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As Way Opens

Friends, we returned from our Quaker Affirmation trip to Philadelphia Monday evening exhilarated and exhausted from our adventure together.  Ten of us made the long drive to Philly last Thursday and spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday visiting all kind of sites like William Penn’s home, Independence Hall, Arch Street Meeting, Museum of American Revolution, Eastern State Penitentiary and the James Turrell art installation at Chestnut Hill Friends.  We worshipped at Central Philadelphia Meeting on Sunday at the Friends Center in downtown Philly.  We all loved staying at Pendle Hill and everyone (except me) enjoyed the large Art Center in our building.  We played Catch Phrase and Pictionary Friday night and the adults commented that they hadn’t laughed that hard in ages.

 A trip like this bonds everyone together in ways that showing up here on Sunday just can’t do.  We learned a lot about each other and had opportunities to have conversations about all kinds of things.  We also learned  much about our country’s history that I never knew and was never taught in history class in school.  I always thought that early settlers here were seeking independence and freedom from Great Britain but that was not the case at all.  Early settlers were British citizens and wanted it that way and fought with the British against the French in the Seven Year's War.  The decision to start the American Revolution was less about taxation without representation and more about preserving the system of laws and courts established here. 

This trip also showed the huge influence that Quakers had on the ideals of our country.  William Penn promoted his new territory as a place to come and live with religious tolerance for all and the foundation for Pennsylvania was a framework for our great American experiment.   Yet there were lots of contradictions right from the start just as we continue to be conflicted about many things today.  While Penn promoted equality and that of God in each person, he owned slaves and talked about freeing them but never did.  Quakers were also conflicted about the Revolution itself being against war of any form and many of them did not support either side in this conflict.  That would have been a very hard decision to make at the time and I wonder if our country could have gained its independence without war?  Quakers have always talked about a third way and I wonder if there could have been a different path to freedom and how that would have impacted our country to this day?  This trip has me reflecting on my principles as a Quaker and wondering about my contradictions and how am I living out my values and standing up for my beliefs.  May we all take time on the Fourth of July to consider these questions in our lives.



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Photos courtesy of Bob Henry. See more photos from our trip at www.facebook.com/IndyFriends

Joys & Concerns

Tom and Noell K will soon be moving to Washington. We will miss them very much and we deeply appreciate everything they’ve done to contribute to our Meeting. Please come Sunday morning, July 21st to help us say goodbye to our dear Friends.

Quaker-Affiliated Organizations

Indiana Friends Committee on Legislation (IFCL) ~ Want a chance to meet with politicians who might actually listen?   Come join us in the parlor at IFCL's monthly meeting on Saturday, July 13 at 10:00 a.m. at First Friends.  IFCL is presenting its annual Legislators of the Year Award to Representative Carey Hamilton and Senator John Ruckelshaus.  Both honorees will be present to accept, and we look forward to some discussion with them on ways we might work together on specific issues next year.  Let's show our appreciation for legislators willing work across party lines for the common good.  All are welcome.  See Phil Goodchild (goodch713@aol.com; 317-790-9054) or Ed Morris (emorri@earthlink.net) with any questions.  Thank you.

Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities

Sunday Unprogrammed Worship Notice ~ Unprogrammed Worship on Sunday Mornings at 9:00am is moving back to the Parlor. If you plan to join us that morning, please note the change in location! We are also asking that people coming to Meeting for Worship that morning please be respectful of those who may be worshipping and keep noise in the hallway to a minimum. Feel free to chat all you’d like in the foyer of course!


SAWs Ramp Build ~ The Shalom Zone is planning another SAWS ramp build for the morning of Saturday, July 27.  SAWS is an organization that builds ramps for low income folks who need a ramp to enter/exit their homes.  If you would like to volunteer to help or need more information, please contact the office at office@indyfriends.org.  Since we need to plan the work crews from among the Shalom Zone churches, let us know as soon as you are able that you plan to assist.  Volunteers must complete the volunteer form before their first build.  This form can be found on the SAWS website: www.sawsramps.org.

Western Yearly Meeting Annual Sessions – Registration Open! The Western Yearly Meeting Annual sessions this year will be held on Thursday-Sunday, July 25-28. Everyone is encouraged to join us for these sessions in Plainfield. This year’s theme is “Unleash the Love, Release the Power!” The reference scripture comes from II Timothy 1:7 “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” (NIV). For more information, to view the schedule, and to register, please visit https://www.westernyearlymeeting.org

Rise Up Sing Along! ~ Save the date for singing with Jim and Jesse. Jesse has been showing up on Sundays and in the garden. He and Jim gave us a high energy, highly enjoyable evening in June. Join the Sing Alongers in the Parlor on Friday July 19th for another evening of free fun. Mark you calendars!


Garden Update and Tips

The first Community Garden harvest for Mid-North Food Pantry goes out this week. Carol and Nancy selected a variety of greens including claytonia, Swiss chard, red-streaked mizuna, collards and mustard. The plants were grown in the designated pantry plot, #2, and in an individual’s plot. Remember gardeners,  you can donate your extra produce to the Pantry rather than letting it rot!


