What to Expect (for visitors)
We are a community of people who gather for worship and fellowship on Sunday mornings and who attempt to carry the experience of spiritual centeredness and guidance into our lives during the week. All are welcome to join us as we worship in the traditional “unprogrammed” manner of Friends. We have no ritual, liturgy, creed, sermon, or prepared music. When you enter, you will be greeted by one of our members or regular attenders, who will help you feel comfortable, answer questions, provide you with a little bit of explanatory literature. If you come after worship has already started, you will be directed to the rear of the house to enter quietly without disturbing the Meeting. Entering the Meeting room, you will find a group of people dressed however is comfortable, sitting in a circle, in worshipful silence. You may find a seat anywhere. Children are encouraged to sit with us for the first fifteen minutes to experience silent worship. After that they are escorted out by the First Day (Sunday) school teachers, to go to their classrooms.
In general, we use the beginning of the worship time in silence to settle in, center ourselves down, and let go of the mental busy-ness of our lives. Out of that deep silence, messages may or may not arise. As we believe that true connection with the Divine happens in the unique moment, each time we come together is a little different. Sometimes our Meeting will be completely silent and that can also be powerfully worshipful. Sometimes there will be a number of messages of vocal ministry. At times the Meeting may come together powerfully around a theme or focus such that all present feel joined in the Presence of the Divine. Quakers have a term for such specially powerful Meetings, they are called “gathered Meetings.” Near the end of our period of worship a designated person will invite Friends to bring forward the names of those to be held in our hearts in prayer and in the healing Light. After that the Meeting will be closed with handshakes.
After the worship service is over, we invite visitors to introduce themselves and we have announcements and a social time over snacks. We seem to love to cook and eat, so over the years our snacks have become more elaborate and frequent. The first First Day (Sunday) of the month after the rise of Meeting, is our carry-in, potluck lunch, which all are invited to join, whether or not they brought any food. It is our monthly miracle of the loaves and fishes and there always seems to be plenty of food. The second First Day of the month is Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business. At this time the business of the Meeting, making decisions about finances, maintenance of our house and grounds, carrying out of our ministries, is conducted, in a manner of worship and seeking to be guided by the will of God. Visitors are welcome and encouraged. We believe the business meeting is a good example of the practical use of Divine guidance in everyday life. Our method of conducting our business through worship is distinctive to Quakers.
The last First Days of the month, after announcements and fellowship there will be a second hour presentation. These may be times for individuals and the group to share about their spiritual journeys, they may be discussions, speakers of interest, presentations by our committees about work they have been doing, or seasonal celebrations. Visitors are welcome to stay for second hour or not as they are moved. After each Meeting for Worship, during the fellowship time, there will be an experienced Friend available to talk to anyone with a question or concern.