As Way Opens

While we are in an interim period, some of our members will contribute to our publication. This piece comes to us from Leslie Kartholl.

When I am Weak
Written by Leslie Kartholl

I attended a worship service a week ago while visiting a client in rehab. I have never been in a situation where the congregation, as well as the staff, was so blatantly, so vocally, so unquestionably humbled and laid bare. It stirred something in me; it made me think of all the times I pretend to have it together, all the times I rely upon myself instead of God and other people because I don't want to be honest and vulnerable, I don't want to be judged, I don't want to be shamed. I felt as though I were witnessing something truly holy; men and women who had reached the point in their lives where they were willing to throw up their hands in front ofGod and man and say I can't do this, I am weak, help me. Help me.

It is when we are willing to drop all pretense of power that we find our sure footing. It is our unwillingness to acknowledge our frailty that keeps us in bondage. We try to cut a swath through life with a rubber machete; we end up bitten and broken and lost in the jungle. We develop addictions and neuroses, we struggle with anxiety, with fear, with anger and dejection because we are trying so hard to control what we cannot.

In II Corinthians 12, Paul refers to a weakness in his life that he has repeatedly asked God to remove. He says the response he got from God was this "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness." He goes on "That is why, for the sake of Christ, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

That worship service at the rehab center was not polished or refined. The band that played the music was iffy, the words to the songs flashed off and on due to a faulty projector, the speaker was all over the place with his message, the congregants showed up in pajama pants and stocking feet, some of them still in the throes of detox. Despite this, there was an atmosphere of holiness, a sense of the sacred, an awareness of the Presence born of humility and hope. And there was truth; the truth that we are meant to seek God's sufficient grace, for it is when we admit that we are weak that we find our strength.

Leslie Kartholl

Joys & Concerns

Andy Cunningham recently had an article published on titled, ‘Am I the only doctor who isn’t burned out?’ The article is a short piece that explores how he feels nine years into his medical career in comparison to other current medical professionals. Andy writes, “Throughout my premed and medical training, I’ve been deluged with a steady stream of negative thoughts regarding medicine as a career from outspoken, burnt-out physicians. To this day, nine years since I’ve finished my residency in family medicine, I remain passionately opposed to this sentiment.” To read the whole article, visit

Our office admin, Rebecca and her husband Michael would like to send their sincerest thanks to clerks, members, and attenders at First Friends for all their wedding wishes, cards, and also for their generous gift of paid time off for their honeymoon! They had a wonderful time! Rebecca loves being at First Friends and is touched by their kindness!

Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities

Friends Education Fund is a Quaker college scholarship program for African American students. If you know of a student who might be interested in applying, please ask them to contact the Meeting Office. Applications are being accepted through June 2nd, 2017. The selected applicants will be celebrated later in June.

Quaker Life magazine is being offered to us for renewal at a group rate of $30.00 per year. Published by Friends United Meeting, issues come out quarterly, that will “inspire, inform and teach you.” The journal is normally priced at $40.00 annually. We keep one copy in our Library. Please let the office know if you would like to add your name to the list of subscribers. Thank you!

Transplanting Demonstration and Open House- DATE ADJUSTMENT~ All are welcome to a transplanting demonstration and open house on Thursday, May 18th, 12:30-1:30pm (rescheduled from May 11th due to weather). 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

Are you coming to Carrie and Shawn's wedding this week? We thought it would be fun to do an old church tradition of a "pounding" for the couple as a fun way to give something of ours to them.  You're invited to bring a pound of something from home for them for their new life together. They are a very creative couple so the possibilities are endless: soup mix or soup for the freezer, pound of yarn or fabric, a pound of records, flour, rice etc. See you there! 

Please join us this Sunday, May 21st for a special day of Worship. We will be honoring our 2017 high school and college graduates. We will also take some time to thank our teachers, leaders and volunteers throughout the past year. Not only that, but we will have guest speakers Ethel McCane and Eunice Trotter who will be giving a presentation on the life of their ancestor, Mary Bateman Clark, former slave whose lawsuit changed the history of slavery in Indiana (see below for more information). Please note it will also be the last day of Sunday School for all ages. We hope to see you there.

We welcome Ethel McCane and Eunice Trotter to Meeting for Worship this Sunday, 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.

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.

Make Plans for Memorial Day Weekend! Join us Sunday, May 28th for Worship in the Big Oval! Memorial Day Sunday’s are really special at First Friends Meeting – we gather in Fellowship Hall, and enjoy our own ‘Indy 500’ experience in the Spirit!  Bring your family and friends, and join us at 10:15. 

Please note: There will be no Monday Meditational Worship at First Friends on Memorial Day. You are, as always, welcome to worship wherever you are. The Office will be closed.

IFCL News ~ Now that the 2017 Indiana General Assembly session has concluded, the Indiana Friends Committee on Legislation (IFCL) would like to report to Friends on the legislative accomplishments of our bipartisan Quakerly lobbying. We are positively surprised and elated by the effective influence that our faith-based IFCL organization has been able to have at the Statehouse - both in terms of substantive impact on legislation, and in terms of building personal relationships and mutual respect with lawmakers (on both sides of the aisle) that should pay rich dividends for years to come.  Indeed, lawmakers (up to and including the Governor) have sought us for conversations and advice.  We want to share IFCL's good news with you, and to thank you for your interest and support of IFCL - now flourishing in its 46th year.  To read the legislative summaries, visit

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.

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.  

Rise Up – A Youth Empowerment Summit – This summer Peace Learning Center will be hosting the Youth Empowerment Summit, Rise up! It is free and open to ages 8-12. Because it is free it does fill up quickly, interested individuals and groups are encouraged to register in a timely fashion! Breakout sessions will include peer norming & bullying, upstander skills, restorative practices, and peer meditation. Along with all the learning that takes place it is very neat for students to be able to enjoy a catered meal through the Rathskeller Restaurant! For more information and to register, visit

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.