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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Stephanie, I've found that I'm really comfortable in liberal meetings, even if they aren't as Jesus-y as I would like.  I feel itchy in programmed worship, but in an unprogrammed meeting for worship, Jesus is right there.  I'm also more comfortable, now, learning from my non-Christian Quaker brothers and sisters. We tend to have very much in common, when we open ourselves up.

Stephanie Stuckwisch said:

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. 

Bill Samuel wrote: "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."

Very wise words!

Rick: Check out the Mennonites and Mennonite Brethren in the Montreal area.  I am a Christian Friend.  I grew up approximately 100 miles south of Montreal in the Champlain Valley, and return there a couple of times a year to visit my relatives.  I would be happy to meet you, and give you a tour of landmarks of the now extinct Orthodox Quaker community in the Champlain Valley.  See http://vermonthistory.org/journal/misc/EarlyQuakerMeetings.pdf

Unfortunately, I do not have a passport, and can no longer cross the border freely.

By the way, have you ever heard of the Farnham Meeting, once located near Sherbrooke PQ?  There is an article, many years old, in *Quaker History*, about the Farnham Meeting.

Hi William. Thanks for the post! As for the Mennonite Brethren in Montreal they have a rather evelangelical feel with worship band and all. Not exactly my thing. There is however a French MB church that still has hymn sing but my French isn't all that good. There is a regular Mennonite church but it's struggling and would take me 1.5 hour to get there. As for the Farmham group I don't have a care so I'm limited to where I can get to.

Hello, Rick!  Unfortunately, all that is left at Farnham is their cemetery.

I have had a bit of contact with the French-speaking MB church, and they were friendly.  I regret no longer living at home in the Champlain Valley.  If I did, I would probably try to gather Christian Friends in the area for worship and fellowship; it would not need to happen every week. The Montreal-Albany train would probably make it possible for you to attend, at least occasionally.

Are there Mennonites living in your immediate area?  You could ask about this at the Mennonite church you mentioned.  One could start a Bible study, with a time of worship and sharing of refreshments, or possibly a simple meal, too.  I think this is a model that would be more feasible for a small group than a regular meeting for worship.

Actually William I am leaning towards the French MB church as they come closest to fitting my tastes. Plus they are a 15 min walk from my house. I attended once last year and despite not understanding everything I likes it.

For the most part, I'm comfortable in most Liberal Meetings. I practice listening in tongues when there is spoken ministry. The issue is when a meeting adopts the ABJ philosophy (anyone but Jesus). It can make things very unwelcoming. 

In one local meeting, a F/friend was eldered because her sister mentioned Jesus during her ministry. Yes, it was "eldering" by proxy. Ironically, her sister was quoting George Fox at the time. 

As I said, I have found a meeting that is truly inclusive and am very happy there.

Jennifer Winters said:

Stephanie, I've found that I'm really comfortable in liberal meetings, even if they aren't as Jesus-y as I would like.  I feel itchy in programmed worship, but in an unprogrammed meeting for worship, Jesus is right there.  I'm also more comfortable, now, learning from my non-Christian Quaker brothers and sisters. We tend to have very much in common, when we open ourselves up.

Stephanie Stuckwisch said:

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. 

Hi Rick,

You didn't say if you were in America or the UK, but here in the UK I have a similar problem in that there are atheists in meeting, along with many others who don't believe in Jesus or God as Fox and early founders espoused. When I ask why, most state that Quakerism is 'progressive', in that perhaps moving away from Jesus and God and towards political action was the point of Quakerism. I've been a bit disheartened to say the least. I would suggest finding an online Quaker worship group for fellowship, although nothing beats sitting in a room with like-minded (like-Spirited?)Friends. Blessings to you. 

Here are some UK links: 

http://friendsofthelight.ning.com

http://nffquaker.org/page/about-the-new-foundation-1

Hello, Ann!  I should let Rick tell you that he lives in Montreal, Quebec.  Uh oh, the cat is out of the bag!

Ann, there are long established networks of Christian Friends in the UK, and even a few local meetings, including one in London.  You have already listed the New Foundation website.  Allistair Lomax of the NFF would be a good person to contact for further information. http://nffquaker.org/profile/1q0exj1yh6e79

There are also long-established Christian Friends meetings in Northern Ireland.  The Grange Friends Meeting would be a good source of information about Christian Friends there.  See http://quakers-in-ireland.ie/quakermeetings/ulster/grange/

Hi Anne, thanks for your response!

yes, I can see how this would be disheartening to you because I feel the same way. I think being progressive and so forth is a good thing but at times I feel Quakerism goes to far as to almost become sort of wishy-washy. Its like the roots of the tree have been removed. When i thinkn of the more liberal Quakers its almost new-age in that everything seems to go.

Ann Webb said:

Hi Rick,

You didn't say if you were in America or the UK, but here in the UK I have a similar problem in that there are atheists in meeting, along with many others who don't believe in Jesus or God as Fox and early founders espoused. When I ask why, most state that Quakerism is 'progressive', in that perhaps moving away from Jesus and God and towards political action was the point of Quakerism. I've been a bit disheartened to say the least. I would suggest finding an online Quaker worship group for fellowship, although nothing beats sitting in a room with like-minded (like-Spirited?)Friends. Blessings to you. 

Here are some UK links: 

http://friendsofthelight.ning.com

http://nffquaker.org/page/about-the-new-foundation-1

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