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As Way Opens

On Sunday, many of us experienced the trees in our meditational woods up close and personal – some for the first time. I thank those in our Meeting who had a vision years ago to set apart our woods as a sacred place where we could commune with the Divine through nature.

As I said on Sunday, trees have always drawn me in.  They speak in a unique way to my soul.  As I further pondered our experience from Sunday, I ran across an eco-spiritual blogger named White Feather. This was part of White Feather’s most recent post:

“Trees have roots that keep them connected to the planet. Humans do not have physical roots but we have deep spiritual roots. But so many humans have lost awareness of their roots in the planet. Trees are always willing to help us remember those roots and start feeling them again. Through trees and their roots we can not only tap into the planet that we are part of but we can also rediscover our own roots. Trees are so important! …Trees can help us re-establish our awareness of that connection. They can help us strengthen that connection. They are part of that connection!”


Over the Fourth of July holiday, we visited Sue’s mom in Michigan, who still lives on the farm where Sue was raised.  One afternoon, Sue took a stroll through the property. When she returned, she asked if I would like to see some photos she took on her phone. Of all the possible photos Sue could have taken as she wandered the acres of land, she took photos of the trees and then told me their stories.  There is the big pine she climbed and read books in as a kid. The large oak tree which was planted by her grandfather when the house was built and still sits at the entrance to the farm - greets all who visit and welcomes home all who have dwelled there. The mulberry tree shaded her childhood dog’s house and all the kids who came by to visit Sue sat atop that doghouse and tasted mulberries from the tree.  Each tree made a special connection to her and her story. They helped Sue rediscover her roots and reconnect her.

Trees are important, if we are able to see what all they offer us and our spiritual journeys. This week, find a tree, spend some time with it, rediscover all it has to offer, and you just may find yourself reconnecting to your world and to the Divine in new ways.

Grace and peace,


Joys & Concerns


This past Sunday we held worship in our meditational woods. We couldn’t have asked for better weather as we experienced the Divine in nature. We also dedicated the new path, in memory of Bob Hadley—thank you to Paul Riley for sharing some words with us in memory of Bob. Afterward we enjoyed our picnic. It was a wonderful time!



Yesterday our youth had a fun adventure at the Butler University High Rope Challenge course. Look at them go!



Quaker-Affiliated Organizations


IFCL and Immigration Policies ~ The Indiana Friends Committee on Legislation (IFCL) supports all Quaker concerns including those that are most likely resolved through federal avenues, including immigration reform. IFCL began conversations with Indiana’s U.S. senators and representatives two years ago regarding immigration reform at a time when all were receptive to the need for action. As these conversations continue and relationships form across the aisles, IFCL often is contacted by state legislators who have related issues. Such an opportunity to be involved occurred late in Indiana’s 2018 session when a legislator realized forms for professional and occupational licenses included an area about U.S. Citizenship that was troublesome. He contacted IFCL lobbyist Bill Chapman for assistance and Bill helped find a path toward a resolution that ended positively in SB 419, a bill that not only passed, but received nearly universal support in both House and Senate and was signed by Governor Holcomb. Anyone who has concerns that IFCL could address should feel welcome to share them with the contacts on the IFCL website: quakerifcl.org. To read the full text on IFCL and immigration policies, please visit quakerifcl.org/2018/06/ifcl-and-immigration-policies/


Krista Detor Concert ~ Singer/songwriter Krista Detor will share her musical gifts at a free concert hosted by Indiana Friends Committee on Legislation (IFCL) Saturday, July 14, at 7:30pm at Western Yearly Meeting, 301 South East Street. Detor has conducted songwriting seminars, performances and presentations at universities, outreach organizations and arts centers throughout the world, including Ireland's prestigious IMRO performing rights organization. In addition to many unique cross-cultural musical endeavors she has pioneered, she continues to tour the U.S., U.K., and Europe. She's shared stages with Victor Wooten, Chuck Rainey, Joan Armatrading, Loudon Wainwright, The Neville Bros. and Suzanne Vega, among many others. Krista lives in Bloomington, Indiana, and can be found on all social networking sites and at KristaDetor.com.

Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities


Western Yearly Meeting Annual Sessions ~ This weekend, July 12-15, all are encouraged to attend Western Yearly Meeting’s Annual Sessions, this year themed “Living Like We’re Loved.” This year we will listen to a workshop by our own Paul R at 1:30pm on Thursday; on Saturday we will hear from mission speaker Eden Grace at 5pm; Jeff Blackburn will lead us in worship each Thurs-Sat at 9am and Sunday at 10:45am, and much more! For the full tentative schedule, please visit https://goo.gl/cWWjg1. If you are staying local this weekend, on Sunday, July 15, we will hold unprogrammed worship here at First Friends in the Parlor at the usual time of 10:15. Childcare will be provided. Thank you to Mary B for leading us in worship that day.


Threshing at the Tap: (def.) a gathering of men who mull over current issues or topics, where all points of view are heard, no decisions are made, and beverages and food are enjoyed. This month we will be meeting at the new Sun King Spirits. It will be Thursday, July 19th at 7pm. The address is 351 Monon Blvd, Carmel, 46032. We hope to see you there!


WYM and FUM 2018 Summer Mission Projects ~ Western Yearly Meeting and Friends United Meeting have announced their mission projects for 2018.

