As Way Opens

I attended an inspiring Carrie Newcomer concert last Saturday evening.  I went with three dear women from First Friends (Ruth Kelly, Kathy Rhyne and Kristyn Greenawald) and was invited to take advantage of an unexpected ticket to this sold out show. This concert was what my heart needed.  Her first song, I Heard an Owl, was powerful for me and I had tears streaming down my face listening to the words.  (here is a youtube video with the lyrics - Don’t tell me hate is ever right or God’s will. These are the wheels we have put in motion ourselves. The only peace this world will know can only come from love. 

I purchased a book of her poems and essays that evening.  I shared this on Sunday and it is worthy of having it in writing for all of us:

Showing Up


Are holy

And sacred

And utterly unique.

There are gifts you were born to give.

Songs you were born to sing.

Stories you were born to tell.

And if you do not give it,

The world will simply lose it.

It is yours alone to offer,

No one can give it for you.

And dearest,

Listen, because this is important,

This wounded world

Needs all the songs we can pull from the air,

Every story that helps us to remember.

It needs every single gift,

Large and small.

And yes,


This grateful world does rejoice

Every courageous time

We are true to ourselves and to our gifts.

And so it is,

Dear heart,

We embrace the song

And the story

And all our gifts

Because the world has such great need

And because the world exceedingly rejoices

And because there is no sadder thing

Than to leave this world

Having never really shown up.

         ~Carrie Newcomer


Joys & Concerns

Many thanks to our food pantry volunteers - Volunteers at the last pantry visit were as follows:  Ray G, Kathy and Bill F, Phil K, Jim K, and Carol and Jim D.

We are thankful for a gift from the Emmett Lamb family, an Elizabeth Fry print from the Amboy Church. Also, thank you to Clarence and Judy D for bringing it to the Meeting. It was in Judy’s grandmother’s possession in Amboy but might have come through Olive Lamb, another Amboy Lamb cousin.  It eventually made its way to the home of Judy’s sister, who sadly died 3 years ago in Valparaiso. Thank you to everyone who was involved in bringing it to our Meeting!

The Garden Committee would like to thank Sam R and Gabe for planning and delivering a new raised garden bed, and to Gabe again for building it. They would also like to thank all who helped with the garden cleanup and those who have been attending the garden committee’s meetings. Please also be sure to save your eggshells, teabags, and coffee grounds for compost!

Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities

The First Friends Meeting Library Catalog is now accessible through the Meeting webpage. Go to then click on attenders. Once there click on library. You have now entered the Library Catalog. It is searchable by author, title and tag. Tags include, history, worship, sermons, autobiography, biography, youth collection, spirituality, and missionaries. To check out materials come to the library and complete the charge out sheet. At a later time, if demand warrants it, the checkout process will be automated as well.

Transplanting Demonstration and Open House ~ All are welcome to a transplanting demonstration and open house on Thursday, May 11th, 12:30-1:30pm. Learn from the specialists of the Marion County Soil & Water Conservation District as well as Indy Urban Acres. Topics include learning to transplant vegetable starts into mulched raised beds, and trying out interseeding techniques to plant cover crop seeds along with veggie transplants. This event is open to the public! Held at Indy Urban Acres, 7700 E 21st Street, Indianapolis. For questions, contact Kevin Allison at

We welcome Ethel McCane and Eunice Trotter to Meeting for Worship on May 21st to provide a lecture and reenactment of Mary Bateman Clark’s life.  Mary Bateman Clark was born a slave in Kentucky and brought to Indiana where she sued one of the most significant leaders in the Old Northwest Territory in the early 1800s.  Her lawsuit, seeking her freedom from an indentured servitude contract, was filed in 1821 in the Knox County Circuit Court in Vincennes, IN.  She lost, but appealed to the Indiana Supreme Court at Corydon and won the precedent-setting case affirming Indiana’s legal standing on the issues of slavery and indentured servitude.  Her case helped stop slavery, under the guise of indentured servitude, from becoming acceptable in Indiana.  Ethel and Eunice are her great, great, great granddaughters and have made this presentation to many groups and churches and had a video made for public television.

Sunday, May 21st will also be a notable Sunday as it will be the last day of Sunday School, as well as the day we will honor high school and college graduate students, as well as our Sunday school teachers and children’s worship leaders. Please join us.

WYM Pastoral Ministry Excellence Project ~ This is a Western Yearly Meeting (“WYM”) project that helps support currently active WYM pastors with health care funding, retirement funding, and financial education. This project has helped Ruthie Tippin (former pastor at First Friends) as well as Beth Henricks who currently serves as interim pastor at First Friends.  Our incoming pastor, Bob Henry, should also benefit from this fund.  WYM needs your help to complete its fundraising goal of $100,000 by December 31, 2018.  Presently, WYM needs about $12,000 to achieve its goal.  First Friends’ pastors have typically each received several thousand dollars of assistance from this fund each year.  The goal of WYM is to create an endowment to support these needs of pastors into the future.  Your gift would certainly be appreciated by WYM and also by the pastors at First Friends.  Checks can be sent to the First Friends’ office with a notation that the check is for the Pastoral Ministry Excellence (“PME”) Project.  Thanks for your consideration of support for this project.

