YOU ARE INVITED!
The Religious Society of Friends welcomes you. We call ourselves Friends or Quakers. We are glad you are interested in exploring your spirituality further. We invite you to join us in a Meeting for Worship. When you arrive, someone will greet you before you go into the silent Meeting for Worship room. This page will introduce you to Quaker Meeting for Worship and Quaker practice.
ALL ARE WELCOME.
Quakers believe every person has unique value and an Inner Light. Women, men, children, people of every race, age, and ability, or whatever condition in life, are welcomed equally. We have the conviction that each person can have direct experience of God. There is no paid clergy because Friends believe that no intermediary is needed between the individual and the Divine.
A QUAKER MEETING FOR WORSHIP is based in silence: a silence of expectant waiting. It is an active silence in which each of us is trying to come nearer to one another and to God. Friends are seekers. At its best, the silence deepens as the Meeting proceeds, until each individual feels the unifying Spirit that erases boundaries.
WHAT HAPPENS IN MEETING FOR WORSHIP?
Out of the silence, someone may speak out of an inner compulsion, led by the Spirit. Quakers usually speak from personal experience. Sometimes several people may speak briefly in the course of the Meeting hour; sometimes the silence is unbroken. If someone’s words do not ‘speak to your condition,’ try to seek the spirit behind the words.
You may find it easy to relax in the silence and thus to enter into the life of the Meeting, or you may be disturbed by the strangeness of the silence, by distraction outside, or by your own roving thoughts. Do not worry about this, just return again and again to the still centre of your being where you can know the presence of the Divine. Try, if only for an instant, to be quiet in body, mind, and spirit.
WHAT HAPPENS AT THE END OF MEETING?
After about an hour, Friends will join hands with their neighbors and greet one another. Introductions, community sharing and announcements are made, followed by refreshments and fellowship and brown bag lunch, in which everyone is invited to partake if they wish.
Our Monthly Meeting has no paid clergy or staff. Our small budget covers expenses for our retreats and for supporting organizations that work for peace and equality, such as Quaker Organizations or groups and other affiliates. After you’ve attended some Meetings, if you feel moved to make a contribution, please speak to our Clerk.
MEETING FOR WORSHIP FOR BUSINESS
Meeting for Business is also a Meeting for Worship. We conduct business in the same spirit of expectant waiting while striving for unity. Meetings for Business typically address issues like service projects, finances, committee reports, event planning, participation in wider Quaker organizations, etc. The Meeting may also be called to approve a ‘minute’, documenting our position on an issue. A Friends’ business meeting can be described as an exercise in attentive listening to the promptings of the Spirit in our hearts. The overriding need is to discern the will of God in the meeting. Business meetings are conducted with that fundamental aim in mind as we prayerfully consider the business matters at hand. All are welcome at Meeting for Worship for Business; participation deepens one’s engagement in our Meeting community and every person’s Inner Light is valued. It’s a great way to experience Quaker practice, process and values in action.
For information on the service projects that Canadian Quakers are involved with, see the web site of Canadian Friends Service Committee.