About Meeting for Worship
Be still and know that I am God.
Quaker worship is quite different from that of other faith traditions in that it is based in silence. Without speaking, attenders gather and "center down," entering into communion with God. Friends believe that silence is conducive to experiencing the Divine Spirit within oneself. Worshiping as a community deepens this experience.
Individuals may feel led to stand and share vocally with the Meeting a thought or insight based on the spontaneous leading of the Spirit. A spoken ministry is meant for the entire meeting. Several minutes should be allowed between vocal ministries so that these messages may be reflected upon. Each attender may experience an awareness of the Divine Spirit which may be a source of comfort, strength, and direction throughout the week.
Meeting for Worship is different from therapy or a support group. Worship may be a healing experience, but its purpose is not the sharing of our individual difficulties. Likewise, Meeting for Worship is not an appropriate setting for political advocacy or the delivery of prepared speeches (since vocal ministries are understood to stem from spontaneous leadings of the Spirit). Brevity is appreciated during vocal ministry; listeners are encouraged to interpret the message for themselves.
The Meeting is "broken" by the clerk of the Meeting, who signals the end of worship with the clasping of hands around the room. At this time (known as "the rise of meeting"), newcomers are introduced and announcements are made.
Children are encouraged to attend Meeting for Worship for the first 20 minutes of the hour (after which they are encouraged to attend First Day School). Childcare is provided for children under 3 from 10:00 a.m. until noon on Sundays.