As Way Opens
Last week I was sitting in my office and someone tapped on my window. There was Daud A. outside. As many of you know, Daud is an Imam and attended Nur-Allah Islamic Center on 46th St near Keystone. Five years ago, he showed up one Sunday morning and kept coming back most Sundays and became involved in Sunday School and in outreach, and developed deep friendships with many of us. He became part of our fellowship and even gave the message one Sunday morning. He and his wife Lillian moved to Alabama a year ago but when he returns to Indianapolis he often stops by to say hello and check in on us.
Daud loves the Quakers and described his experience worshipping with us as deeply significant for him. He is looking to connect with Quakers in Alabama, but he has not found the same experience as he did at First Friends. We reminisced about hosting an appreciation ceremony together at School 43, his friendship with Duffy Fankboner (that changed both of them) and this amazing and holy experience we had during our Affirmation class three years ago. One of our lessons in Affirmation is looking at other religions and how Quakerism compares. We invited the youth from Nur Allah to come and share an abbreviated Muslim service with us, eat with us and hang out with us. There were about 10 young people as well as a couple of adults including Daud that joined us. We had an incredible gathering that I will never forget, sharing worship, food and conversation with each other. That afternoon broke down any perceived barriers of difference or labels between us. These kids - black, white, Muslim and Quaker - were just kids with each other. Both Daud and I talked about how powerful this experience was of understanding, acceptance and sacredness.
My friendship with Daud has changed me. I got to know someone very different from me but a deeply spiritual person that I learned from and showed me the Spirit’s breadth and depth in a new way. We may use different words to describe our experiences, but we have great similarities in how the Divine transforms our heart and calls us into action into the world. Our Meeting was blessed to have Daud in our community and he continues to be a blessing in this world. How do we step outside of our homogenous world and develop friendships and relationships with people different than us?
Joys & Concerns
Many thanks to everyone who helped at Mid-North Food Pantry last week: Linda L; Kathy R; Kathy and Bill F; Beth F; Tom Fisher; Dan H; Christie M; Jill, Ben, Verna and Nolan F; Carol and Jim D. Thanks to all of our dedicated volunteers.
Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities
As we arrive at the half-way point through our 11-week Slow Movement Sermon Series, we are excited to invite you this Sunday, October 14, to engage and hear from the authors of the book that is the basis for the series, "Slow Church: Cultivating Community in the Patient Way of Jesus!" John Pattison and Chris Smith will be with us for a special Education Hour starting at 9:00am with a light breakfast being offered starting at 8:30am. As well, John and Chris will be sharing in Meeting for Worship and will also spend some time with our Affirmation Class after the service. Don't miss this Sunday as we hear the stories and learn about the Slow Church movement taking place throughout our world. See you on Sunday!
As a reminder, this Sunday October 14th is our second session of Affirmation for our youth. They will be dismissed after the sermon to begin their class, and will be joined later by John Pattison and Chris Smith, authors of Slow Church!
Small Groups ~ We are excited to offer spiritual growth small groups again this fall starting October 15th and continuing for a 5-week period (ending the week before Thanksgiving). In the past our small groups study sessions were an opportunity to deepen connections in a small group with Friends. We will be studying the book by Richard Rohr called “Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life.” In his book, Rohr seeks to help readers understand the tasks of the two halves of life and to show them that those who have fallen, failed, or "gone down" are the only ones who understand "up." Most of us tend to think of the second half of life as largely about getting old, dealing with health issues, and letting go of life, but the whole thesis of this book is exactly the opposite. What looks like falling down can largely be experienced as "falling upward." In fact, it is not a loss but somehow actually a gain, as we have all seen with elders who have come to their fullness. See below for current available sessions. Please contact the office at email@example.com with your preferred time or sign up on Sundays just outside of the sanctuary when you're at worship. We hope you will join us!
Deodorant needed for MNFP! Currently, Mid-North Food Pantry (MNFP) is collecting deodorant for men and women in need. If you would like to help out, please place unopened sticks of deodorant in the donation boxes either in the hallway by the Sunday School rooms, or in Fellowship Hall. Thank you!
