To Those Attending Worship

"Friends, meet together and know one another in that which is eternal which was before the world was."

George Fox

 

We invite you to share the hospitality of our Meeting Houses and join us in our unprogrammed Meetings. The Meetings asks that you listen attentively, both to the remarkable harmony of the silent waiting and to the ministry that may arise from the silence. We ask you to wait with patience and openness for an understanding of the Friends Meeting.

A Meeting really begins only when we are all joined in the silent waiting upon God that is known among Quakers as Centering Down.

Quaker silence is not an emptiness crying out to be filled, but a disciplined and contemplative openness to the spirit of God.

Speaking, when there is any, arises from a deep religious experience and is preceded by the conviction that this experience must be shared. This is sometimes sensed as an upwelling of the spirit, sometimes as an insight following study, meditation, and prayer. It is always, always a result of most earnest seeking. It is not causal or argumentative and seldom humorous. Spoken ministry is meant to be a seed for other's meditation and does not require a response. It is usually brief and phrased simply.

Courtesy, Quaker custom, and respect for others suggest that there be a period of silence following each speaker so the message that has come through his or her ministry may be incorporated and understood by each of us present.

The Meeting is a special time, away from our worldly concerns, in which we seek together, often in silence, for the strength and light to meet our problems and responsibilities.

In Meeting, we sit down in silence, rest our wills, still the mind and body, and attend to the presence of God.

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Our Message

Friends in this meeting feel the desire to share with those to whom our message may be meaningful. We offer the following statements with which we believe most Quakers would concur.

Quakers have no dogma, but have collected thoughts and beliefs over the years in Faith and Practice of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends.

Friends sometimes find reading from Faith and Practice, the Bible, or other devotional works helpful in centering down during meeting.

 
  • And so I find well to come
  • For deeper rest to this still room
  • For there the habit of the soul
  • Feels less the outer world's control
  • The strength of mutual purpose pleads
  • More earnestly our common needs;
  • And from the silence multiplied
  • By these still forms on either side,
  • The world that time and sense have known
  • Falls off and leaves us God Alone.

 

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