As Way Opens

This past Saturday, I called Matt and Rebecca to check in and give them our love.  Matt answered the phone, with our eight-week-old grandson in his arms.  Conor was wailing!  “Mom, we may not be able to talk very long.  Conor’s pretty upset right now.”  I was thrilled to hear the baby – even if he was crying.  It’s been a rare occasion to hear his voice.  “No, Matt – I love this.  I’ve hardly heard him make a peep!”  “He’s been at this for a while.”  “Oh Conor…” and then I started to sing. 

I made up a little sing-song ditty about Conor; how special he is, and how safe he was at home with Mommy and Daddy.  I sang it again and again, two or three times.  Before long, the phone went quiet.  Matt came on the line.  “Mom… Conor stopped crying when he heard you singing.  That was amazing!”  (I told Matt he could call me anytime!)

Regardless of who we are, how young or old we are, or what our needs are, we all cry out from time to time.  We all need soothing.  Who is it that sings for us?  Thomas Turner wrote this lovely piece:

Listen to the song of the wind.  Listen to the song of the wind.

Listen to the song of the wind.

Listen.  God is singing. God is singing.

Listen to the sigh of the soul.  Listen to the sigh of the soul.

Listen to the sigh of the soul.

Listen.  God is singing. God is singing.

Listen, silence speaks in the heart. 

       Listen, silence speaks in the heart. Listen, silence speaks in the heart.

                                    Listen.  God is singing.  God is singing.             

God bless us all, as we hear God singing, even as we cry out.


Joys & Concerns

Thanks to everyone who helped at the Mid North Food Pantry in January.  It was a busy time...we served over 200 families on the 2 dates we worked in January.  The pantry dates for February are Feb-1 and Feb-15 (the first and third Weds. of the month).  All are needed and welcome.

Announcements, Reports & Opportunities

Missing Money – An envelope with some cash inside was found in Fellowship Hall last week. If you believe this is yours, please contact the office!

The Pastoral Search Committee invites you to contemplate and provide feedback on the following query this week: In your opinion, how can our new pastor best provide pastoral counsel to members having personal problems (sick, shut-in, bereaved)?  Please provide your thoughts on the query (or any other feedback on the search process) to Sam R., who will be looking forward to hearing from you just outside the Meeting Room after Meeting for Worship this Sunday, Jan 29!

The Music Committee would like to collect input from the Meeting regarding music at First Friends. With Shawn stepping down as Choir Director, we will use this information to assist us in developing a job description and to evaluate our music program. We invite everyone age 12 and older to complete a survey and return in the offering plate or to the office. The surveys will be inserts in the bulletin on Jan 22nd & 29th (please complete only once).

Thank you, The Music Committee

Babysitting Co-Op ~ Our babysitting co-op is happening on Saturday January 28th from 5:30 - 9:30, hosted by Michael and Katie Hostetler. Dinner will be provided for the kids. Please contact Beth if you would like to have your kids join in the fun that evening!

Calling all young children ages 2 (by Sept 1st 2017) thru 5. MSPC will be holding enrollment for the upcoming 2017-2018 school year for First Friends members and attenders beginning January 23rd-January 27th. Interested families can email the office for a registration packet. Completed forms may be placed into the MSPC mail folder at FF, or mailed to FF. MSPC looks forward to including the FF meeting next year and beyond.

Indiana Friends Committee on Legislation (IFCL) has been busy this year bringing a Quaker presence to the Indiana General Assembly.  How are Quakers expressing Friend’s testimonies today?  IFCL members have been attending most of the summer study committees learning about the issues, listening at hearings and meeting with many of our elected representatives.  Mary B. has written a short article about some of the things she’s learned about IFCL and FCNL. Read the article here:

Hey Guys!  Oak Leaf: Meeting for Reading is expanding the book group to everyone (both men and women) interested. Come discuss the Pulitzer Prize Winning novel: The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen, which will be led by Kristyn G. on Tuesday, January 31st at 7 pm in the Parlor.  If you’d like to have your name added to the email list, please contact the office. Looking forward to February 28th’s discussion, Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance.

