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As Way Opens

First Friends is a polling place for voting for precincts in Washington Township 61 and 21-13 in Marion County.  These two precincts cover Keystone to 52nd and Kessler to the railroad and Kessler to Allisonville to 56th St.  This is our neighborhood and at least our 15th year to host voters.  I came to the Meeting at 7:00 a.m. yesterday to prepare breakfast for our poll workers and it was inspiring to see that we are not a homogenous neighborhood.  Our Meeting is situated in an area with great diversity based on gender, race, and age and I observed this diversity all day.  I am so inspired to see people taking time out of their day to wait in lines (sometimes for hours) to participate in the most important democratic idea we can ever embrace.  At our precinct, every new voter is identified and a huge cheer and clapping occurs to support and appreciate this person.  I love this!  This is what we should be cheering about.

I have been thinking historically today about this idea of voting that our founding fathers knew to be the foundation of a democracy.  I have been channeling our national heroes that established our country--like Washington, Adams, Hamilton, Jefferson, Penn and so many others that were willing to give up their lives for this idea of democracy.  I always get emotional on voting day as we continue to live out their ideals of a perfect union. 

We have much work to do to realize this perfect union.  But that is our daily challenge - what am I doing to help realize this beautiful idea of democracy, equality, opportunity, and justice?  Every voting day the people that show up are a peg in realizing this perfect union. The last time that we had at least 50% voting in a midterm election was 1914.  Rick Small shared this information with me yesterday and I am distraught to hear this as the vote was essential to many people dying for this republic. I hope we had a plus 50% turnout yesterday. 

I so appreciated Bob’s message last Sunday that talked about how we communicate with each other.  We need to embrace everyone that we might disagree with and appreciate their holiness, spirit and their interest in making America the best it can be in terms of our founding fathers.   We need to listen to each other. This is a spiritual matter to me.  Our democracy is dependent on compromising with each other and seeing that of God in each other.


Joys & Concerns

On Wednesday October 24 Seasoned Friends had a great time visiting the historic Beem House! We also made an unplanned stop at Brett’s farm. We had lots of fun!


Our youth group traveled to Cincinnati on Saturday October 27 to visit the Underground Railroad Freedom Center. We learned so much about African American history, the history of our country, and the treacherous journey of slaves seeking freedom. We also learned a bit about the role some Quakers played in that history!

Photo by Bob Henry

Photo by Bob Henry

There is just something transcendent about entering our Quaker Meetinghouse in the mornings during the season of fall. Our natural “stained glass” windows speak of the glory of God in their radiant color and leave you in silent awe. (Left)

We will hold a memorial service for Marilyn O here at First Friends Meeting on Saturday, November 10th. Visitation will be held at 10am and the service will begin at 11am. After the service there will be a light luncheon in Fellowship Hall. We are looking for volunteers to bring desserts for the luncheon. If you’re able to help, please let the office know if you can bring something. Please hold the O family in your prayers as we celebrate Marilyn’s life.

Our friend Daud A sent his love and said how much he misses First Friends.  Daud and Lillian moved to Alabama 18 months ago, but he stops in to see us when he is in town.  We miss them!

Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities

Please Join us for this month’s Eco Film! This time the Shalom Zone will present Cheshire, Ohio, An American coal story in 3 acts which will be shown this Friday, November 9 at 7:00 pm at Cross and Crown Lutheran Church, 5233 E. 79th Street. This film follows a community devastated by coal, starting with the American Electric Power's buyout and bulldozing of this Ohio River town after exposing them to years of harmful emissions. This 75-minute film, which has won numerous awards, is a story about the increasingly difficult choices we face surrounding coal and the environment. You can watch a trailer for the film at www.cheshireohio.com. There is no admission charge, and there will be free refreshments. We hope to see you there!


Affirmation this Sunday! As a reminder, the youth will meet for Affirmation this Sunday! We hope to see all our youth there!


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 Nov-19 would be appreciated.  Thanks.


Coburn Place Open House ~ Coburn Place is hosting their annual open house on Thursday, November 8th from 8am to 8pm. This is a great opportunity to learn about Coburn Place, see some of their fantastic apartments first hand, and find out more about how they’re growing and expanding services. RSVP at http://coburnplace.org/pt-event/open-house-2018/. The address is 604 E. 38th St, Indianapolis.

A Sing-Along around the campfire will take place on Friday, November 9 from 6 to 8:30 p.m.  Connections is planning this weenie and marshmallow roast.  Jim K will provide music and Leslie K will assist as anyone who wants, chimes in.  The event will take place in the Meetinghouse courtyard and Fellowship Hall.  Bring your voice, an instrument if you can play, and wear warm clothes.  Please RSVP with the office if possible, but everyone is welcome to come. We would appreciate anyone who brings some food to share.  Do not stay away because you aren’t bringing any food.  See you then!


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!


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


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! Please mark your calendars now 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.


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.

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.


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!

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