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As Way Opens

On Sunday, May 26th, nearly 80 people gathered in the “big oval” set up in First Friends’ Fellowship Hall for a special Meeting for Worship.  Indianapolis 500 Sunday and Memorial Day Weekend are always special at Frist Friends, but this was not our typical gathering.


Eric B started us off with some singing that set the mood for a more contemplative and reflective time together. We opened with a familiar rendition of This Little Light of Mine and then transitioned into a more reflective mood as we sang the hit song, Down to the River to Pray, from the motion picture, Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?, There was a true sense of the sisters, brothers, fathers, mothers, and sinners gathering together to pray in our sacred oval.

After a wonderful children’s message by Beth H about race car drivers and all the additional support people they need to be successful, we moved into a special time of silence and reflection. I mentioned that out of the silence Dan R would, as old Quakers would say, “give testimony this morning.” Often, Quakers describe testimonies as guiding principles of conduct, yet Dan was giving testimony in the traditional “bearing witness” way as he spoke out of the silence. As I mentioned in the introduction to our gathered time, Dan has battled pancreatic cancer courageously over the last year and a half. With integrity and truth, he has been teaching us how to embrace the tensions between renewal, failure, risk-taking, and mortality.


If you were not able to be with us on Sunday, please take time to listen to the recording of Dan’s Testimony on our website (https://www.indyfriends.org/sunday-morning-messages). 


After Dan finished, our time of waiting worship continued as many people spoke thanks and gave personal and encouraging words to Dan out of the silence.  Many referred to our Meeting for Worship that morning as a genuine gathered meeting of Friends. 


I thank Dan for his willingness to share with us as I know his energy was very low from his chemotherapy treatments during the past week. His testimony and our Meeting’s response will be a lasting memory of the grace and love of God for us all.


Grace and peace,


Joys & Concerns

Thank you for helping us reach our goal! Thanks to all of you, we reached our goal to sponsor a Right Sharing of World Resources (RSWR) project! We will be sponsoring the Keyo Friends Women Group, which is a USFW Quaker women group based at Keyo Friends Church, located in Kenya. Right now, the Keyo group is involved in beginning their project and setting up or expanding their individual businesses. To read the letter we received from RSWR in its entirety, please visit http://bit.ly/RSWRletter01. We expect to receive the next update around August or September, so keep an eye out for that. Thank you again for making this possible through your support!


Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities

Quaker Haven Camp ~ All youth are invited to attend Quaker Haven Camp this Summer! This year’s theme is keeping Christ “in focus” (Philippians 3:15-16). The camp dates run through June and July. If you are interested in having your children/youth attend Quaker Haven, the Meeting will provide for 50% of the cost! If you’re interested, please contact the office at office@indyfriends.org by May 31st! Only a few days left! For more information, please visit https://www.qhcyouthprogramming.com!


Stoking the Fire: Stirring up the Embers ~ Friends United Meeting (FUM) invites you to join us as we seek to stir up the embers of our faith, both individually and as a beloved fellowship of Friends. Speakers will include Mary Glazer, Doug Gwyn, Kelly Kellum, Richard Sitati, Katie Ubry-Terrell, and our own Bob Henry! The event will be held from June 7-10 at the Quaker Hill Conference Center in Richmond, IN. The registration deadline is May 31st so don’t delay! For more information or to register, please visit www.friendsunitedmeeting.org/connect/stoking-the-fire-2019

Interfaith Iftar Dinner ~ All are invited to an interfaith dinner hosted by the local Turkish community. It will be held on Saturday, June 1 from 8:30-10:00pm at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, 100 W 86th St. This is an iftar dinner that the Turkish American Community organizes every year in Ramadan. Come and break bread with the Turkish Community and friends from St. Luke's Church. This invitation is open to all. Please RSVP the number of people to cenk@niagarafoundation.org.


Church Picnic and Worship in the Woods! All are invited to join us for our annual worship in the woods and picnic on Sunday, June 2nd. If you have any lawn chairs, please bring them for worship in the woods! For the picnic, if you are able, please bring a dish according to last name; A-L: Salads and sides; M-Z: Desserts. There will also be fried chicken, hot dogs (& veggie dogs), rolls, mac & cheese, baked beans, ice cream, and drinks all provided for free. As usual, we will have a game of kickball afterward (weather permitting). Please join us!

