provide feedback on the following query this week: In your opinion, how can our new pastor best prepare and preach inspiring sermons?  Please provide your thoughts on the query (or any other feedback on the search process) to Dan Rains, who will be looking forward to hearing from you just outside the Meeting Room after Meeting for Worship this Sunday, Jan 1!

We still need volunteers for the Mid North Food Pantry! ~ Due to the holidays, several of the “regulars” will not be able to volunteer at the food pantry on Wednesdays, January 4 and January 18.  These are all days that First Friends regularly staffs the pantry. If you are in town and available during any of these dates, please consider volunteering. Let the office know if you are interested. Thank you for your assistance!

Seasoned Friends will be Wednesday January 11 from 11:30 to 1:00pm.  Comfort foods consisting of meat loaf, soup and macaroni and cheese will be provided. Games will be provided to play after the lunch.   Please RSVP to the office by January 9 so proper amounts of food can be prepared.  Seasoned Friends for the rest of the year will be: April 12, July 12, and October 11.

Have an old TV? Perhaps you’d like to donate it! Janice H. works at Hawthorne Community Center, and is seeking a donation of a large screen computer monitor or TV with HDMI hook-up to show educational videos in her adult ed classroom. She does not want anyone to go out a buy a monitor to donate. Perhaps you or someone you know is getting a new TV or monitor for Christmas and would be looking to get rid of their old one? If you’re able to help, please contact the office. Thank you!

Mark your calendars for the Eco Film Series!

February 10-  “The Last Mountain”- Official trailer here:

March 10- “Blind Spot”-Official trailer here:

April 14- “Bidder 70”- Official trailer here:

All films will be shown at First Friends at 7 pm in the Parlor on the second Friday of the month. If Friends have questions they can contact Bill Chapman at (317) 255-4739 or

Be sure to also mark your calendars for 2017 Oak Leaf Women’s Meeting for Reading:

January 31 ~ The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen

February 28 ~ Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance

March 28 ~ A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

April 25 ~ The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

May 30 ~ Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Asian

June 27 ~ A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

July 25 ~ Luncheon of the Boating Party by Susan Vreeland

August 29 ~ The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

September 26 ~ My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor

October 24 ~ The Muralist by B.A. Shapiro

November 28 ~ The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier

December 26 ~ The Guest Room by Chris Bohjalian