The Rohingya Refugee Crisis ~ Last August the government of Burma forced a million Muslim Rohingya from their homes in Burma into Bangladesh. The United Nations calls this genocide and a crime against humanity. Today, Wednesday, October 10, 7:00-8:30pm, the Indianapolis Peace & Justice Center invites everyone to come hear John Clark, board of the Indianapolis-based OBAT Helpers, one of the few nonprofits working in the Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh. This event is free and open to the public. It will be held at the Indiana Interchurch Center, 1100 W. 42nd St. For more information, please visit www.indypeaceandjustice.org.
Shalom Zone Eco-Film - The next Shalom Zone Eco Film will be “Bidder 70”, which highlights the story of University of Utah economics student Tim DeChristopher, who in 2008 committed an act which would redefine patriotism in our time, igniting a spirit of civil disobedience in the name of climate justice. The film will be at St Pius X Church, 7200 Sarto Dr on Friday October 12th at 7:00 p.m. Everyone is invited. For more information see our flyer at https://goo.gl/2yekyo.
Recycling Event! The Shalom Zone plans to have its yearly recycling event with Recycle Force on Saturday, October 13 from 10:00am to 2:00pm. If an item runs (or used to run) with a plug or a battery you can recycle it! This year it will be held at Epworth United Methodist Church, 6450 Allisonville Rd. A $20 donation is requested for appliances containing Freon (fridges, freezers, ac units and dehumidifiers) and televisions. Other monetary contributions are greatly appreciated. This is a great opportunity to clean out your basement, garage, closets, attic and responsibly recycle unwanted electronics and appliances.
Political Polarization and the Need for Civil Discourse in the Time of Trump ~ Our own Jeff Rasley will be the main speaker at this local event, sponsored by Meridian Methodist Men's Group (women are welcome to attend). It will be held Saturday, October 13 at 8:00a.m. at Meridian Methodist Church, 5500 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis. An optional breakfast will be offered for $5. Please RSVP to Mary Sue McAlister at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you plan to attend.
Alternatives to Violence Mini Workshops ~ Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) Indiana is hosting mini workshops using participants’ shared experience, interactive exercises and games to examine the ways we respond to situations where frustration can lead to anger and aggressive behavior through leadership development, community building and creative conflict management. These workshops are free and are for anyone who is interested in learning new and creative ways to respond to conflict in personal relationships and groups. The sessions are on the following Saturdays at Indianapolis Public Library branches:
October 13, 12:30-4:30pm at West Indianapolis Library, 1216 Kappes St, Indianapolis 46221
November 10, 10am-1:30pm at Brightwood Library, 2435 N Sherman Dr, Indianapolis 46218
December 8, 12:30-4:30pm at Wayne Library, 198 S Girls School Rd, Indianapolis 46231
For more information and to register, please visit https://avpindiana.org/registration-2/
Indy Festival of Faiths ~ We will be representing Quakers again this year at the Festival of Faiths! It will be this Sunday, October 14 from 1-5pm at the War Memorial downtown. There has never been a better time to celebrate central Indiana's richly diverse faith community. This year's theme is Compassion Through Action. They are asking everyone who attends the festival to bring a small donation of personal hygiene items for our neighbors in challenging circumstances. Soap, shampoo, combs and hair brushes, tampons, deodorant, toothpaste and tooth brushes will be collected at the festival and distributed to shelters and food pantries. There are a myriad of activities taking place inside the War Memorial and outside in Veterans Memorial Plaza. We are also looking for volunteers to help at our Quaker booth throughout the day. If you’re interested, please use the signup sheet in the Meetingroom hallway or contact the office at email@example.com. Come and stay however long you’re able—people coming early or staying late for setup and teardown would also be much appreciated! Thank you!
Slow Church Sermon Series ~ Each Sunday we are going to explore together what a “slow movement” looks like for First Friends. This is an invitation to explore outside of what is labeled “franchise faith” and back into the Kingdom of God – where people know each other well and love one another as Christ loved the church. This will be instrumental in developing an ongoing vision for First Friends. We hope you will plan to join us for this exploration during the Fall months.
Sing-Along with Jim! ~ Mark your calendars for Friday, October 19th for an evening of music and fun with songs ranging from Dylan to Pete Seeger, Beetles to Stephen Foster. Some are sad, pensive, inspirational, patriotic, religious. We are now enlarging the songs and printing them, placing them in folders alphabetically, thus making a less labor-intensive process for all. Rise Up Singing and Rise Again are still useful in case we have more singers than folders. Please do bring your books. We begin at 7:00, end at 8:30 or soon after. Third Friday of the month, as usual!