Also come see Beth in Fellowship Hall after worship in the woods on Sunday June 2nd where she will be selling chocolates, coffee, and olive oil. This olive oil, which we get from Equal Exchange, comes from Palestinian farmers who harvest a special oil from olive trees that have been passed down from generation to generation. This past season, the annual olive harvest in the West Bank was the smallest in over a decade. This was due to a number of factors such as climate change-induced drought and the presence of olive flies.  Some farmers had yields as low as 20% of normal, causing great economic hardship. Because of the poor harvest and lower total yields in the West Bank, less olive oil hit the threshold of Extra Virgin, so there isn’t as much supply this year. And as is always the case with supply and demand, when supply is cut, prices go up. Despite these challenges, Equal Exchange was still able to pay olive farmers more during this economically tough year. When you buy this oil, you are supporting these farmers, along with First Friends! Please consider making a purchase on Sunday.

Children’s Books for MNFP! We are now collecting used children’s books for Mid-North Food Pantry (MNFP). This is an opportunity for those who visit the pantry to also grab a book on their way out, for their children’s delight and enrichment. If you have any children’s books you’re not using anymore, please consider donating them. You can drop off your books in the crate at the donation station in Fellowship Hall. Thank you for helping!

The Overman Family Scholarship, in memory of Jess and Mark Overman, is available again this year. High school seniors through graduate students are welcome to apply.  Undergraduate students will be given first consideration. The scholarship fund is designated to support the members and attenders of Indianapolis First Friends Meeting. Scholarship funds may be applied to any school related expense, i.e. books, supplies, tuition, housing, computer, etc. The deadline for application is to be determined. For an application please contact the office at office@indyfriends.org.


Have you noticed the intensity of the weather patterns recently?  As our atmosphere heats up, our weather patterns are more chaotic around the globe. Purdue Report on Indiana Climate

What can we do?  Telling our legislators to support industries and utilities that want to produce power from renewable sources like wind and solar. The use of fossil fuels is one of the most significant sources of carbon in our atmosphere.  In addition to heating up the atmosphere, fossil fuels have health risks, especially for children. See this resource from the Evangelical Environmental Network Make Indiana a Clean Energy State

If you live in Hamilton County, check out this resource: Solarize Hamilton County 2019.  Those in Indianapolis can ask IPL to use the green option for your residence : IPL Green Power or install your own solar panels: Indianapolis Solar Co-Op

Friends World Committee on Consultation views the concern about climate and the health of God’s creation as a spiritual issue. Norma Wallman sent this link to me to share: Quakers Coming Together to Care for the Earth. It’s an 8-minute video sharing the concern Quakers around the country have about our roles in caring for our beautiful world.

We hope you are enjoying your T-shirt shopping bags.  I keep 2 in my purse and they hold quite a bit.  In case you missed our T-shirt Cinco de Mayo event, here’s a YouTube video that you guide you at home. https://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/diy-t-shirt-tote-bags/


The Indy Pride Parade is next month! The parade begins at 10am along Massachusetts Avenue on Saturday, June 8 and ends with a festival in Military Park that runs from 11am until 11pm.  Tickets to the festival are $5 in advance or $10 the day of the festival. If you’d like to come with First Friends, feel free to join our carpool. We will meet at the Meetinghouse and leave at 9:00am. Please RSVP to the office if you plan on joining the carpool at office@indyfriends.org!


Pentecost Picnic! Fall Creek Friends invites you to honor the Spirit on Sunday, June 9th in silent worship at 10:30 am and fun, fellowship, and food afterwards.  Fall Creek will provide main dishes, both meat and vegetarian, and drinks. Please bring a pitch-in dish if you can. Feel free to bring a friend.  RSVP if you can, or just come! 1764 West IN-38, Pendleton IN 46064. To RSVP or for more information, contact the office at office@indyfriends.org.


Your Talent is Needed! ~ The choir is on vacation May 26 through September 1. Please see the signup sheet on the bulletin board in the hallway of the Meetinghouse to sign up for summer music! We are hoping you will come share your talent with the congregation. Be it with your voice by singing or by playing an instrument. You can even do a reading or a dance! Sign up now for any or several of these dates. Thank you for sharing your God-given gifts!

Mark your Calendars for VBS! We can’t believe summer is already approaching, but we sure are looking forward to Vacation Bible School this year! We will kickoff on Sunday, July 14 after worship and have daily sessions the following Monday through Thursday evenings. This year’s theme is “Roar! Life is Wild, God is Good!”

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