As Way Opens

 Do You Know the History of First Friends’ Neighborhood? (Part 5) 


It is amazing, how much goes on in our neighborhood that we may never know is happening. This week, the pastoral staff at First Friends met with Megan H, Abby M, and our own Kristyn G from Easterseals Crossroads of Indianapolis to get know their organization better. Who knew that just south of our Meetinghouse on Kingsway Avenue sits a five-story building with nearly a 30-year history of voluntary service to those with disabilities in our neighborhood and greater Indianapolis. Here is a brief history from their website (www.eastersealscrossroads.org):   

In 1936, Mrs. William E. Gavin heard of a club of 12 teenagers with disabilities had formed for socialization. She contacted her friend, Mrs. P. R. Mallory, and the two volunteers became engrossed in aiding the group by expanding the program to include profitable handicrafts.

In 1939, the group became formally organized under the leadership of The Indiana Society for Crippled Children and a year later became an affiliate of what is now National Easterseals and leased a building at 30th and New Jersey streets. A curative workshop was established to prepare persons with disabilities for jobs in the community.

Since then, Easterseals Crossroads has occupied buildings in various locations, but settled at 4740 Kingsway Avenue in 1990 where its main location exists today.

How exciting that for almost 30 years, Easterseals Crossroads has been making a difference in our neighborhood, and we have the opportunity to get connected! 


First Friends’ attender Kristyn G is the Camp and Respite Service Manager at Easterseals. She shared with us ways First Friends could help volunteer for respite events and make an impact on our local community. 

Kristyn helps families of children with disabilities find needed rest and a well-deserved break with the many programs Easterseals offers which encourage respite. Some of the events they provide are parents’ nights/days out, teen programs for peer interaction, adult programs, and special themed events like dances, game nights, movie nights, and dinner parties.  

As well as Kristyn’s respite events, Abby and Megan provided a plethora of other volunteer opportunities where we are able to partner, volunteer, and connect with our community.  Here is a link to both the respite events and other volunteer opportunities for those interested in getting involved: https://goo.gl/Svz726 and https://goo.gl/eAHTgf

If you would like to volunteer with Easterseals Crossroads, please contact Abby McIntyre (Media and Volunteer Coordinator) by email amcintyre@eastersealscrossroads.org or by phone at 317.466.100 X2414 or connect with Kristyn G (Camp and Respite Service Manager) at kgreenawald@eastersealscrossroads.org or by phone at 317.466.1000 x2420.

Grace and Peace,


Joys & Concerns

Thank you to our food pantry volunteers! They were extremely busy...about 100 families served! Our volunteers were Linda and Rik L; Kathy R; Steve R; Ray G; Beth S; Christie M; Carol and Jim D.  Thanks to all our volunteers who helped out on this very busy day at the pantry!

We are so excited to share with you our new sign! Several months ago we were approached by the city and informed that our old sign was out of compliance with city ordinances. After much deliberation on how to solve the issue it was decided the best approach was to start from scratch with a new compliant sign. After much work the sign is done! Thank you so much to Cindy Small for her work organizing and carrying out this project for our Meeting!


Last Friday night, we hosted a wiener roast and sing-along as the temperatures plummeted to freezing. As you can see from these photos from Bill Heitman, we brought the singing in after trying to warm up outside around the fire. Gladly our “inner lights” were burning bright!


Quaker-Affiliated Organizations

IFCL:  Looking for ways to engage and make a difference after the recent midterm elections?  Indiana Friends Committee on Legislation (IFCL) is part of a coalition working for redistricting reform in Indiana, and you can participate.  Join us for a rally organized by the Indiana Coalition for Independent Redistricting to let legislators know that 2019 is the year for redistricting reform in Indiana.  The rally will be on Tuesday, November 20 at 12:30pm on the Capitol Street side of the Statehouse.  The father of gerrymandering, Elbridge Gerry, will make a special appearance, and there'll  be a brass jazz combo, all to send an upbeat message:  Hoosiers want fair redistricting for the state legislature and congressional districts. In addition, you can sign a petition at www.allinfordemocracy.org encouraging Gov. Holcomb to put redistricting reform high on his legislative agenda next session.  If you have any questions, please contact Phil Goodchild (goodch713@aol.com; 317-790-9054).  Thanks.

Announcements, Reports & Opportunities


Glasses found! These glasses were found in the pews after Meeting for Worship on Sunday, November 4. They have silver metal rims and squarish lenses. If they belong to you please retrieve them from the office. Thank you!

