As Way Opens
I traveled to Minneapolis this past weekend to attend the board meeting of Quaker Voluntary Service (QVS - www.quakervoluntaryservice.org). I joined this board last year because of several connections I have with others on the board and they convinced me to join with them in the service of this organization. In the 18 months I have served, I have become so impressed with the mission of this group and how it does its work.
Ten years ago a young Quaker woman named Christina Repoley had a vision to create a program that would honor the work camps and alternative service opportunities of years ago with a concept that fits our 21st century for young people. She worked to develop her vision and enlisted the help of several “weighty Friends" to test her ideas and help her set up this organization. Five years ago Christina opened a house in Atlanta GA to create an intentional community for seven young people to live together for a year and commit to a year of service with a not for profit in the city (like Habitat for Humanity). The young people regularly worshiped with Atlanta Friends with individuals from that Meeting providing mentoring and support. The year long experience was transformative for these young people and Christina knew this idea of hers was a calling from God.
In the last five years, QVS has grown to five homes in four cities (Portland OR, Boston, Atlanta, Philadelphia) with over one hundred young people having spent a year in this program. So many young lives changed for the good of our world! About half of these young people were not members of a Meeting so the impact of our Quaker faith and ways are deep with these young women and men and will influence them in years to come. A new home will open next fall in Minneapolis.
The clerk of our board, John Helding from the state of Washington clerked his last board meeting on Saturday. He has been the only clerk of this board thus far and he was part of the group that helped Christina begin this ministry. He was quite emotional throughout the weekend together and shared that he was so grateful that he listened to God’s voice in investing his time, money and talent to this group. He feels this is one of the most important things he has done in his life (and he has had a very successful career). John and Christina and others had no assurance this idea was going to succeed and yet they stepped into this with faith, prayer and commitment. I have not stopped thinking about having enough faith to step into something that the outcome is unknown? What is God calling me to? Am I listening? Are you listening? What is God speaking to each of us today?
Joys & Concerns
Last Thursday night, we had great turnout and conversation for our inaugural “Threshing at the Tap” at Blind Owl Brewery. If you missed this first one, join us next month at Four Day Ray Brewing (Fishers) on Thursday, Nov. 16th at 7pm. Men of all ages are welcome!
Many thanks to our Mid-North Food Pantry Volunteers: Linda and Rik L; Kathy and Bill F; Christie M; Phil K; Ray G; Carol and Jim D. 35 lbs. of food were donated. 100 families were served. Also thanks to these volunteers and to all of you who donated to the First Friends’ Sept. food pantry drive. $2,165 was collected and provided to the pantry. This contribution came at just the right time as the pantry has been low on donations of cash. The folks in charge of the pantry were very appreciative and thankful for the partnership that First Friends has with the pantry.
Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities
Help Needed! The Maintenance committee is having a work morning this week on Saturday October 28th starting at 9AM and finishing up before noon. We are inviting any interested folks to join us in the work. We are going to be removing a plastic mesh that was placed on the new grass seeded on the northeast side of our property. The newly planted grass is growing nicely, but we now need to remove the plastic mesh to assure that the mesh is not entangled in the lawn mowers. The plastic mesh can be cut with scissors, so please bring some cutting tools with you. For any questions please contact the office.
Community Garden ~ The cold is setting in and the frost will soon be upon us—so please clear out your garden plots as soon as possible! To tend to your gardens, the Glendale Library is also offering cover crops for free. These will help enhance the nutrients in the soil, and need to be planted now if you plan on using them! Also, please let us know if you’d like a garden plot for next year. Contact Samantha R, Nancy S, or the office (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you’d like to hold your spot for next year!
Book Sale (and Coffee!) ~ We will be selling many children’s books and books for adults this Sunday after Meeting for worship. Please browse our selection in Fellowship hall. Please donate as you are able. We will also be selling coffee. Please join us!
Friendly Visitors... please plan to join Circle of Care for an Appreciation Luncheon in the parlor Sunday October 29 after Meeting for Worship in the Parlor to thank YOU for your participation in this important ministry! In addition, if you are not currently a "friendly visitor", but have interest in this ministry and becoming a friendly visitor, please join us at the luncheon and learn more about it! Please RSVP to the office at email@example.com.
Community Soup ~ Witness & Service will host the next Community Soup on Thursday, November 2, from 5:30 pm – 7 pm. Please note that again we are hosting on a Thursday instead of Friday. Everyone is invited to this very informal dinner. As the weather is cooling down we will be serving soup. If you’d like you’re welcome to bring a soup but not necessary. Our motto is: No cooking, no cleanup, no cost! Hope to see you there.
Babysitting Co-Op ~ Our babysitting co-op is happening on Saturday November 4th from 5:30 - 9:30. Dinner will be provided for the kids. Please contact the office if you would like to have your kids join in the fun that evening!
