If this is your first visit to a Quaker Meeting, we would like to offer these words about the common experience that we are seeking here…
The central and unifying belief within the Society of Friends is that there is something of God in every person. Because of this belief, we have no organized ministry, each individual being capable of expressing that of God within himself or herself. We also have no formal structure of worship but gather in silence and meditation as each of us attempts to turn aside from the preoccupations of daily life so that the light within may be heeded.
Meeting for Worship is a time that is especially reserved for this inner searching, when we gather in silence, without program or clergy, to support each other and share our insights. Though the silence is golden, it is not an end in itself. When a worshiper feels a desire to share a message arising from his or her deepest self, the silence may be broken.
By sharing our worship with each other, we all can grow closer to the truth that we seek and attain that spiritual nourishment that is greater than the sum of our individual contributions. Our hope is that each message be received with a period of quiet reflection and that each message be given as a result of divine inspiration and a sincere quest for personal enlightenment.
We hope that you will feel something of our closeness on your first visit, but this feeling can be fleeting even for long-term attenders. Because no two Meetings for Worship are exactly alike, we encourage you to come again. Our Meeting is open to all, and membership is not essential to continued participation.
Children attend the Meeting for about the first twenty minutes and then leave together for other supervised activities. Meeting for Worship will close when one of the members, appointed in advance, begins the traditional round of handshakes. We hope that you can stay for a while so that we may get to know you during the social fellowship that follows.
"Those who are brought to a pure, still waiting upon God in the Spirit are come nearer to the Lord than words are. In such a meeting, where the presence and power of God is felt, there will be an unwillingness to part asunder, being ready to say in yourselves, it is good to be here. And this is the end of all words and writings, to bring people to the eternal living word."
Alexander Parker, 1660