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As Way Opens

Do You Know the History of First Friends’ Neighborhood? (Part 3)

Authors John Pattison and Chris Smith once again noted in our special education hour on Sunday the need to know the history of one’s neighborhood. In this third installment I want to highlight a business establishment of our neighborhood that has survived most of the changes taking places from the late 1920s through today. This establishment is Hedlund’s Hardware.

Anyone from outside our neighborhood who I drive to the Meetinghouse down Keystone Avenue inquires about Hedlund’s Hardware.  The giant billboard sign on the top of the building is definitely a draw, and someone always asks if they change it every day. Actually, my son asked just this week. 

The family-owned and operated business goes all the way back to 1929, when it was known as a general store. The founder, Claude Hedlund, and his wife Mary made their name known on the corner of 62nd and Keystone and quickly began servicing the growing community. Before modern grocery or convenience stores, the Hedlund’s became a one-stop shop for food, gas, and hardware. Since this was a family and neighborhood business, the Hedlund’s lived in the back of the shop with their two sons Paul and Ronald. 

Today, four generations later, a Hedlund still runs the business. A lot has changed over the years, but Hedlund’s history is a living example of how our neighborhood has evolved. As the neighborhood development boom occurred in the early 1940s, there was a need for building supplies and hardware. This had Hedlund’s transitioning from a general store to a full-fledged independent hardware store. With the addition of Marsh Grocery and later Lowe’s Home Improvement, Hedlund’s has continued to reinvent itself, similar to Glendale Town Square across the street. They now focus on specialty items that big chain stores do not carry and much of their business is done online, all while still being considered a neighborhood establishment.

Some see Hedlund’s Hardware as a museum to our neighborhood’s past. Just stepping through their doors is like being in a time-machine. Yet, I believe Hedlund’s Hardware is an example of cultivating stability in our neighborhood. Johnathan Wilson-Hartgrove says that “Stability demands that we do the long, hard work of life with the other people in the place where we are.” That is exactly what Hedlund’s Hardware has done in our neighborhood.  They have continued to put the needs of their local community first while offering quality service. Obviously, they have had to change over the years, but they have also continued to grow and evolve to stay endorsed and valued in their neighborhood. They know their true home (for four generations) and they insist they are not going anywhere anytime soon. 

How might First Friends learn from the established stability and ongoing evolution that Hedlund’s has gone through over the years?  How are we doing the long, hard work of life with other people in our place?

(Info from: http://www.hedlundhardware.com/hedlundhistory.html, http://www.townepost.com/indiana/broad-ripple/the-right-tools/

Grace and peace,


Joys & Concerns

This past Sunday morning, we enjoyed a Special Education Hour with authors John Pattison and C. Christopher Smith of Slow Church: Cultivating Community in the Patient Way of Jesus. We also got to hear them speak during Meeting for Worship. Ben Wertz shared a special song and spoke about the Full Circle Fest (https://fullcirclefest.com/celebrate/). After the Meeting for Worship, John joined the Affirmation Class for their teaching. What a great time!


First Friends helped represent Quakers at the Indy Festival of Faiths on Sunday! Thank you to everyone who came and especially those who helped with setup, teardown, and helped at the booth throughout the day, including Ed Morris!

Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities

Threshing Together ~ If you are interested in gathering with men who mull over current issues or topics, where all points of view are heard, no decisions are made, and all in a relaxed atmosphere over a meal, then Threshing Together is for you! Join us. Threshing Together gathers at 7pm on the 3rd Thursday of each month. Our next get-together will be this Thursday, October 18 at 7:00pm. See locations here: https://goo.gl/HosLVg


Sing-Along with Jim! ~ Mark your calendars for this 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!

Full Circle Festival ~ Again this year our own Ben W will be holding Full Circle Festival downtown this Saturday, October 20th from 2-9pm on Monument Circle. 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). For more information please visit https://fullcirclefest.com/.


Fall Festival! ~ Meridian Street Preschool Co-Op (MSPC) will be hosting their annual Fall Festival this 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.