Harvesting Seeds for Next Year’s Garden
The Community Garden has a small seed library and we often use seeds obtained from the Glendale Library. The oats we used for cover crops (to put nutrients back into the soil) came from the Glendale Library. Some of us collect seeds from our crops and save them for spring.
A great opportunity to learn more is at Saving and Sharing Seeds with Ben Cohen, a presentation slated for this Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Glendale Branch Library. See www.indypl.org.
Open-pollinated seeds, or OPs, retain their distinct characteristics for generations as long as they do not cross-pollinate with other types of the same species. You can collect seeds of annuals each year and harvest biennial seeds after the second season. Some plants self-seed. Perennials survive for many years and come up on their own. Beware of hybrid crop seeds since they may not produce true-to-breed. They are genetically unstable and are generally less vigorous. It is actually illegal to save and exchange some patented seeds. Globally we now have giant seed banks or vaults to preserve seeds through time for all humanity and to aid in conserving biodiversity. Hurrah!
Knowing when and how to collect seeds is important. Collect from the healthiest plants. Let peas and beans dry on the plant. Pick fleshy vegetables when ripe so you can scoop out their seeds. Separate the surrounding gel before you attempt to dry the seeds. Read up on this so you can avoid mold growth!
One way to store seeds is in a jar in the freezer. For others you may use envelopes or pill bottles as storage containers. Label with the date collected and the species variety. Most seeds require a cool, dark place. Potato and onion sets can be hung in mesh bags or stored in open boxes. Be sure to research temperature and humidity needs of each seed type according to your storage method. These variables affect longevity and viability. We want our seeds to live long and prosper so we can too!
Full Circle Festival ~ Again this year our own Ben W will be holding Full Circle Festival downtown on Saturday, October 20th. Full Circle Fest is an open-air dining experience, an interactive art fair, a zero-waste event, a fundraiser for sustainable community projects, and much more! There will also be local bands, performers, and DJs, as well as engaging games and activities. Every year we focus on a timely community issue to guide the day's events. This year’s focus is “Everyone should have access to fresh, healthy food.” Indianapolis ranks among the worst cities in the country for food deserts (urban areas in which it is difficult to buy affordable or good-quality fresh food). Full Circle Fest is in need of your support to help bring this event to life. To donate, please drop your contributions in the offering plate or in the meeting office with the notation “Full Circle Fest”. An anonymous donor will match donations up to $500, so please consider supporting this important cause. For more information please visit https://fullcirclefest.com/.
Fall Festival! ~ Meridian Street Preschool Co-Op (MSPC) will be hosting their annual Fall Festival on Saturday October 20th from 4-6pm. It is held here at First Friends and is free and open to the public—so all are welcome to come and be a part of this fun evening. There will be face painting, pumpkin decorating, a bounce house, a chili cook-off, a raffle, and more! Costumes are welcome! We hope you will join us for the fun evening.
Seasoned Friends ~ Seasoned Friends will hold their annual weenie roast on Wednesday, October 24th. This year it will be at the historic Beem House in Spencer, Indiana. Our meal will consist of hotdogs, iced tea, chocolate chip cookies, and potato salad. We will meet at the Meetinghouse at 9:30 and carpool from there, or if you’d like to drive yourself, the address of the Beem House is 635 W Hillside Ave, Spencer, IN 47460. We will be back by 5pm. Please RSVP with the office at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 317-255-2485 and let us know if you will be joining the carpool. Come for a good meal, to hear the history of the house, and enjoy time with friends. We hope you will join us!
Oak Leaf Meeting for Reading ~ Join our Oak Leaf Meeting for Reading book group for Tuesday October 30th’s pick ~ The Hour of Land by Terry Tempest Williams. The discussion will be led by Bob Henry. Click on this link if you’d like see the New York Times review: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/05/books/review/the-hour-of-land-by-terry-tempest-williams.html. Interested in being on the Oak Leaf email list or would like the book list? Please contact email@example.com. Oak Leaf meets on the last Tuesday of each month in the Parlor at 7 pm. Come one, come all!