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As Way Opens

This coming week marks one year since the Charlottesville Riots, where white nationalists clashed with counter protesters, and a man linked to a white-supremacist group rammed his car into a crowd killing one person and injuring nineteen. Since that event, we have seen an escalation in racial unrest in America and the rise of societal fear, anxious hostility, oppressive bullying, and a return to our historically racist past. 

That event and the subsequent events of this past year have had me re-examining our distinctives as Quakers to seek direction on how to respond. As people who utilize a Faith and Practice as a guide to inform our action, we state under the subtitle Prejudice (one of the Concerns for Equality) the following: 

The methods by which justice for all races may be secured are primarily spiritual.  Their success will be measured by the depth of the divine concern that is the spring of all effective effort. Racial prejudice or a feeling of racial superiority tends to invalidate all attempts to secure justice in interracial relations. It is the concern of Friends that all people who are victims of prejudice or oppression may share with the most-favored the heritage of justice, freedom, and brotherly love which is their right.  For God “hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth.” (Acts 17:26). Friends believe that any racial discrimination is essentially a violation of God’s law of love, whether by legal enactment or by inequitable practices which interfere with democratic liberties or cultural or economic development.  To dwell together in friendly relations on a basis of mutual respect, courtesy, and understanding works toward the fulfillment of this law of love. (Faith and Practice of Western Yearly Meeting of Friends Church)

I think you would agree that what is happening in our country continues to be a violation of God’s law of love and demands a response for the sake of ALL people.

On numerous occasions, history has chosen Quakers to rise up and be that voice and respond. The call is being heralded once again. The questions are, Will we respond or choose not to notice? and Will we stand for what we say we as Friends believe? In her book, Perseverance, Margaret J. Wheatley speaks about those that history has chosen. She points out…

In every case, they saw an injustice or tragedy or possibility when others weren’t aware of a thing. They heard a thundering call that nobody else noticed. They summon us to pay attention while others stay oblivious. They prompt us to act while others stay asleep.  They offer us dreams of bold new features that others will never see. We are both blessed and cursed when history chooses us.  But once chosen, we can’t not do it.

Friends, I believe history is choosing us again to bring awareness, to hear the call, to summon our world to pay attention, to act, and fulfill the law of love in our country.  As Friends and people of God how will we respond to that call and live out our beliefs?  My hope is that it will begin with working for mutual respect, courtesy, and a desire to understand for the sake of peace. May God grant us the grace to know how best to respond in our individual situations. 

Grace and peace,


Joys & Concerns


Many thanks to our food pantry volunteers! Kathy and Bill F, Dan H, Christie M, Linda L, Carol and Jim D.  We served 107 families...extremely busy.  A special thank you to Bill F for his additional help in picking up food each week from the Midwest Food Bank and taking it to the pantry.

Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities


Seasoned Friends Notice: Date Change ~ Please note, the date for the fall Seasoned Friends’ weenie roast at the Beem House is being rescheduled for Wednesday, October 24. Please mark you calendars accordingly. Be on the lookout later for more details as we get closer!


Rise Up Singalong! Enjoy an evening of fun and songs old and new. Experience the retro delight of making music together. This month’s singalong will be held on Friday, August 10th instead of the usual third Friday. We hope you will join us at 7:00pm 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.


Poverty 101 Class ~ The Shalom Zone is pleased to be hosting Tim Streett and his Poverty 101 course at First Friends on Monday evenings at 7 pm beginning on September 10.  The course will run for 6 consecutive Monday evenings through October 15 and last approximately 90 minutes per session.  Tim works for The Shepherd Center and has developed this course to help folks gain a better understanding of what poverty is really all about in contrast to what those, who have not lived in poverty, think it is all about.  Tim has intentionally lived among those in poverty and has developed a unique understanding that he believes is helpful to those who take his course to be better equipped to help deal with poverty situations.  Don’t worry if you cannot attend each week as Tim says there is powerful learning each week that you are able to attend.  You can sign up for the course on the sheet in the corner of the hallway or by notifying the First Friends office.  A donation of $20 is requested for the course and scholarships are available for anyone who would like one.  Simply notify the First Friends office.  All proceeds will go to the Shepherd Center.


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. 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.  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.


Indy Winds Flute Choir Concert ~ All are invited to an upcoming flute choir concert involving two First Friends members. Both Carl B and Lynda S are participating in the Indy Winds Flute Choir. They have three concerts per year, and their next one is Sunday, August 12th at 3:00 at Roberts Park United Methodist Church downtown. There are 20-25 musicians including flutes, piccolos, alto flutes, bass flutes, and sometimes even a contrabass flute.  This concert will feature mostly movie music. For more information, please visit https://www.facebook.com/IndyWindsFluteChoir/


Come Hear Jeff Rasley on The Toxic Polarization in US Politics and Culture ~ All are invited to hear a discussion on the toxic polarization of US politics presented by the Peace & Justice Center and Jeff Rasley! Rasley's talk and power point will describe the increasing polarization in US politics and culture and why it is harmful to democratic institutions and values. A question/answer discussion period will follow the presentation. The talk is free and open to the public. It will be held on Wednesday, August 15, 7:00-8:30pm at the Indiana Interchurch Center Krannert Hall, 1100 W. 42nd St, Indianapolis.