Butler University’s Diversity Lecture Series: Victoria Defrancesco Soto ~ Butler University is hosting a lecture on Monday, October 22 at 7:00pm. DeFrancesco Soto will consider the topic of negotiating diversity within the current political landscape with a particular focus on the last decade and the upcoming mid-term election. DeFrancesco Soto is a professor at the University of Texas’ LBJ School of Public Affairs and a contributor to MSNBC, NBCNews.com, and Telemundo among others. Her areas of expertise include immigration, Latinos, women and politics, political psychology, and campaigns and elections. In looking at immigration, she takes a broad historical perspective to understand current policy debates. For more information, visit https://events.butler.edu/event/diversity-lecture-series-victoria-defrancesco-soto


An Evening with Author Michelle Alexander – Poverty: Examining Roots, Working Toward Solutions ~ You are invited to join the Faith & Action Project for an evening with Michelle Alexander, best-selling author of The New Jim Crow:  Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness on Tuesday, October 23 at 7 p.m. at Clowes Memorial Hall. Following Ms. Alexander’s keynote, she will join a panel of local business, community and faith leaders for a conversation that delves into poverty’s foundations and the community’s role in both its expansion and eventual elimination… all with an eye toward equipping residents and organizations to squash poverty’s momentum and apply their collaborative might to the fight against poverty. Instead of tickets the event has been opened to all on a first-come first-seated basis. For more information please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/poverty-examining-roots-working-toward-solutions-tickets-48658471799


Seasoned Friends ~ Seasoned Friends will hold their annual weenie roast next 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 office@indyfriends.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. For more information on the history of the Beem house, you can visit https://pocketsights.com/tours/place/David-Enoch-Beem-House-5293 or https://indianahistory.org/wp-content/uploads/david-enoch-beem-papers-1821-1923-1954.pdf. We hope you will join us!


Talk to Congress – Letter Writing Project ~ Beginning in October on the last Sunday of each month, Witness and Service is offering an opportunity for you to contact Congress. We will provide information and a sample letter, which addresses a specific issue that is on the Senate and/or House of Representative radar. You are welcome to write/call your legislators about this topic, or any other that might be on your mind.

The topics are chosen by Quaker Pastors, Ron and Pam Furgeson, who minister at Winchester Friends here in Indiana. They choose which topics to address based on relevance to our Quaker Testimonies. A writing station will be set up in Fellowship Hall for you to use after meeting for worship. You are welcome to write your thoughts on cards that are provided, take the material home to send later, or (if technology cooperates) send an email from the computer that is set up at the station. Your views are always private. The important part of this effort is to give you an opportunity to speak with those who decide the laws of the land, and to give Quaker/Faith Community input into their decision-making.

The featured topic for October is encouraging Congress to support The Global Fragility and Violence Reduction Act. This bipartisan bill is designed to improve U.S. capacity for reducing and addressing the causes of violence, violent conflict, and fragility across the globe. For more information and a sample letter, please visit https://goo.gl/WaH6YU.


"I was a stranger and you welcomed me"
Immigration and the Meaning of Welcome: Sharing the Stories from Our Community

Please join members of the Shalom Zone churches for a discussion about immigration in our community and how we as Christians can help to welcome immigrants and refugees. Joining us to share their stories will be members of several immigrant communities in the Indianapolis area. An overview of some of the key issues about immigration, immigrants, and refugees will also be provided by our own Tim W, from Catholic Charities/Refugee Program. It will be held on Tuesday, October 30 at 7:00pm at Cross and Crown Lutheran Church, 5233 E. 79th St., Indianapolis, 46250. We hope you will join us for this important topic.


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!

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.

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Blood Drive! Please join us for a blood drive held in conjunction with the Indiana Blood Center on Sunday, December 2nd from 9:00am-1:00pm in Fellowship Hall. If you would like to schedule a time, visit https://www.donorpoint.org/donor/schedules/drive_schedule/124166. Donors must be 17 years old (16 with signed parent permission slip), meet height /weight eligibility requirements, be in good general health, and present a photo I.D. at registration. To view eligibility, visit https://www.donorpoint.org/donor/schedules/drive_schedule/124166.

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