New Date for Community Soup!

Witness & Service will host the next Community Soup on THURSDAY, February 2, fro m 5:30 pm – 7 pm.  Please note the change from Friday to Thursday.  We’re trying a new day of the week to see if it will help attendance at this event.  Everyone is invited to this very informal dinner.  Soups and desserts are welcome but not necessary.  Our motto is: No cooking, no cleanup, no cost!  While this is Groundhog Day, the Community Soup will go on no matter if it rains or shines.  Hope to see you there.

2017 Eco-Film Series Begins Feb. 10 with “The Last Mountain”

Please join our area faith community for film and discussion- 7 p.m. in the parlor at First Friends

In the valleys of Appalachia, a battle is being fought over a mountain. It is a battle with severe consequences that affect every American, regardless of their social status, economic background or where they live. It is a battle that has taken many lives and continues to do so the longer it is waged. It is a battle over protecting our health and environment from the destructive power of Big Coal.

For more information please contact the office.

Scout Sunday February 12th ~ Current and former Scouts, please submit your information to the office so we can recognize you on February 12th. Please send your name, Scouting Organization, Troop number and Scout rank. Email

Ruthie’s Going Away Party ~ Mark your calendars for a "Going Away" party for Ruthie on her last Sunday, March 26th during Fellowship Hour. It will be a carry-in meal following Meeting for Worship to show our appreciation to her. Please join us!

Join the new Art Committee! Nichole M. is looking for (but not limited to) anyone interested in art, history, or preservation who would like to be a part of the Art committee.  This committee would focus on looking after the German Children's/American Friends Service Committee historical collection here at First Friends. 

Possible Committee Goals:

  • Decide where the collection goes next
  • Look into better sign and boxes for transportation
  • Possible numbering to make sure pieces aren't lost
  • Contact the venue and arrange for pieces to be delivered there
  • Decide permanent homes for parts or all of the collection

Please contact the office if interested. 

The Earlham School of Religion is looking for volunteers! ESR has created 5 short videos on the theme of reading the Bible responsibly. This series is presented by Nancy Bowen, Professor of Old Testament. Each video is between 10-15 minutes long. ESR is looking for volunteers to make a commitment to review the videos, engage in discussion about the topics, and then provide feedback on their usefulness. They’re requesting all those interested respond by February 13, 2017 by contacting Miriam Brunner at or 765-983-1687.

The Meditational Woods Committee is announcing their work days for 2017.  Starting on March 18, one Saturday each month will be an opportunity for Meeting members to help keep our woods in good condition.  We will be working hard at removing winter creeper (euonymus fortunei) an invasive ground cover that smothers the native wildflowers that we are trying to restore to the landscape.  Put on your gloves and come work with us!
Also, if you have shade tolerant native plants such as may apples, trillium and Virginia bluebells, please let Terry T. know.  She is helping coordinate our native plant restoration.

  • March 18, 2017
  • April 22, 2017   Earth Day!
  • May 13, 2017
  • June 10,2017
  • July 15,2017
  • August- off
  • September 16, 2017
  • October 14, 2017 – last work day

 ~Mary B. & Mindy S.

The Right Sharing of World Resources (RSWR) board will be holding their semiannual board meeting at First Friends from April 18th - 20th.  Our Meeting approved hosting this Meeting with Quakers from around the country.

We need some folks to be willing to open their home for RSWR board members to stay with them.  This will be for 3 nights starting April 18th and going through April 20th - it includes a bed for these evening and breakfast each morning - please let Beth know if you would be willing to provide home hospitality.

We also need people to help with lunch and dinner on April 18th, lunch on April 19th and lunch on April 20th.   Please contact Beth if you would be willing to help.