Welcome to Goshen Friends Meeting. We are glad you are here! Our community celebrates what each person has to offer the meeting, understanding that differences in spiritual practices, race, sexual orientation, gender and age are essential to our vitality.
The essence of our worship together is the inner stillness of body, mind, and soul which connects us to the Light Within and to each other. Worship begins when the first person takes a seat and enters into the silence of waiting.
In a Quaker meeting we have not one pastor, but as many ministers as people worshiping. We are vessels in whom God's love is held. At times any of us may serve as a minister through whom the Spirit speaks. As you settle into the stillness, try to let your thoughts become quiet and reach toward the deepness within. At first the silence might feel welcoming or daunting; it can also sing with Light and Spirit. Allow yourself to experience what comes by sitting in the silence with those gathered and waiting together in the Spirit.
Sometimes we find ourselves stirred by a message that seems to come from beyond ourselves and to urge us insistently. When that happens we ask ourselves whether the message is personal, or whether it is meant to be offered aloud to those present. When we understand that it is for others beside ourselves, we rise, speak simply, then sit down again, and the silence resumes. Quakers treasure the silence between messages as a time of reflection before another message is offered. In many of our meetings for worship, we remain completely silent throughout.
When worship ends, we all shake hands with the people sitting nearby. Then we remain quietly in our seats in our seats for a period of “worship sharing.” This is a time when people may choose to share any images, feeling, thoughts or experiences that were with them during the worship. In both worship and worship sharing messages are received simply as offerings, rather than as dialogue. We do not directly discuss others’ messages, though we may acknowledge that they have affected us.
After the worship sharing time, announcements are made. If you are attending for the first time, you will be invited to introduce yourself. Please say your name and as little or as much about yourself as you wish. We also invite you to sign our guest book and to indicate if you would like to receive our monthly newsletter.
Parents with children are always welcome. Meeting members are aware that “silence” has a different meaning for for young children than it does for adults, and sometimes the soft sounds of a child are received as a welcome message reminding us of the holiness of life.
We offer supervised play for children who do not wish to stay the full time in meeting for worship. When children wish to play in our adjacent rooms, one or more adults will go out with them. Children are always welcome to remain in worship with the adults for the full period.
We currently offer a structured children’s program only a few times a year. It includes activities in the meetinghouse, as well as occasional “field trips.” You may contact [email protected] (610) 429-3510 about the content, schedule, and safety policy for our children’s programs.
If you have questions about Quakers or this meeting please speak to anyone who is here. Some information about the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) is available in the room adjacent to the meeting room. Feel free to take this card with you and to peruse literature in the other room.