Newcomers

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What to Expect from Quaker Worship

In the Religious Society of Friends we worship together in expectant silence and through spoken words. There is no human leader and no prearranged program. Each person who enters the Meeting helps to determine the depth of our worship as a group.

The silent hour is a time of seeking awareness of the Divine — dropping our usual patterns of thought, analysis and worry. We wait patiently for a kind of consciousness which Quakers have traditionally called the Light.

The Light may come as a new insight with regard to oneself, a deep sorrow for mistakes and wrong attitudes, an embrace of life and its joys, a new courage to face life, or power to obey the Light. This is the ministry of silence, of opening ourselves to feel the presence of the Divine Spirit with us and within all of us.

The Light may also lead one to feel he or she has an insight to share with the Meeting. This is vocal ministry, and is offered in the sense and hope that the worship of others may be deepened by this ministry. After such a message, the group should have ample time to truly listen and sink back into silent waiting before the silence is broken again, if at all, during the rest of the Meeting.

There is the ministry of listening, of listening behind the words that are spoken, of holding up those words to the Light, to hear that of God in the speaker.

Because we value the experience of worship so greatly, we want to share it with the children of the Meeting, who join us in the first ten minutes of worship.

At the end of the worship hour, someone will close Meeting with a handshake followed by introductions of newcomers