Japanese beetles are starting to appear in the garden. Watch for them on beans, corn, rhubarb and other crops. An overpopulation can kill plants fast. They will feed on tops of leaves between veins. Handpicking in early morning when they are tired and less likely to fly away is a great defense. You may shake plants and have a catching sheet underneath. You may use a hand vacuum to collect them. Dispose of beetles in soapy water or dump them into a plastic bag and kill by freezing overnight. You may also use neem. Insecticidal soap and pyrethrums ( from chrysanthemums) may be used as a last resort. You must spray the bugs directly. We have a large spraying device in the garage. Teamwork is required to rid a community garden of pests. Everyone start handpicking!

Sam was seen planting and watering some of the free marigolds available beside the water tank.

Linda and Ed’s tomatoes are displaying some red! Hurrah!

Naomi is ready to help out gardeners who need it and has great intentions for taming the pantry plot’s tomatoes.

John was curious and made a field trip to the garden to see what was coming up.

The first colored zinnia blooms have appeared in the Hope plot next to the voluminous yarrow and its pollinators.  Exciting times in the great outdoors!


Alice Paul and her Quaker Witness ~ Next year is the 100th anniversary of American women being granted the right to vote by the 19th Amendment, which became law in 1920. Many people have heard of Alice Paul, the Quaker woman who was instrumental in getting that Amendment enacted, but few people today know exactly what she did, and fewer still know how her Quaker faith played a strong role in her actions.

A recently published essay titled "Alice Paul and her Quaker witness" provides an in-depth examination of Alice Paul's life and work from a Quaker perspective. Most Friends who have read the essay find it fascinating. The Bethesda Friends Meeting of Maryland has recently approved a minute recommending that all Friends read this essay. The essay can be found online on that Meeting's web page at the following address: http://www.bethesdafriends.org/Alice-Paul-and-her-Quaker-witness-2019.pdf. All are encouraged to share this essay and the awareness of Alice Paul as much as possible, in preparation of the 100th anniversary next year!   

Shalom Zone Garage Sale ~ On Saturday, July 27, from 8 am to noon (set up beginning at 7 am) the Shalom Zone churches will be sponsoring “garage sale’ and “craft sale” opportunities for individuals in the Cross and Crown parking lot at 79th and Allisonville Rd.  You will be able to reserve a space for $10 in advance ($15 day of sale).  The rest is up to you – bring your own table or use the trunk of your car.  You get to keep whatever you earn.  The adjoining neighborhood of Ivy Hills will have its annual garage sale the same day so there should be no shortage of folks looking for a deal.  The Shalom Zone will donate the reservation fees to School on Wheels, a voluntary program which tutors homeless children throughout Marion County.  For more info or to reserve a space contact the office (office@indyfriends.org).

Oak Leaf: Meeting for Reading’s pick for the month of July is The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah!  The discussion will be led by Kathy Rhyne on Tuesday July 30th at 7 pm in the Parlor.  New York Times Review: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/01/books/review-great-alone-kristin-hannah.html   Click on this link to follow event information on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/449605392540583/   Contact the office at office@indyfriends.org if you’d like to receive email updates.

Would you like to help the library? The library committee is currently looking for new members! Responsibilities include occasional upkeep, organization and management of our library. If you’re interested in joining the committee, please contact the office at office@indyfriends.org or 317-255-2485.

Registration Open! First Friends Women’s Retreat ~ All women are invited to join us for our Women’s Retreat on September 20th - 22nd 2019.  The retreat will be held at the Benedict Inn Retreat and Conference Center in Beech Grove. We will begin at 5:00 p.m. on Friday with dinner and gathering to learn about the Enneagram personality types.  On Saturday we will continue our exploration of the Enneagram personality types, explore our types and  what that means in our lives.  We will work together on creating t-shirt shopping bags for the Mid North Food Pantry, have a nature walk in the Center’s peace garden led by two of the Sisters and watch a movie together.  We will share meals and snacks together all day.  On Sunday we will worship together in the center’s chapel and then head home.

The retreat will be facilitated by Beth Booram. Beth is the co-founder and director of Fall Creek Abbey, an urban retreat center in Indianapolis, where she co-facilitates The School of Spiritual Direction and offers individual and group spiritual direction. Prior to this vocation, Beth was a contract consultant with the Center for Congregations. She describes herself as a “deep feeler who loves to think; an extrovert with a penchant for solitude; an artist who sees the hand of God in even the smallest encounters with creation.” Beth has authored several books including When Faith Becomes Sight (with her husband, David) and Starting Something New. She also co-authored Awaken Your Senses with Quaker author, J. Brent Bill.  

We are asking attendees to read The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile before the retreat if possible. If you would like us to get the book for you ($14), please contact the office.

The cost of the retreat per person ranges from $103-$184 depending on the type of room and bath. To reserve your spot for the retreat, please contact the office at office@indyfriends.org. Payment is not due until August.

Scholarships are available—please contact the office to inquire about scholarships.

Calling all ice cream lovers! First Friends will be working at the Dairy Bar at the Indiana State Fair on Saturday, August 10th all day. This is a major fundraiser for our youth programming. We plan to have two shifts, 9:00am-3:30pm, and 3:30-10:30pm. It is fast paced but lots of fun! Volunteers will receive a free ticket to the State Fair for that day, as well as unlimited ice cream, shakes and cheese sandwiches. Please let the office (office@indyfriends.org) know if you’re interested in volunteering!

This Week’s Queries

Does it feel like Jesus is my friend?

How do I live out his command to love one another?

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