As Way Opens

This past Sunday was our first ever Sunday Funday, where we gathered in the woods for music and sharing from our youth affirmation trip and then shared a meal together and played games, jumped around in a bouncy house, played volleyball, slid down a slip-n-slide and just talked and laughed with each other.  Our youth discussed having a Sunday like this earlier this year and Bob had experienced a Sunday like this at the Meeting in Oregon so we said let’s try this. 


Unfortunately, the clear skies predicted earlier in the week turned into clouds and rain and we had to make a call at 9:50 whether we would worship in the woods (we did and it was lovely—but a clap of thunder shortened our unprogrammed time).  The rain came and went during our time together but that didn’t stop our kids and adults from participating in our outside activities.  I loved watching Bill Heitman, Janice Hise and Jed Kay get soaking wet sliding headfirst down a ramp into a pool of water.


Play is an important spiritual practice and we adults are not that good at it.  We used to be when we were kids and experienced pure joy in so many activities and experiences.  But then we grow up and become responsible and self-conscious and serious and lose the sense of excitement and wonder that play opens within us and the deep connection with God these feelings bring about.  I am not saying that we shouldn’t be responsible and accountable because we all know people that seem to play all the time and show a lack of responsibility.  But I think many of us are too busy to plan play into our schedules and don’t understand how important this is to our health and our spiritual development.  I know that I showed up Sunday not in a playful mood having had a tough weekend and worried about all the logistics of the day.  I was not thinking about how much I needed this play time.  Then we started singing together in the woods and the tears flowed and I felt overwhelmed by God’s presence. And then to see these beautiful faces of joy experiencing the touch of God in the water, the air and the rain, I was renewed.


May we all take time for play and build this into our spiritual practices.

Find more photos at


Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities

Living Well, Dying Well ~ All are invited to a free event hosted by Epworth United Methodist Church. “Living Well, Dying Well, Once You are Eligible for Medicare” is a free program that helps people plan for matters such as Medicare, wills, funerals, assisted living, and more. It is being held this Saturday, September 7 from 9:00am-noon. Throughout the day there will be different sessions on a variety of topics led by guest speakers and experts. Join us that day at Epworth United Methodist Church, at the corner of 65th St and Allisonville Road, Indianapolis. For more information see the flyer at

Sunday School Kick-Off! Our Sunday School kick off will be this September 8th.  We will start the morning with coffee and snacks for everyone starting at 8:30. We encourage everyone to come dressed in your favorite sports team apparel! Our classes will begin at 9:00 am as follows:

All children - join us in the nursery with Lori H for fun and games!

6th - 12th grade - in the basement with Beth H.

The following adult classes will be offered:

Seeking Friends - Bob will lead the group through Rob Bell’s book, What Is the Bible?: How an Ancient Library of Poems, Letters, and Stories Can Transform the Way You Think and Feel About Everything. In this book Bell goes deep into the Bible to show how it is more revelatory, revolutionary, and relevant than we ever imagined—and offers a cogent argument for why we need to look at it in a fresh, new way.

Wired Word (in Coffee Circle classroom) - will be led by Harold M to talk about current events from a spiritual perspective.

Choir - will be meeting in the old children’s library.  Anyone that has a heart for singing is welcome to join.

Nursery care will be available during Sunday School. We hope to see you this Sunday!


Participate in our "Sponsor a College Student" project! Just select a college student off the board set up in the meetinghouse and send them notes, cards, treats, etc throughout the school year so they hear from someone at the Meeting and feel connected. Please consider connecting with our students this year!


The Underneath it All Grand Underwear Donation Blitz ~ The children at Boner Center are soon going to be delighted with your donations. Thank you. We will be ending the requests after Sunday September 8th, so there is still time to donate. We request donations of new underwear for school children from kindergarten up through high school. If it is not convenient for you to shop, you can leave a check made out to First Friends Meeting with a note that it is for Underneath it All. There is a box in Fellowship Hall for your donations. The underwear we donate goes to the John H. Boner Center where social workers pass it out when families come for assistance. We have done this for many years but have never tried to compress it into such a short time. Questions? Ask Linda L. Thank you for your generosity!

Rise Up Sing Along! ~ Join us for a night of singing and music! Last month we had a veritable jamboree with guitar, cello and banjo playing! Join the Sing Alongers in the Parlor on the second Friday, September 13 at 7:00pm for another evening of free fun. (Note the date change, due to the women’s retreat.) Please join us!


Little things that you can do to enrich the soil and your neighborhood!

 Thursday, September 5, 6-8 pm;  Vermicompost for Farm, Garden or Home; Lawrence Community Garden, 9240 E 46th St, Indianapolis

Keeping worms is a great way to manage your kitchen waste and generate compost for your garden or farm. Visit Lawrence Community Garden to see a worm bin system they have been tending this season. Learn management tips and get step by step directions to build your own worm composting system. Bring your own buckets (2) or Rubbermaid bins (2) to create a home-scale bin system and leave with your starter "livestock”!

Here’s a fun family outing!