Get rid of your ugly Christmas sweaters! Shawn P’s Hamilton Southeastern school choir’s holiday performance this year includes a song about ugly Christmas sweaters and the choir is in need of donations. If you have an ugly Christmas sweater that you no longer need, please consider donating it. If you have a sweater you’d like to give, please pass them onto Shawn on Sunday morning or bring them to the meeting office. Thank you for your help!   

Food Pantry Help Needed ~ Susan M who heads up operations at the Mid North Food Pantry, is scheduled for surgery on November 9 and will be unable to perform her regular duties at the pantry for 2 weeks.  Anyone who can help out at the pantry during the weeks of November 12 and 19 would be appreciated. Besides our usual time, there are also other opportunities to help the pantry. If you’d like to help clients shop (as First Friends does on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays), then the pantry can use help on Mondays and Fridays 10am – 2pm.  They can also use help with unpacking and stocking deliveries on Tuesdays (at about 11am) and Thursdays (at about 10am).  Also, the pantry will be open on Wednesday, November 21, (our regular day to help and the day before Thanksgiving). Thank you so much!

Threshing Together ~ If you are interested in gathering with other men who mull over current issues or topics, where all points of view are heard, no decisions are made, and all in a non-threatening atmosphere over a meal, then Threshing Together is for you! Join us for our next meeting on Thursday, November 15 at 7:00pm. See locations here: https://goo.gl/HosLVg 


Sing-Along with Jim! ~ Mark your calendars for Friday, November 16th 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!

Join us for these Thanksgiving services! On Tuesday November 20 at 7:00pm there will be an Interfaith Thanksgiving Service at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 6050 N. Meridian Street. Members of many different faiths will gather together for this time of prayer. The Shalom Zone will also hold an Ecumenical Thanksgiving service on November 20th at 7pm at Cross and Crown Lutheran Church, 5233 E 79th St. We hope you will take the time to gather with us at either of these wonderful services.

Bake With Us! Want to slow down while learning how to make delicious, nutritious sourdough bread?! Join us Saturday, Dec 8th from 6 to 7:30 pm at the Meeting house and you'll learn how to make your very own bread! Bring a sturdy spoon for stirring, a large bowl that can hold at least 3 quarts, and a digital scale, but if you don't have some of these things you are still welcome. We'll finish the process with bread shaping and baking Sunday morning at 9 am before meeting for worship. Our bread will be ready after meeting for worship. We can hold about 16 people in the Meeting kitchen. Please RSVP to the office at office@indyfriends.org. 

Work Needed ~ Please see this message from Janice H: As Career Coach at Hawthorne Community Center, I have a client who fled Rwanda on a tourist visa with her two young children a few months ago because her husband disappeared, and people were trying to kill her entire family. She is staying at a shelter and filing for asylum through Ind. Legal Services.  She will not have a work permit for 5 months or more and has no pocket money.  In the meantime, she is willing to clean houses or do whatever as long as it is a safe situation.  She speaks and understands some English and is fluent in French and her mother tongue.  Both her children will soon be in school during the day.  She doesn't have a car, but Hawthorne has bus passes.  She has a bachelor’s degree in management and economics from her homeland. Another need she has is for a spiritual community.  If you know of any Haitian or other congregations where French is spoken, I would love to connect her with one. If you know of any work or social service assistance besides the Immigrant Welcome Center and the Exodus Refugee Center, please let the office know at office@indyfriends.org. 

College Care packages - It is time to send care packages to our college students as they prepare for their final exams at school.  We will have boxes out this Sunday for you to fill with goodies like candy, cookies, cards, and other treats. Please bring enough for all 8 of our students. Any money donated will be used to purchase additional items for the boxes. We will be mailing them November 26 so please bring everything in by Sunday, November 25. Thank you for your support!

Grief Gathering on Sunday November 25th after Meeting for Worship - Circle of Care is hosting a lunch and discussion for those who have experienced a loss of a family member or cherished friend.  This lunch and time together is a tangible way our Meeting is demonstrating our care for each other during times of sadness.  Marsha Hutchinson, Pastor of Care Ministers at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, will facilitate our discussions that day. We invite anyone that is interested in gathering with others to share and reflect on the experience of loss. Feel free to bring any family members. Please contact the office (office@indyfriends.org) if you plan to attend. Circle of Care at is also exploring other ideas to meet the needs of our members and attenders and would like to know other ways we can support those at First Friends who are dealing with loss and grief. If you have some time, we ask that you please complete a short survey, found here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/8L273QQ. Thank you for your feedback! 

