About Worship

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Invitation to Worship
Multnomah Friends Meeting
(Quakers)

We welcome you to worship with us.

Quaker life and practice is grounded in the conviction that the Divine Spirit is accessible to all. In worship we sit in stillness, opening ourselves to that Spirit.

Quakers, in our wide diversity and experience, individually refer to this Spirit in varying ways, including “God,” “The Light,” “The Inward Christ,” and others. These vary, but our purpose is the same. Gathered in worship, we open ourselves to experience spiritual truth.

Our approach is called "expectant waiting." We begin by stilling our bodies and centering our minds beyond distraction. Individually, we center in varied ways. You may find helpful a phrase of poetry, a passage from Scripture, a metaphor, prayer, or focused breathing. In the silence we open ourselves to the “beyond within” and the leadings of the Spirit.

Rather than having a designated minister, we share and experience ministry through silence, through the spoken word, or on occasion, through song. Anyone may rise during meeting to offer ministry. Before we stand, we hold our leading in the Light. Is this a message or leading from God? Is it for the group or just me? Is this the right time to share? Should my ministry be grounded in further reflection? What is the essence of this message, and how can it be stated briefly and simply?

Should you be led to share vocal ministry, please stand and offer your message in a voice loud enough to be heard by all.

After sharing, we return to expectant waiting, allowing silent spaces between ministries for each message. We welcome whatever seeds of truth the message may carry to ripen in our hearts.

When a particular message does not “speak to our condition,” our practice is to seek the Spirit behind the words. We try to hold the speaker in love. When their words end, we let the embracing silence hold them in the Light.

In this way, Meeting for Worship is a gift of the Spirit.

A designated Friend signals the close of worship by the shaking of hands. If you’re new to our meeting, visiting, or returning after an absence, you will be invited to introduce yourself. Announcements and a social hour follow.

From the leadings of worship flow the values for which Quakers are known. We call these "testimonies." Some of these are Peace, Simplicity, Equality, Integrity, and Community. We seek to be true to them in all we do.

Thank you for joining us in worship.

Sunday Schedule

8:15 am Early Morning Meeting for Worship

8:30 am Sunday Morning Adult Discussion Group

9:45-10 am Gathering for Meeting for Worship

10-11 am Meeting for Worship (with children until 10:15)

10-11:15 am Childcare provided for infants & toddlers in the nursery10:15-11:15 am First Day School (grades Pre-5)

10:15-11:15 am Central Friends (grades 6-8)

10-11:15 am Junior Friends (high school - 2nd and 4th Sundays)

11:15 am Social hour

12:15-2:30 pm Meeting for Business (3rd Sunday of the month)

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Filmmaker Tom Weidlinger made a video in 1972 that records some of the experience of a Quaker Meeting for Worship, a Quaker marriage, and statements by several members of the Multnomah Friends Meeting.  He has recently edited the film and made it available here.  Hair and clothing styles and the physical appearance of the Meeting House have changed over the years, but the experience of worship that brings us together has not.

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