Friends General Conference

Together we nurture the spiritual vitality of Friends

Invitation to Worship

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"Be still and know that I am God"

We welcome you to this meeting for worship. We gather in worshipful silence, intending to open ourselves wholly to the Divine Spirit, which we believe is within and beyond each person. Our worship has no human leader and no planned program.

Sometimes no words are spoken; sometimes a person is led to minister vocally. Each person present contributes to the depth of worship we reach as a group. The meeting is ended, usually after about an hour, by shaking of hands initiated by persons appointed to do so.

Visitors are invited to join us for a social period following the rise of Meeting for Worship, and to sign the visitors' book. Additional information can be obtained at the receptionist's desk in the lobby. The Friends Center at 15th and Cherry Streets houses other Friends organizations, among them the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting and its committees, the Friends Bookstore and the Friends Library, the Friends World Committee, the Friends General Conference, and the American Friends Service Committee.

When Friends first came to Philadelphia in 1681, they gathered to worship in private homes until the first meeting house was built on the bank of the Delaware River. As the Meeting increased in size, it outgrew a succession of meeting houses until the present large house was built in 1804, on a site originally granted by William Penn as a Friends burying ground. The meeting house was built for this Monthly Meeting and for the holding of Yearly Meeting; these uses continue. In addition the building serves as a committee and conference center, and is visited by thousands of tourists each year.

Note: The above Invitation to Worship is provided as a handout for visitors who attend the meeting.