Saturday, September 7 Nature Daze (Nashville) Nature Daze is an outreach program of the Brown County Native Woodlands Project (BCNWP) to help landowners better understand the importance of managing their property to create a resilient native habitat. Activities for the day include talks and interpretive hikes led by resource professionals, a  native plant sale, a children’s program focused on forest ecology, door prizes, and a free picnic-style barbecue lunch. Spend the day learning, exploring, and having fun in the beautiful hills of Brown County! Program topics for the day: Planting Natives for Lovely Landscapes & Beautiful Birds; Neighborhood Invasive Plant Control; Muskrat Love...and Hate: Wildlife in your Pond; Ice Age to Oak Tree: Forest Succession & Natural Disturbances; The Laura Hare Nature Preserve at Downy Hill; and Low-Tech Invasive Plant Control. 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Camp Rancho Framasa, 2230 Clay Lick Road, Nashville. For more information and to register, visit Questions answered at 812-988-2211 or

Ask your lawn service (or whoever in your household mows the grass)  if they have a mulching mower.  Keeping mulched grass clippings keeps nitrogen rich grass clippings out of the waterways and helps decrease algae bloom and you save money on fertilizer.  Win-Win!

Shalom Zone invites you to a showing of the film, Paris To Pittsburgh. This eco film shines a light on the many forgotten communities and people who have been affected by climate change in our country, as well as solutions for how we can fight back and reduce our carbon footprint. Join us Friday, September 13 at 7:00pm  at Allisonville Christian Church – 7701 Allisonville Rd, Indianapolis. Watch the trailer: Paris to Pittsburgh. Discussion will follow the film.


Registration Open! First Friends Women’s Retreat ~ All women are invited to join us for our Women’s Retreat on September 20th - 22nd 2019. There are still spots available! All registrations must be in by September 12! The retreat will be held at the Benedict Inn Retreat and Conference Center in Beech Grove. Come join the retreat, full of fellowship, reflection and interaction with each other. For more information and to register, please visit Scholarships are available—please contact the office at to inquire about scholarships.


Community Garden Update

SPICES - A Series on Quaker Testimonies as Practiced in Our Community Garden

3. Integrity - Taking part in a community garden means the responsibility of participating is a communal commitment. If I weed my raised bed on a regular basis, it helps to keep weed seeds from blowing into my neighbors’ plots. If I share soil, labor, seeds, plants, produce and knowledge with fellow gardeners it improves the beauty of the entire garden—beyond my own carved out space. It contributes to the camaraderie of the gardeners and helps create bonds of friendship that can grow beyond that space of earth and into the wider community. If one gardener mows the grass around all the plots, it creates a tamer, less buggy and weedy space for everyone so that all benefit. Even the Meetinghouse grounds is improved because it is cared for and tidy. There is an inviting order that attracts dog walkers, joggers, families with baby buggies and children, bicyclists,  police officers on break, elderly walkers, and neighborhood folks who tell us they love seeing the garden grow. They anticipate it. They show it to their children and use it as a teaching tool.        

Garden participants practice integrity when they work alone and together in this manner, giving of their best selves. Gardeners are disciplined and demonstrate integrity when they respect individual’s spaces and crops, only picking what is theirs or what has been given them. They are practicing integrity when they borrow, sanitize and return tools. They are practicing integrity when they chip in and help one another, including keeping the garage and grounds orderly. When gardeners are honest and trustworthy with one another the whole is attended to—not just one plot. Integrity is a testimony of inclusion because one is thinking of others and consciously building relationships. 

“Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” —from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 7:12, King James Version

“Do for others what you want them to do for you. This is the teaching of the laws of Moses in a nutshell.” — Matthew 7:12, Living Bible


Say "Cheese!" Did you know that First Friends publishes a pictorial directory every 4 years? This is a great way to get to know the names and faces of the members and attenders of our Meeting. It's also a great opportunity for a family portrait. Photographers will be at First Friends September 11-14 for the photoshoots. Schedule your photoshoot now! The photography session is free and you will have a fresh new photo for you and your family for the directory! Along with a free copy of the directory, each family will receive a complementary 8x10” printed photo. To book your photoshoot, please visit Can’t make it in for a photo that week? Contact the office for other options so you can still be included in the directory! or 317-255-2485.


The  Festival of Faiths is coming again! It will be held September 22, 1:00pm to 5:00pm. Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and more. All together celebrating religious diversity and freedom. If you’d like to come sit in the Quaker booth for a period of time, please contact the office at

Men’s Threshing Together ~ If you are interested in gathering with other men who mull over current issues or topics, where all points of view are heard, no decisions are made, and all in a non-threatening atmosphere over a meal, then Threshing Together is for you! Join us for our next meeting on Thursday, September 19 at 7:00pm. See locations here:


Helping the Food Pantry Go Green ~ As part of the Women’s Retreat in September we are undertaking the project of making reusable grocery bags for the pantry. They’re made out of tank tops, gathered at the bottom.

To that end we are collecting tank tops. They must be regular tank tops, not racer-back, spaghetti strapped, or have gigantic armholes. There will be a box by the Women’s Retreat sign up table to collect donations.

Thank you, in advance, for your donations.


Oak Leaf: Meeting for Reading’s pick for the month of September is Lab Girl by Hope Jahren! The discussion will be led by Carolyn T on Tuesday September 24th at 7 pm in the Parlor. New York Times Review: Contact the office at if you’d like to receive email updates.