Hello, I have been exploring Quakerism for a little while and am attracted by it, however the meeting where I live is mainly a Universalist meeting and not a Christian one, so there is really not a meeting where I feel comfortable at. I was just wondering if any of you have had a similar experience and how you worship or get around it?

Thanks! 

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There are several ways to approach this depending on where you live.  Several of us on LI in NY found a meeting that was on life support and all transferred to it so we could worship together.  Others find another Christian and start their own meeting.  Friends of Jesus and the NECCF both have events for Quakers with a love for Jesus and there are several events such as Quaker Spring where you could meet Quakers of a similar spirit.

You could contact people involved in any of these groups and tell them where you live and they can check their list of attenders and they could forward your email or tel. number to their attenders who live near you so they could in turn reach out to you.  The advantages of Quaker Process to a Christian are worth the effort in finding brothers and sisters of a like spirit.

Thanks James C Schultz!

So I would technically be able to start my own group?

Yes. I have dealt with that over the last 3 decades. I had a dramatic encounter with Christ at the 1987 FUM Triennial, which resulted in a commitment to follow Jesus Christ without any compromise with liberal Quaker culture. There have been 2 prongs to the way I've dealt with it.

The first prong has been to pursue gathering with other Christian Quakers (and others interested in Christian Quakerism), both in extra-meeting settings and in trying to plant a Christian meeting. I've been involved in two separate attempts at that, in different generations. A lasting meeting with weekly worship has not developed. We currently have a monthly brunch and worship gathering for our metropolitan area which gathers a few people, which is affiliated with the national level Friends of Jesus Fellowship.

The second prong has been to gather with Christians not affiliated with the Society of Friends. For awhile, I would worship alternately with the early, small worship of my meeting and with an independent charismatic church. I learned a lot from my experience with charismatics (who consider early Friends as part of their heritage), but their theology was not very close to my own and I didn't stay there (I haven't found a charismatic group in my area with a theology I could be comfortable with.)

Then I found Cedar Ridge Community Church, which was founded by Brian McLaren, who probably some readers are familiar with from his writings - he was prominent in the "emerging church" movement. Their values were very similar to Quaker values, but they were unapologetically Christian. I joined Cedar Ridge in 2005. However, their worship service is basically Protestant with a liturgical bent, usually featuring a lengthy message from a pastor (generally a paid pastor but they now also have unpaid persons from the congregation on the pastoral team as well). In 2014, I felt moved to find something less leader-audience oriented in its services.

I am now with Dayspring Church, a member faith community of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour. It is non-pastoral and uses the Quaker decision making process. I wholeheartedly affirm their values. They also have a deep commitment to the use of silence, being located on the property the Church of the Saviour bought for retreat purposes and managing a silent retreat center. Core members are expected to have a daily discipline of an hour devotional time in silence, as well as to participate in at least one silent retreat weekend a year. Their worship service is more like an Episcopal service than a Quaker one, but with widely shared leadership and opportunity for all to share prayer concerns. It is preceded by 15 minutes of silence.

I always recommend that Christians find fellow believers to meet with regularly in whatever context. I think there is danger in trying to be a Christian in a meeting which does not acknowledge Christ as head of meeting unless one has a group of believers (whether Quaker or not) to meet with regularly. I have seen too many cases where Christians who have done that have had their faith weakened over the years.

I belong to a liberal Meeting, but as I grew I wanted something more conservative. The closest Ohio Yearly Meeting from me is about 1 1 /2 hours, so I began worshiping with local Mennonites at a Dunkard Brethren church. 

Hi Bill, sounds like you've had quite the journey! I have read some of Brian's stuff and find him interesting. Thanks for your reply and your right, fellow believers is of the utmost importance.

And other Friends have. NWYM pastors used one of his books for a book study, and he spoke to annual sessions of NCYM (FUM).

Rick Waldau said:

Hi Bill, sounds like you've had quite the journey! I have read some of Brian's stuff and find him interesting. Thanks for your reply and your right, fellow believers is of the utmost importance.



Paula Roberts said:

I belong to a liberal Meeting, but as I grew I wanted something more conservative. The closest Ohio Yearly Meeting from me is about 1 1 /2 hours, so I began worshiping with local Mennonites at a Dunkard Brethren church. 

Thanks Paula, the Mennonites are a cool bunch!



Bill Samuel said:

And other Friends have. NWYM pastors used one of his books for a book study, and he spoke to annual sessions of NCYM (FUM).

Rick Waldau said:

do you recall which book it was?

Hi Bill, sounds like you've had quite the journey! I have read some of Brian's stuff and find him interesting. Thanks for your reply and your right, fellow believers is of the utmost importance.

Not certain. May have been A New Kind of Christian.

Rick Waldau said:



Bill Samuel said:

And other Friends have. NWYM pastors used one of his books for a book study, and he spoke to annual sessions of NCYM (FUM).

Rick Waldau said:

do you recall which book it was?

Hi Bill, sounds like you've had quite the journey! I have read some of Brian's stuff and find him interesting. Thanks for your reply and your right, fellow believers is of the utmost importance.

My question for you is,  how does the Universalist meeting react to your being a Christian Quaker? I have attended four different meetings over the last seventeen years, and I suppose that they could all be regarded as Universalist. However, I never really felt excluded as a Christian, and I have grown to appreciate worshiping in a spiritually diverse group. When I lived in Gainesville, Florida, we had breakout groups for the various flavors of Quakers: Christian, agnostic, Buddhist, pagan, etc. We Christians would get together after simple meal, and do hymn singing and bible study.  It was very nice.  I've been attending my present meeting now since I moved to MD in the summer, and while very diverse, it's not uncommon for someone to share Bible verses in Meeting for Worship. I really don't know who else in the meeting identifies as Christian, but I'm sure that there are others, because the group seems comfortable with traditional Christian language along with more Universalist terms.  Have you considered offering to lead a Bible study (AKA Quaker Bible Reading)at the Meeting  near you?  You may be pleasantly surprised.

In my part of the country, I have 2 choices - the Friends' Churches or Liberal Meetings. Neither are a perfect fit for me. What I've found is a liberal meeting that is not Christocentric per se, but that is fully accepting of the fat that I am. 

It's not the perfection that I had sought, but it's a place where I am welcome and can worship in the stillness. 

That's my understanding.  You should check with the Yearly Meeting for your area or Ohio Yearly Meeting if they are more in tune with what you are seeking to see if you can connect with them officially if you wish to.  That would give you added legitimacy if you want it, though legitimacy can be overrated as Jesus said the son of man had no place to rest his head.  But a little guidance never hurts.

Rick Waldau said:

Thanks James C Schultz!

So I would technically be able to start my own group?

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