As Way Opens
This past Thursday we heard terrible news over the phone. One of my son Greg’s closest friends from high school had been killed (Marshall Pendleton). He was traveling with friends to Southeast Asia over the last month and was in Ho Chin Minh City in Vietnam in a popular tourist area and encountered a Vietnamese man and had an exchange that ended in an altercation and this man used a knife to take Marshall’s life. A 22 year old that will never get married, never have children, never experience a rewarding career, never fulfill his destiny. It is so hard to process a loss like this and Greg keeps asking me how God could allow this to happen. And I keep telling Greg that this was not God, this was the opposite of God and that we can’t deny that evil is in our world.
It is difficult to understand anything about this tragedy. The only way I can blot out this violence for Marshall is believing that my husband Jerry is welcoming and embracing Marshall in the beyond. Marshall spoke out of the silence at Jerry’s memorial service talking about how special Jerry made Marshall feel every time he came to our home. Jerry adored Marshall for all of his amazing characteristics and I have to believe that Jerry continues to show him love.
What I take away from this devastation is the fragility of all of our lives. In a blink of an eye something can happen to us or our family members or friends. We need to embrace every moment with joy and love and express how we feel to every family member and friend and never leave anything behind. We need to forgive, we need to reconcile, we need to love. Can we live each day like this is our last day? Think about the difference this would make in our world.
"In desparate hope I go and search for her in all the corners of my room; I find her not.
My house is small and what once has gone from it can never be regained.
But infinite is thy mansion, my lord, and seeking her I have come to thy door.
I stand under the golden canopy of thine evening sky and I lift my eager eyes to thy face.
I have come to the brink of eternity from which nothing can vanish - no hope, no happiness, no vision of a face seen through tears.
Oh, dip my emptied life into that ocean, plunge it into the deepest fullness. Let me for once feel that lost sweet touch in the allness of the universe.”
A poem by Rabindranath Tagore
Joys & Concerns
Great work done by our volunteers last week at Mid-North Food Pantry! Our volunteers were Ray G., Rik and Linda L., Phil K., Dan R., Nichole Y., and Carol & Jim D. A big thank you to our volunteers! 103 families were served!
SAWs Ramp Build ~ Some of our friends joined others from Shalom Zone last Saturday for SAWs—Servants At Work—to help build a wheelchair ramp for someone in need. They were able to help Gerald, who is confined to a wheelchair as a result of a gunshot. Thank you to Jim D. and Derek S. who participated in this project on behalf of First Friends!
Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities
We Can’t Wait for Bob! Bob H and his family will be arriving in Indianapolis later this week. We are very excited to welcome him to our Meeting, and to hear his first Morning Message on Sunday, July 9th. The picnic we are having on July 23rd will be in his honor, as well. Let’s be sure to give Bob a very Friendly welcome!
We hope you will join us for Meeting for Worship this Sunday, July 2, to hear our next guest, Jon Berry! Jon is a lifelong Friend who has been active in meetings in New York, California, and Indiana. After a career in journalism and business, he earned a Masters of Divinity (M.Div.) in May 2017 from Earlham School of Religion. He plans to begin training for chaplaincy and to write about religion.
Have some soup cans? We’ll take them! We are gathering metal soup cans for Vacation Bible School. If you have any old or empty soup cans of any size, please feel free to bring them to the meeting office! Your help is much appreciated!
Vacation Bible School is only a few weeks away! It will begin on Sunday, July 16 from 12:00-2:00pm and will continue Mon.-Thurs. from 6:00-8:00pm. Lunch will be provided for all who attend on the 16th. We welcome all our kids, grandkids and friends of our kids to participate in this fun and special time of learning that we were created by God and built for a purpose. We’re registering now! To sign up your kids, there are registration forms in the hallway! Contact the office with any questions.
Welcome Your Neighbor Signs ~ The Welcome Your Neighbor signs have arrived! Please pick one up after Meeting at the table in the corner of the hallway. Proudly display them at your home and/or place of work to provide a welcome to everyone, particularly to certain ethnic groups that some have tried to marginalize. Contributions for the signs are appreciated but not required.
We’re Hiring! First Friends Meeting is seeking a qualified applicant for the job of Music Director at the meeting. The Music Director is a part time salaried position, responsible for developing and leading the worship music, in collaboration with the pastor, in a way that is consistent with the mission, values and theology of Quakers. The applicant need not be a Quaker, but should have a knowledge of, and appreciation for, the worship experience. If you’re interested or know anyone who may be interested in this position, please visit our website at https://www.indyfriends.org/musicjob/ for more information and to apply!
2017 Friends Mission Project For FUM - Belize ~ Friends United Meeting (“FUM”)’s Mission project for this year focuses around Belize. There are three ways you can help this project!
1. FUM operates a small school in Belize which offers a “second chance” for kids failing the high school test to further their education. The FUM vision is to raise $25,000 to expand the school, establish a Quaker meeting where there currently is none, and create a community center.
2. In addition to renovating the new facility, Oscar Mmbali, a Kenyan Friend, has accepted FUM’s call to serve as the first Friends pastor for Belize. Oscar is traveling among North American Friends raising support for his new ministry.
3. Finally, we at First Friends are honored to have one of our member families, the Thornburgs (Aaron, Michelle, Kwali, and Meshach), feeling led by God to go to Belize and help with the facility renovation and provide other assistance to the Friends school (come this Sunday for more details). The Thornburgs will need your financial assistance in order to make their Belize leading a reality.
Your prayers and financial support are needed to accomplish each part of this mission project. Your contribution can be to all or any one of the parts of this Belize Project (checks can be made out to First Friends; please designate how your contribution is to be allocated among these 3 needs). Please give prayerful consideration to how you might be led to provide support for this Project.
You’re invited to the wedding! Our beloved organist and choir director Shawn P. and Dr Brett P. invite you to their celebration of marriage on Saturday July 8th with a musical prelude starting at 3:00 and ceremony at 3:30 p.m. This ceremony will be held at Indianapolis First Friends Meeting in the Meetingroom and all are welcome to gather together for this joyous occasion.
Western Yearly Meeting Annual Sessions are coming up July 27-30! You can find all of this year’s information & registration online at https://www.westernyearlymeeting.org/wymsessions/. First Friends will be leading the morning worship service on Friday, July 28 from 9-10:15am, including Beth, Ben W., and Paul and Helena R. Online you’ll find all the details of the sessions such as menus, the preliminary program, housing, and more. There are also chances to volunteer for the Festival of Fun and Fellowship, the Indian Table and Interest Groups. In addition, you can see photos and videos of last year's Annual Session. Pre-registration is due by July 13! We hope you are planning on joining us!
Church Picnic! All are invited to join us for our annual picnic that is taking place Sunday, July 23rd. Our honored guests will be our new Pastor Bob Henry and his family. If you are able, please bring a dish according to last name; A-J: Desserts ; K-Z: Sides and Salads. There will also be fried chicken, hot dogs (& veggie dogs), rolls, ice cream, and drinks all provided for free. As always, there will be kickball afterward, weather permitting. Please join us!