Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
There are two Meetings, both largely of a humanist persuasion (but not entirely so!) There is a 'Friends Church' in Spring Valley. Some members of the largest Meeting, La Jolla, have tried to establish friendly relations with that Church; but neither group, overall, feels close to the other in beliefs or practices.
I'm in San Diego Meeting, which meets Sundays at 10:30 on the same lot (except farther from the street on the Church of the Brethren's property at 3850 Westgate Place -- near the crossings of Highways 15, 805, and 94.)
We do share a joint worship service with the Brethren once a year; in fact we moved there at their previous Pastor's invitation and our present Meeting House/AFSC office/Peace Resource Center building probably owes more to their help than to ours (although some Meeting members also put considerable work into the project.
We're a small group, fairly often pass an hour at worship with no messages. La Jolla has more frequent messages; that group is larger and hence more sociable & organized; I very much like the members I've met but it's a larger group than I normally want to meet with, and farther from my place. (7380 Eads Ave, 10:00 AM)
I'm the most active person on this site from either Meeting, though others do check in here occasionally.
Enough to help? I'm sure you'd be welcome at any of these places, but my group probably needs you!
Thanks for the information. I have seen the website for the San Diego meeting and I just felt that from the website that not a lot of people go there... but maybe just enough!
How many people attend usually? And since I havn't been to a meeting before. Prob a stupid question but what happens after? Does everyone just leave?
I checked out the Spring Valley one, the website doesn't say they are even a Quaker Meeting. Or Evangelical Friends. Its very vague.
Doubt I'll check out the La Jolla one. Just the location alone..I'm east county.
Thanks, hope you have a chance to reply on the two questions on the San Diego one.
The Friends Church in Spring Valley is reportedly a generic protestant church, founded decades ago when someone provided a large donation to recruit young pastors (of no particular sort) to plant new churches. (This is quite different from the Friends Church in say Berkeley, which is explicitly a church in the pastoral Friends' tradition. There are usually people from that church at our Yearly Meeting gatherings, contributing profoundly to what 'Christian' flavor those gatherings do have; this is mainly manifest in the early morning Bible study session there but I also mean that their presence throughout the event helps to deepen the tone.)
Okay, my Meeting. We've been down to seven at a time some Sundays, even lower on rare occasions. More often it's around a dozen on good days -- Perhaps as many as forty will come when there's a special event and join the worship while they're at it.
After Meeting, there's always coffee available and almost always something baked by our cook; his banana bread isn't his only such product but I consider it his best. Sometimes people will leave fairly soon after Meeting; sometimes they'll linger and talk longer. Most of that runs to 'small talk', alas; or politics; but sometimes something of a more religious nature will come up; it isn't actually forbidden!
Even if you tend toward restlessness, there is no reason to be shy about coming. We have had several people unable to sit through a while hour, whether from age or some untimely disability -- One with a bad back asked if she could stand through the Meeting, which was fine so long as she didn't seem to be waiting to give a message the whole time.
It doesn't feel to me like we've really got what I've called 'a critical spiritual mass' in the group so far; we've always had a few members with a strong spiritual connection but most of these have been lost to the attrition of age in recent years. I find it much easier to remain hopeful for us when someone new shows up!
Thanks again for the info. Too bad they don't advertise your meeting to the greater public somehow and get more people interested in checking it out, I'm sure a lot of people don't know its exists, and would be interested...Hard to believe the La Jolla people don't stop in once in a while.
I have just sent for some books and will get a better understanding of everything. I will have to check out San Diego meeting in the next month or two. The two times I went to the Evangelical Friends Church in Santee there was a full house. But the congregation is pretty tiny compared to the mega churches that are so popular now.
Thanks for all the info. Its nice to get the inside scoop.
Some of us have tried to have us more publicly visible for a very long time; some of us have been very reluctant. (The efforts we have made have not been overwhelmingly successful, as though the 'Angel of the Meeting' so to speak was -- like many members -- a bit resistant.
Many people in the La Jolla Meeting are from this area, and there's considerable overlap, many friendships between the groups. What keeps that group larger, I think, is the fact that they are large enough (& properly gifted) to run an excellent children's program. Some people prefer a group large enough to fill a full list of officers, committee members, participants in study groups.
I think we're an ideal size for a worship group. I'd like to see more worship groups the size of our Meeting, with larger groups coming together mainly for business -- with these larger groups big enough to permit forming other small groups around other interests. But that's not the way we work (so far.)