Blood Drive! Please join us for a blood drive held in conjunction with the Indiana Blood Center on Sunday, November 5th from 9:00am-1:00pm in Fellowship Hall. Walk-ins are welcome, but anyone interested is encouraged to RSVP here: https://www.donorpoint.org/donor/schedules/drive_schedule/111168. Donors must be 17 years old (16 with signed parent permission slip), meet height /weight eligibility requirements, be in good general health, and present a photo I.D. at registration. To view eligibility, visit http://www.indianablood.org/Donors/Learn/Pages/Eligibilty.aspx. If you have any other questions, please contact the office (firstname.lastname@example.org)
NEW Sunday Yoga Classes - Yoga is a practice well suited to the Quaker experience. (Or, is yoga an experience well suited to the Quaker practice? ☺) We will explore asana practice, meditation, and breathwork as a way to experience inner Light. Several varieties of yoga practice will be explored, such as yin yoga, vinyasa yoga, and restorative yoga. The class is open to all levels and members of the class will help determine the content of the practice. Class will be offered once monthly. Please note we have changed the date from the second Sunday of the month to the first Sunday of the month, from 11:45-12:45ish. We’ve also changed the location from the Parlor to the basement. There will be an opportunity for a pitch-in lunch immediately following. Please join us at our next session on November 5th. If you’d like to contribute to the class, any goodwill offerings are appreciated!
Poverty: A Community Responds ~ The Faith & Action Project at Christian Theological Seminary kicks off its second year with a free panel discussion featuring national speakers on poverty on Wednesday, November 8 from 7:00-9:00pm. It promises to raise challenging questions and offer innovative solutions. The Faith & Action Project at Christian Theological Seminary connects, inspires and empowers faith communities and others to implement effective solutions for people confronting poverty. Through annual public events and grants, the Faith & Action Project seeks to ignite a collaborative, interfaith and inclusive movement for well-being and justice in our community. The seminar is at Indianapolis Marriott Downtown, 350 West Maryland Street, Indianapolis, IN 46225. For more information, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/poverty-a-community-responds-tickets-37739678394?aff=es2
Words Matter! Writing for Healing, Action, & Change ~ Indianapolis First Friends Meeting is hosting a workshop for the Spirit & Place Festival this year! Join four talented writers—Philip Gulley, Diana Ensign, Amber Stearns, and Barbara Shoup—as they explore the power of words to spark compassion, dialogue, and positive change. Words are powerful! Written language imparts knowledge, shapes thoughts, spurs ideas, and provokes action. Words inspire, uplift, and motivate. Misused, words can be a tool for manipulation or bullying. It matters how we use them. Do our words create positive change in the world? Do our words send waves of fear and anger? Or do our words unify? This panel presentation will examine the power of words and will ask attendees to answer in writing, “How have you been inspired to use your words to create change?” Selected responses will be published in NUVO. Prior to the panel discussion and after the discussion enjoy music by classically trained guitarist Michelle Qureshi. This will be held Friday, November 10, from 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM in the Meetingroom. This is free and open to anyone! Walk-ins welcome, but RSVPs encouraged by Nov. 10. Please RSVP here: https://goo.gl/27bwng.
Silent Auction and Talent Show! ~ Friends, music can lift us all up into the light! We have installed a lift in the choir room which means that the choir room had to move which means that we need a new piano. We are having a talent show/silent auction to raise money for the new piano. Do you have a secret talent? Do you have something to share? We are looking for your talents. For the silent auction we need anything but clothes. Own Colts season tickets you can’t use? Have a son or daughter who can cut grass? Maybe an old piece of furniture you don’t need? Maybe someone else can use these things! Please donate items and leave them on the stage clearly marked for the silent auction. Please plan to attend November 11 at 7pm for Quaker talent night and silent auction!
The Indiana Friends Committee on Legislation (IFCL) was honored at the Indiana High School Press Association’s annual fall convention Friday, Oct. 20, for support of a First Amendment bill for student journalists. Dr. Bill Chapman, IFCL lobbyist, accepted the award on behalf of the organization’s effort during the 2017 legislative session. New Voices legislation speaks to the Quaker belief in “truth to power.” Some high schools throughout the country promote strong journalism programs and encourage students to report about important issues that relate to teenagers. But some administrators control potentially controversial coverage, a practice that has prompted some states to pass specific legislation to ensure that students attending public high schools can report about relevant topics. IHSPA also honored Rep. Ed Clere, (R) New Albany and Rep. Ed DeLaney, (D) Indianapolis, the New Voices bill sponsors. For more information, please visit http://www.quakerifcl.org/2017/10/ifcl-honored-at-the-indiana-high-school-press-associations-annual-fall-convention/