The FUM project is “Rebuilding a Friendly Place.”  In the early 1900s, a school was started in the Cuban town of Puerto Padre by Quakers from Wilmington Yearly Meeting.  In 1961, all private schools in Cuba were nationalized.  The school subsequently fell into ruin.  In 2014, the Cuban government agreed to return control of the school to Cuba Yearly Meeting.  Although it’s in disrepair, it can be refurbished... “Rebuilding a Friendly Place.”  Your contribution will help FUM achieve its goal of $25,000 for the restoration of the Wilmington School. For more information, visit http://www.friendsunitedmeeting.org/assets/2018-smp-cuba_4pg.pdf

The WYM project is to assist Tanzania Yearly Meeting continue to grow and develop as a yearly meeting.  In 2009, the yearly meeting had only seven Quaker meetings in Tanzania, all in the Mara region along the Kenyan border.  Today, Tanzania Yearly Meeting covers eight regions and includes 26 meetings...and continues to grow.  Monies will be used to train Kenyans interested in mission work in Tanzania, scholarships for one year for 4 students in a pastoral ministry program at Friends Theological College, Kenyan mission outreach in Tanzania, and regional workshops in Tanzania in discipleship and Quakerism.  WYM’s goal for this Tanzania project is $14,000.  These are the major Quaker missionary projects for 2018. For more information, visit the WYM website at https://www.westernyearlymeeting.org/missionsandprojects/   

Please prayerfully consider how you are able to help our fellow Quakers who are trying to establish and reestablish themselves in Tanzania and Cuba.  Checks can be made payable to First Friends with a notation for the WYM and/or FUM 2018 projects.  Additional information about these projects is under the Witness & Service section of the bulletin board.


Community Garden Update

Squash vine borers and other pests are present in the Community Garden eating some of our delicious plants. Pests cannot be completely eliminated but can be reduced. Pictured in this article is the squash vine borer. It is not a life stage of the squash bug though it was mistakenly lumped together with the squash bug in the last issue. This bug feeds on plants in the cucurbit family such as squash and pumpkins.

          Borer pupae overwinter in cocoons until moths appear in summer. Try to catch the adult orange and black sesiidae moths at twilight or in the early morning. They are often mistaken for wasps. They can be caught with swipes of a tennis racket, with yellow sticky traps or in yellow bowls of soapy water. They are often at the base of the plants. The moths may lay eggs singly or in loose clusters at the plant base or on the underside of leaves. Scrape off the flat, oval copper-colored eggs as soon as you see them and put in soapy water. Otherwise they will hatch into larvae and bore into stalks and sometimes fruit.

          To protect plants early on, cover stems with nylon stockings, aluminum foil or cardboard tube barriers. Black pepper and wood ashes sprinkled around the squash serve as a defense. Taking care to clean up plant debris and to handpick pupae and grubs from soil in fall and spring help as a preventive measure. Also, NOT planting squash in the same place next season!

          Borers hatch from eggs and tunnel through lower vines unseen until plants wither and die. An early sign of trouble is the appearance of orange sawdust-like frass (droppings) at the bottom of plants. Once the leaves are limp it is probably too late to save your plant. When the plant is still thriving, shine a flashlight beam through stems after dark. This will reveal lurking culprits so the stem can be slit lengthwise until you see any borers and remove them, throwing them into soapy water. The pests can also be skewered. Afterward cover the plant wound and build up the soil, perhaps with diatomaceous earth to aid in healing and re-rooting.

          Plant more than you need to share with the critters that will help themselves.


Rise Up Singalong! Enjoy an evening of fun and songs old and new. Experience the retro delight of making music together. The next Sing Along will be July 20th, at 7:00 in the parlor. Those who have Rise Up Singing and Rise Again songbooks, please bring them. We are planning a song list ahead of time and will have enlarged copies of the selections for those who lack books. Those who want to purchase books may get them directly from riseupandsing.org. Or, if you must, through Amazon. You may save a few dollars from Amazon, but you support the authors more by going directly. Learn more about the books on the website. Contact Linda L if you have questions.


VBS- Registration open! This year’s theme is Shipwrecked: Rescued by Jesus. At Shipwrecked Vacation Bible School, kids discover how Jesus rescues us through life’s storms. Shipwrecked is filled with incredible Bible-learning experiences kids see, hear, touch, and even taste! Sciency-Fun Gizmos, team-building games, cool Bible songs, and tasty treats are just a few of the standout activities that help faith flow into real life. Be sure to register your children for this life-changing adventure! This year we will kick off on Sunday July 22nd from 12:00-2:00pm, and then VBS will take place 6:30-8:30pm Monday July 23rd through Thursday, July 26th. If you are interested in signing up your children or would like to help with snacks, please see forms on the table in the hallway corner outside the Meetingroom or email the office at office@indyfriends.org.


Women at the Well: A gathering of women who ponder current issues and topics, where differing views are discussed, no decisions are made, and food and drinks are enjoyed. It will take place every fourth Thursday of the month, and our next gathering will be on Thursday, July 26th, 7pm, at Rush on Main (112 Main St, Zionsville). Join other women of First Friends and enjoy a wonderful night of conversation together.


Shalom Zone’s 5th Tuesday Event
 Art and Spirituality: Interpreting, Seeing, and Engaging the Divine

In this 90 minute gathering put on by the Shalom Zone churches for the Fifth Tuesday Gathering on Tuesday, July 31 at 7pm at First Friends (3030 Kessler), Bob Henry, pastor of First Friends and local artist will engage the participants in an exploration of the importance of interpretation in one’s spiritual journey, present ways to see from new perspectives, and experience the Divine through art. Bob plans for this to be an interactive experience as well as a teaching, so bring an open mind and your creativity.    

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