Suggestions for Newcomers

If this is your first visit to a Quaker Meeting, it might be helpful to read the following description of worship.

Friends' worship is a unique experience. First we center ourselves, and then we focus our awareness on the Divine presence and gradually allow distractions to slip away. We serve or minister as we listen to God. Some of the deepest or most "gathered" meetings may be largely or entirely silent. We can minister through unspoken prayer and attentive listening to spoken worship.

The Spirit may lead us to speak. This is not known in advance, nor are messages prepared beforehand. To discern whether one is being called to spoken ministry:

  • Let the meeting return to silence for several minutes after someone has spoken.
  • Wait in silence to discover whether the message of insight changes.
  • Question whether the message is meant for oneself alone or for offering to the entire meeting.
  • Become certain it is a spiritual ministry, not a political statement, lecture,or personal announcement.

Please stand and speak strongly, clearly, and briefly. A few heartfelt words are more welcome than long explanations.