Fran’s article in Sojourners ~ Our own Fran Quigely had an article published in the current issue of Soujourners magazine:
You’ve Got a Right to a Healthy Life.” Co-authored with Sr. Simone Campbell of NETWORK, the article discusses the faith community’s role in advocating for universal healthcare coverage. It is in the print issue and also available to read online with a paid subscription: https://sojo.net/magazine/august-2018/youve-got-right-healthy-life Fran says he very much appreciates the key role that First Friends Indianapolis is playing in the access to healthcare discussions here in our community.


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 Ale Emporium Fishers. It will be Thursday, August 16th at 7pm. The address is 11501 Geist Pavilion Dr, Fishers, IN 46037. We hope to see you there!


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!


Garden Goes Greek; A Mediterranean Meal

          Because Hoosier gardens, including our Community Garden, are bursting with fresh ripe tomatoes and cucumbers, it is time to prepare an authentic Greek salad. This traditional salad, horiatiki, has no greens or lettuce. It is incredibly easy to fix and results in a delectable and healthy meal. The time you save in the kitchen can be spent with friends and family.

          Greeks eat salad for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Late dinners are a time to socialize and time is stretched as people linger a little, a little more and then a long time.

          The Greeks have a knack for simple, quick preparation and beautiful presentation. Ingredients must be fresh. Traditional feta made from sheep and goats’ milk is the cheese of choice.

          Basic ingredients for horiatiki salad (amounts and portions according to your taste) are:

·         Black olives, preferably kalamata

·         Crisp cucumbers

·         NEVER refrigerated, full-size (not cherry) tomatoes

·         Red onions

·         Feta cheese, preferably triangular or rectangular slabs, not the usual American-style crumbled feta

·         Dried oregano and/or fresh basil

·         Flavorful extra virgin olive oil

[One can improvise or substitute, but this is authentic Greek.]

          Cut the tomatoes in wedges making sure to retain the delicious juice. Slice cucumbers and halve the disks if you like. Slice onions into rings. (Run them under warm water if you want to tame them.) Add kalamata olives. Greeks serve with the pits. That custom aids in not rushing a meal and ensuring one is attentive to those who are gathered for the harvest repast.

          Artfully arrange veggies on a plate (when plated we prefer slices to wedges) and drizzle olive oil over them or toss—ever so gently—in a bowl after the oil is added. Minimize tossing. Greeks are generous with the oil because they like swiping it up with sourdough or other crispy bread. Place a slice or two of creamy feta atop the salad and sprinkle everything with dried oregano. We love the complementary flavors of tomato and fresh basil so we garnish with basil for taste and color. Greeks often add a pinch of sea salt. Personally, we think the feta and olives eliminate the need for added salt.

          Some Greeks add horizontally sliced green (not red or yellow for them) peppers. A splash of red wine vinegar or a little lemon juice is also acceptable, if not desirable.

          A little secret is to wait a short time before serving so the tomato juices, onions and olive oil have time to mingle. Setting the plate in the sunshine for a few minutes will do the trick. Certainly do not refrigerate!

          Next, enjoy your refreshing salad. Take your time and savor the blended ingredients. Appreciate the fresh Hoosier vegetables. Picture yourself on slow time during a pleasant island evening while eating outdoors at a table in a picturesque taverna (small Greek restaurant) with a delightful and cheerful company. Imagine hearing some Greek music and if you want, visualize some exciting Greek dancing. Perhaps it is even you dancing! Kali orexi/bon appétit/have a nice meal!


First Friends is Going to the Ballpark! Please join us for a family outing to the Indianapolis Indians game on Sunday August 26th.  Game time is 1:30. Tickets will be provided by the Meeting and kids 14 and under will get a free hot dog, chips and bottle of water.  Please let the office know if you will be able to attend.


Service Appreciation Dinner ~ Please reserve Sunday, September 23, 5:30 – 8:30 pm for a dinner at First Friends to show appreciation to a few members of First Friends for their service and dedication to our Meeting over the years.  This year we will show appreciation for the service of Judy and Clarence D, Tom F, Bev and Dan H, Barbara O, Dan R, and Gary W.  Look for a sign-up sheet in the corner of the hall to RSVP.  There is no charge for the dinner.  This is one that you don’t want to miss so mark your calendar today!  


Giving Voices to Ghosts - Quakerspeisung Quaker Relief in Germany Post WWI and II

New Collection Page with Translations and Background

This Project--Giving Voices to Ghosts--has been over 13 years in the making.  Many hands helped shape the collection to this point, and it is my hope many more will help ensure it inspires and intrigues teachers, students and scholars for years to come.  I was presented these materials around 2005 with the hope that, as a German teacher, I would be able to do something with them. What I found was an astounding collection of letters, telegrams and artwork, all jumbled in an artist’s portfolio.  

This spanned from post WWI through the end of WWII. These materials were documentation of aid given throughout Europe by the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker relief organization. In 2000, the traveling exhibit: Quiet Helpers - Quaker Service in Post War Germany - an exhibit from the German Historical Museum in Berlin, opened in the United States at the First Friends Meeting House in Indianapolis.  The Exhibit had been traveling throughout major German cities for three years. The German Consul attended as well as other representatives. The materials here in this collection were left to First Friends Meeting by this group.

Stan Banker, First Friends Pastor at the time, contacted the American Friends Service Committee to see about returning the artifacts to them. It is my understanding that he was told that First Friends should keep them.  There are 62 different artifacts in the collection. Most of the children’s artwork was bound together in string. In order to be able to fully show and study the children’s work, they were separated.

Click to read more about this project: https://goo.gl/SDUxZ3 

Click to go to the main page to look through the different artifacts and translations: https://goo.gl/mkkdza  

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