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As Way Opens

I attended Western Yearly Meeting (WYM) annual session this past weekend.  On Thursday, they held a memorial service to honor friends that have passed away in the last 12 months.  First Friends had six members that we lost this past year - Barbara Fisher, Shirley Proctor, Suzi Davis, Ann Kendal, Bob Hadley and Paula Gallagher.  There was something profound in having someone speak these names and I felt the weight of the influence of these Friends. 

This service was held before we heard the news that we lost our dear friend Cheryll Wyne on Saturday.  I have been reflecting on the importance of community and that we need to embrace every encounter we have with each other with love and joy.  We need to tell each other how we feel about the other.  Because we may never get another chance.  The fragility of life is precious and we need to be the flesh and bones of God’s love in action.  This is how Jesus lived and is the basis of Christianity.  Jesus never talked about correct theology but about how we love each other. 

My life has been changed by the folks we lost during the last year.  I am so thankful that God brought these friends into my life and I see how they have impacted our community.  And how they have impacted me.  I hold the spirit of these friends in my heart and I pray that we honor their legacy each day by how we treat each other (no exceptions) with kindness, compassion and forgiveness.


 Joys & Concerns



A word from Beth: Dan Rains visited the Meeting office on Monday and told me to go outside and observe the cloud formations.  As I left the building, I realized how infrequently I am looking up into the sky and was so appreciative of Dan's reminder to look up and see the beauty of God’s creation.   



A Message from Nancy H & family:


To all of the dear friends of Indianapolis First Friends Meeting:  I want to extend a heartfelt thank you for the beautiful service of worship and recognition of God’s glorious creation (during our service in the woods on July 8th).  It couldn’t have been done in a lovelier setting.  “To God Be the Glory!”

On behalf of myself and all of my family, I also want to thank you for the thoughtful tribute to my dear husband, and their loving father, Bob.  He would have been pleased to know that he had a part in adding something so useful and beautiful to the place of worship and meditation for the Meeting house.  I’m sure now, and in the future, it will be a place of peace, reflection and where one can draw nearer to God.  Bob would have been humbled to have been honored by the Meeting of Friends he loved by dedicating the path to the garden to him.  Thank you so much!

Thank you, too, to all of those who planned and prepared the service and all of those who worked so hard to make this place of refuge so inviting and lovely.  I know it took a lot of work and thought.  God bless you all for your effort.

-Your Friend in God’s Love, Nancy H and family.

 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/

Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities


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!


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. Also, please note next month’s singalong will be held on Friday, August 10th instead of the usual third Friday. We hope you will join us.


SHIPWRECKED! VBS Starts This Weekend! This year’s theme is Shipwrecked: Rescued by Jesus. Everyone is invited to our kick off and luncheon which is this Sunday July 22nd after worship at 12:00pm. VBS will then take place 6:30-8:30pm Monday July 23rd through Thursday, July 26th. If you haven’t registered your children yet and would like to participate, email the office at office@indyfriends.org. We hope to see you there!


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

Squash bugs overwinter in plant debris and under boards and rocks. They lay copper-colored shiny eggs in tight clusters on undersides of leaves. Green nymphs hatch from eggs and molt several times, turning darker, before they become brownish-grey adult squash bugs. They are winged and shield-shaped with hard shells. They feed on sap and suck the life from cucurbit plants (squash, pumpkins, zucchini, melons, and cucumbers). This causes yellow spots that later turn brown. Squash bugs and nymphs munch on leaves, fruit and vines until plants collapse. Their saliva transmits bacterium that can kill plants. Since they often congregate their damage can be swift. Severe feeding can cause plants to wilt and turn black or prevent fruit formation. If feeding is stopped, plants can survive.

Handpick bugs. One method is to place a board in the garden and check under it in the morning. Destroy egg masses by putting them in soapy water. Using researched recipes for a soapy spray is another method to tackle these critters, spraying all over plants including underneath leaves. Sometimes squash bugs and stink bugs are confused with each other. They both stink when crushed but stink bugs have wider bodies. The soapy water makes crushing unnecessary. Eliminate hiding places by cleaning up plant debris and avoiding mulches like hay around. After harvest, till soil and dispose of stalks.

Organic deem oil can be used as a fungicide, insecticide and pesticide. It is derived from an evergreen tree native to southeastern Asia. People have used it for thousands of years in everything from toothpaste and cosmetics to medicines. It is not retained in the environment since microbes and light break it down. Neem is not a contact poison so it has little harmful effect on beneficial insects, birds and mammals. The repellant is generally recognized as safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Product directions should be followed to keep it safe.


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.    


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.


Join ESR for 2018 Leadership Conference ~ Earlham School of Religion will host their annual Leadership Conference August 17-19, 2018, Playing with Fire: The Experience of Ministry as an Entrepreneur. How does one move from leading toward action? How does the Divine participate in the process? Can entrepreneurship and ministry be yoked without losing the integrity of either? This year’s conference features eight entrepreneurial ministers who have lived with these questions and more as they completed ESR’s Entrepreneurial Ministry Certificate Program. Head over to the ESR website for more information and to register online at http://esr.earlham.edu/news-events/events/leaders18. We hope you can join us!

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