Friends General Conference

Together we nurture the spiritual vitality of Friends

About Us

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Welcome!

We welcome into our worship and into our fellowship people of all ages, races, gender identities, and sexual orientations.

If you want to want to know more about us than we cover below, or you want to talk to someone in person, please contact the meeting office (215-241-7260, office@cpmm.org) and our meeting secretary will put you in touch with someone who can answer them personally.

Visiting Us

Finding usmap of our location.

Our entrance faces the corner of Cherry Street and 15th Street. You walk through large iron gates into a court and then into the lobby where Friends will be waiting to greet you.

Getting to usour parking and public transit page.

We are quite close to Philadelphia’s Suburban Station, which is at 16th Street and JFK Boulevard.

Childcare and religious education for youth

We provide childcare for little ones during meeting for worship and during most other meeting activities.

We also have a religious education program for older kids during the meeting for worship. Typically, the classes come into the worship towards its end.

Parents are also free to bring their children with them to the meeting for worship.

About Us

We welcome everyone into our worship and into our fellowship, people of all ages, races, gender identities, and sexual orientations. We hope you will join us in worship and get to know us better.

We are a Quaker meeting

  • Quakers, or more formally, the Religious Society of Friends (hence also sometimes called Friends), first emerged in England in the 1650s. “Quaker” was originally a pejorative term referring to how some early Friends shook in their meetings for worship when it had been covered by the Holy Spirit.
  • “Meeting” =  congregation: Quakers call their congregations “meetings.”
  • Monthly meeting: Central Philadelphia Meeting is a  "monthly meeting" because we meet once a month to conduct the meeting’s business; we worship every week on Sundays at 11:00. Because, organizationally, we are a monthly meeting, you will sometimes see or hear us refer to the meeting as “CPMM”—Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting. Accordingly, our web address is cpmm.org.
  • Philadelphia Yearly Meeting: Quaker meetings are organized into quarterly and yearly meetings, so called because they meet every quarter and once a year respectively to conduct their business. Our yearly meeting—Philadelphia Yearly Meeting—includes meetings in eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and Delaware. Philadelphia Quarterly Meeting includes all the meetings in the city of Philadelphia, eight in all.

Leadership & Governance

Quaker meetings like ours have no professional clergy or governing hierarchy. We govern ourselves through a system of committees and in monthly business meetings held as meetings for worship under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Committees

Because we have no paid professional clergy (though we do have a part-time meeting secretary who manages our office), we manage all of our affairs through committees.

Click here to see a list of our committees with brief descriptions.

History of Our Meeting

Click here to learn about the history of Central Philadelphia Meeting.

Learn more

Click here to learn more about Quakers.

How we worship

In a nutshell: Instead of a pastor leading a programmed service with liturgical elements like hymn singing, Bible readings, and a prepared sermon, we sit for an hour in silent expectant waiting on the Spirit. Oftentimes, someone will stand and speak a message that we hope will come from that Spirit. Sometimes, an extraordinary sense of God’s presence among us and within us covers the meeting with the deepest joy and gratitude in holy communion.

Learn more—this link opens our Worship page, which explains in greater depth what to expect in a Quaker meeting for worship and provides links to resources about our way of worship, including several videos.

Welcome! We hope you will come and see for yourself whether this form of worship speaks to your spirit.

Pastoral Care

Click here to go to our page on pastoral care—how we try to take care of each other when we don’t have a paid pastor.

Social Concerns

Friends have a long history of engagement with social concerns on behalf of peace, justice, equality, and earthcare—what we call our “testimonies”—and we have a unique approach to this work. We seek to make the world a better place when we feel led into a particular concern as we are guided by the leadings of the Spirit as individuals and as a community.

Click here to go to our page on Peace and Social Concerns to learn more about the Quaker approach to life as witness and testimony on behalf of Truth.

Meeting Activities

The meeting for worship is the heart of our community life. But we do lots of other things, too.

Click here to go to our Community page to learn about the meeting’s other activities.

Meeting Membership

You can attend all meeting activities without becoming a member of the meeting. Once you’ve come to know us better and if you find the Quaker way nourishes your own spiritual life, we invite you to consider joining the meeting formally.

Click here to go to our Membership page to learn more about what membership in the meeting means to us, why you might consider joining our meeting, and how to apply for membership.

About Quakerism

The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) is a religious movement that emerged in England in the 1650s under the prophetic leadership of a man named George Fox and others who shared his experience that “Christ has come to teach his people himself.” In the centuries since, Quakers have branched in several directions, from strongly evangelical churches with a conservative theology, paid pastors, and programmed religious services, to meetings like ours, with a more liberal and inclusive theology, no paid pastors, and silent waiting worship.

To learn more about the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), check out the following resources:

Websites

Philadelphia Yearly Meeting—This link opens a section of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting’s website on Quakerism that describes our meeting’s approach to the Quaker way.

Faith and Practice—Faith and Practice presents Philadelphia Yearly Meeting’s understanding of the Quaker way. It is updated every generation or so.

Friends General Conference—This link opens a section of Friends General Conference’s website on Quakerism. FGC, as it’s often called, is a denominational organization that includes Philadelphia Yearly Meeting and a number of other yearly meetings that are of like mind.

Videos

QuakerSpeak videos—This website has dozens of short videos on a wide range of Quaker topics.

Books and Pamphlets

Our library—Our meeting hosts the yearly meeting’s library, which is quite extensive. It is full of resources on all aspects of Quakerism, and we have librarians who can guide you to materials that match your interests.

QuakerBooks—An online bookstore for Quaker books.

Pendle Hill Bookstore—Pendle Hill is a Quaker conference and study center near Philadelphia that has a bookstore on campus and can fulfill online orders. Pendle Hill publishes a series of Pendle Hill Pamphlets that are a terrific resource on Quakerism.

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