Handout 4: What to Expect in Quaker Meeting
From the Friends General Conference website. Accessed July 18, 2011. Used by permission.
Everyone is always welcome at a Quaker meeting for worship.
In worship Friends gather into silent, expectant waiting. We hold ourselves open to the Light and reach for the divine center of our being. We know the center to be a place of peace, love, and balance, where we are at one with the universe and with each other.
We know from experience that revelation is continuing and that a divine power is at work in the world today, healing, guiding, gathering, and transforming. We call this power God, the Light, Christ, the Seed, the Inward Teacher. By whatever name it is known, its nature is love. It draws us toward a life of integrity, simplicity, equality, community, and peace.
Our meetings strive to be loving, nurturing communities. We celebrate diversity and encourage each person to find his or her true voice grounded in experience. We listen deeply to the Spirit and to each other as we seek to discern and embrace God's will for us individually and as a community.
We warmly invite you to join us. In most meetings, worship is held on Sunday mornings and usually lasts about one hour. "Unprogrammed" meetings are grounded in silent, expectant waiting and are spontaneous and open. When someone feels led to share a message, it is received in the gathered silence. "Pastoral" meetings have programmed or semi-programmed worship services culminating in a period of gathered silence. We generally close our worship by shaking hands and exchanging greetings. Programs for children and infant care are usually provided. Children are also welcome to join meeting for worship.