Poinsettias are available for order! You can order a red or white Poinsettia in a 6-inch pot for $8.50 each.  All orders must be submitted to the office by Monday, November 26th. Order forms are available, or you can email your order to the office and send in your check separately. If emailing your order to office@indyfriends.org, please list how many of which color you want, if it is in memory of or in honor of someone, and please put ‘Poinsettia order’ in the memo line of the check when you send it in. 

Oak Leaf: Meeting For Reading ~ Anyone interested is invited to attend the 5th Annual Potluck Lasagna Holiday Dinner at Ruth K’s house on November 27th at 6:30 pm.  We will be discussing The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.  Bring a friend, a side dish and a book from home for our annual holiday book swap. Contact the office at office@indyfriends.org if you need directions. The next discussion will be American Fire by Monica Hesse on December 27th at 7 pm.

Royal Sensation Choir Performance in Meeting ~ On Sunday, December 2nd, we are pleased to welcome the Royal Sensation choir from Hamilton Southeastern High School. Royal Sensation is under the direction of Shawn P. Please join us in Meeting that day to hear their performance. A goodwill offering will be taken to help support their choir. 


Riley Children’s Hospital Fundraiser ~ A message from Heather D: I'm on a mission to save kids and I need your help. Riley Children's Hospital treats thousands of children each year, regardless of their family's ability to pay. These kids are facing scary stuff like cancer, cystic fibrosis, and injuries from accidents to name just a few. This is my third year participating in this huge worldwide celebration of the social impact of gamers of all kinds. Our team will play video games to board games and even tabletop RPG's to raise money and awareness for Riley Children's Hospital! 

Since 2008, Extra Life has raised more than $40 million to help children's hospitals provide critical treatments and healthcare services, pediatric medical equipment, research and charitable care. It's my sincere hope that you'll find it in your heart to support my efforts with a monthly pledge or one-time gift that will go directly to my hospital. Your donation is tax-deductible and ALL PROCEEDS go to help kids. I need your help to reach my goal "For The Kids".  Please make a safe, easy donation online today. You can click the following link to make a safe and easy online donation. Thank you so much for supporting my efforts! https://goo.gl/3dt8i4

Vespers Annual Concert~ On Sunday, December 9th at 5:30pm we invite you to attend our annual Vespers concert. Our performers have been practicing hard for this concert, and it should be quite a delight. Following the concert there will be a complimentary light dinner, hosted by our Fellowship Committee. Plan to join us for the evening!


Children’s Pageant ~ Join us during our Meeting for Worship on Sunday, December 16 as our children depict and read the story of Jesus' birth. As well, the congregation will join in with singing hymns together. This is an annual tradition that you do not want to miss! 

Annual Christmas Tea ~ Please join us on December 16th immediately after worship in the parlor for the annual Christmas Tea. There will be lots of cookies and punch and fellowship. If you can donate two dozen cookies, they can be dropped off 10-11am, Saturday, December 15th or the morning of Sunday, December 16th in the parlor. For more information contact the office at office@indyfriends.org. Happy holidays! 

Christmas Caroling ~ Fa La La La La! Joy to the World! Deck the Halls! It's time to clear your throats and get ready to bring some Christmas cheer through singing some carols! Join us on Sunday, December 16 in the evening for some caroling. Make sure to bring the kids as we will again be heading to Steak and Shake after caroling for dinner! This should be a fun night for the entire family! Keep an eye out for more details coming soon.

Festival of Carols ~ The Indianapolis Symphonic Choir Presents Festival of Carols! Dan R and Bill P are both part of this group. Make 2018 the holiday season you will forever remember! With 5 performances to choose from, the Midwest’s beloved holiday tradition includes your favorite carols and Christmas music featuring the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra and musical surprises for kids from 1 to 92. Performances will be December 9 at the Warren Performing Arts Center and December 21-December 23 at the Palladium at the Center for Performing Arts. For more information or to buy tickets, visit indychoir.org

Christmas Calendar at First Friends Meeting

Sunday, December 2nd

‘Royal Sensation Choir’ in Meeting

Sunday, December 9th

Vespers at 5:30pm

Complimentary Light Buffet following concert

Sunday, December 16th

Children’s Christmas Pageant in Meeting

Christmas Tea following Worship

Christmas Caroling

Sunday, December 23rd

Take your poinsettias home!

Monday, December 24th

Christmas Eve Service at 5:30 pm