As Way Opens

I was reading one of my favorite Quaker authors, Rufus Jones this week and his words were an encouragement to me to be more childlike in how I view the world.   I watch our kids each Sunday and they always inspire me with their sense of wonder, mystery and insight.  May we all be more aware of our child within as we approach the mystery of God and each other.

“I am convinced by my own life and by wide observation of children that mystical experience is much more common than is usually supposed.  Children are not so absorbed as we are with things and with problems.  They are not so completely organized for dealing with the outside world as we older persons are.  They do not live by cut-and-dried theories.  They have more room for surprise and wonder.  They are more sensitive to intimations, flashes, openings.  The invisible impinges on their souls and they feel its reality as something quite natural. The poet William Wordsworth was no doubt a rare and unusual child, but many a boy, who was never to be a poet, has felt as he did.  “I was often unable,” he says, in the preface to his great Ode, “to think of external things as having external existence, and I communed with all that I saw as something not apart from, but inherent in, my own immaterial nature.  Many times while going to school have I grasped at a wall or tree to recall myself from this abyss of idealism to the reality.”  The world within is just as real as the world without until events force us to become mainly occupied with the outside one.”   Rufus Jones


Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities

Please be advised that because the parlor will be in use by another group, Wednesday Night Worship tonight, May 3rd will instead be held in the Seeking Friends room.

The sign-up sheet for special Summer Music is now on the bulletin board in the hallway. Please sign-up to share your music with us.

Morning Messages available online! For those who enjoyed Bruce Birchard’s message on April 23rd, it’s available online! You can find it, along with previous morning messages, on our website at

First Friends Courtyard ~ Thank you to everyone who helped plant the Easter flowers! More work is always needed to maintain the courtyards. We welcome all who’d like to help to do so. Before you start, please be sure to coordinate with Terry T., who is knowledgeable on the layout, content, and interactivity of plants in the courtyard and around the building. Thank you!

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.

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 sale was cancelled last Sunday, April 30, so sale dates will now be held on Sundays May 7 and 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.

Community Soup ~ Witness & Service will host the next Community Soup this Thursday, May 4, 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.  Soups and/or salads are welcome but not necessary.  Our motto is: No cooking, no cleanup, no cost! Hope to see you there.

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.

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!

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, Jun-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.