You’re Invited to the Wedding! Carrie S & Shawn H are extending an open invitation to the meeting for their wedding. It is being held Saturday, May 20 at 10:30am in the Meditational Woods, with brunch immediately following in Fellowship Hall (in case of inclement weather, the ceremony will also be held in Fellowship Hall). Dress casually and comfortably according to your delight. If you’re interested in attending, please RSVP to the office by May 13.

First Friends Library Book Sale ~ For the past several months the First Friends Meeting Library Committee has been removing library materials from the Library as per the guidelines given the committee last year by the Ministry and Counsel Committee.

The next sale date is Sunday May 21 during the Fellowship Hour. Materials will cost $2.00 for Quaker books and $1.00 for non-Quaker books. Proceeds from the sale will enable the purchase of new materials for the Library.

The committee recognizes that some of the material discarded from the collection due to condition, not meeting Ministry and Counsel Committee guidelines, or being duplicate copies in poor condition, will have donation information. The committee understands the sensitive nature of this material and suggests that members purchase such material for their home collections where the recognition may continue to be of personal value.

An Opportunity to Support Changing Footprints: Changing Footprints, a local nonprofit group that collects gently used shoes for those less fortunate, has applied for a grant sponsored by Gannett (owner of USA Today and The Indy Star).  Could you please help us get the votes we need?  Just do this (you can vote every day through May 12):

1.  Use Google and type in
2.  Click on A Community Thrives-USA Today, then click on Vote Now
3.  Find our entry by clicking on the magnifying glass, then type Changing Footprints next to the magnifying glass. 
4.  Click on the “Vote” button on our entry page, and fill out the required information.

We appreciate the past support you have given Changing Footprints.  Please continue to donate the footwear you no longer need in our Donation Station bin in the corner of Fellowship Hall!  Thanks!

Shalom Zone Garage Sale ~ On Saturday, June 3, from 8:00 am to noon (set up beginning at 7 am) the Shalom Zone churches (Cross and Crown, Allisonville Christian, Epworth, First Friends and St. Pius X) will be sponsoring "garage sale" and “craft sale” opportunities for individuals in the Cross and Crown parking lot at 79th and Allisonville Road. You will be able to reserve a space for $10 in advance ($15 day of sale). The rest is up to you - bring your own table or use the trunk of your car. You get to keep whatever you earn.  The adjoining neighborhood of Ivy Hills will have its annual garage sale the same day so there should be no shortage of folks looking for a deal.  The Shalom Zone will donate the reservation fees to School on Wheels, a voluntary program which tutors homeless children throughout Marion County.  For more information or to reserve a space contact the office.

SCHOOL ON WHEELS ~ The School on Wheels (which provides tutoring help for homeless children) is, once again, sponsoring the Run 317 through Broad Ripple on Thursday, June 15 and needs the help of over 100 volunteers.  Details for the volunteer positions as well as signup can be found here:  Thanks for your consideration.  

Local Gardening Guide Now Available! Thanks to Rebecca and the garden co-chairs and others who have helped make a gardening guide available to us. This guide has gardening information specific to central Indiana! Members and attenders can find a copy of this guide in the shed behind the meetinghouse and also in the donation station in fellowship hall.

SAWS ~ The Shalom Zone has scheduled a SAWS build for Saturday morning, June 24, 2017.  SAWS (Servants At Work) is an all-volunteer organization that designs and builds (with YOUR help) wheelchair ramps to homes for lower income individuals at no cost to such individuals.  No prior construction experience is necessary.  Details of exactly where and what time to meet on Jun-24 will be forthcoming.  In the meantime, if you would like to participate in this build (or any build in the future), you need to be registered with SAWS.  You can complete the volunteer form, located on the SAWS website (  When registering, please indicate that you are with Shalom Zone and would like to do builds in Marion and surrounding counties.  Those who have previously registered need not register again.  Children under 16 are welcome but need to be accompanied by a parent.  We need to know who is available to help with the June 24 build.  If you are available to help on the morning of June 24, please notify the office as soon as possible so we can coordinate the Shalom Zone team.  If enough folks are available, we could form 2 or more teams and build multiple ramps at different locations.  Please consider if you are able to help with this worthwhile cause.

AVP (Alternatives to Violence Project) Indiana is planning a Community Basic Workshop to be held in Indianapolis. It will be at West Newton Friends Meeting (6800 S. Mooresville Rd.) on Saturday and Sunday, August 26-27. They will meet from 8:30 am to 7:30 pm both days. Lunch and dinner will be provided. They are using a sliding fee scale to cover food and expenses of the workshop: $10 to $40, depending on your financial means. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. AVP seeks to help those interested in learning new and creative ways to respond to conflict in personal relationships and groups. The workshops use the shared experience of participants, interactive exercises, games and role-plays to examine the ways in which we respond to situations where injustice, prejudice, frustrations and anger can lead to aggressive behavior and violence. The training is highly experiential and fun, with participants choosing many of the ways in which the exercises and skill-learning occurs. For more information and to register, visit their website at Please register by August 18.