I thought it might be interesting for people to see what I said at Quaker Quest about Quaker Worship.

We three speakers had to speak twice during the evening, once on Faith and once on Practice - broadly, what we believe and what we do.

In the Faith section, I started by saying I love Quaker worship because it is unique. I came to Quakers because of the worship - I used to be an Anglican, and then a Methodist, and in both denominations I used to feel that I was just settling into the time for silent prayer when it would be time to sing another hymn.

Another reason I appreciate the Quaker way of worship is that I am rabbiting on to God all day in my head, and it gives me a chance to sit and listen for a change! I also explained that I don't mind what other people say they're listening to - God, Yahweh, Allah, the Earth, their own conscience - as I believe those are all names for the same thing : Truth. I believe that Truth comes from the Christian God, and, if pushed, I would say that all other believers (and non-believers) are listening to Him/Her too - they just have other names for Him/Her.

Because we are all listening together, with no words to cause divisions, Quaker worship brings people together in a way that no other type of worship can. We may not agree on the words to use in worship, but we can all listen together in silence. It can also be a very healing time for people who have had bad experiences in more traditional churches.

Later I spoke to the idea of the practice of Quaker worship, although to be honest my ideas were pretty well entwined between the two parts! I explained that a Meeting for Worship is not like a dentist's waiting room, with a whole load of disparate people sat in silence - there is a palpable air of expectancy and of a gathered community. I always get very excited when there is ministry, as you never know what is going to be said, and whether it will be pertinent to you, or even to the whole Meeting. I also explained about online Meetings for Worship at Quaker Faith and Fellowship, which no one else in my Meeting has experienced; and about the smaller MfW held at my home every month, and how it has a different atmosphere, more intimate than the weekly MfW at the Meeting House.

We had a lot of questions about how you know when you are supposed to give ministry, why we don't discuss ministry when it is given, and how to settle into the silence and prepare our hearts and minds. The room was about three quarters current members/attenders and one quarter new visitors, with between 40 and 50 attending in total. Everyone said they had got something from it, no matter how long they had been a Quaker - we so rarely discuss the finer points of our beliefs that it was interesting to hear what different people actually thought.

If your Meeting is considering running a Quaker Quest, I strongly recommend it. There is a certain amount of work in setting the course up, but it benefits everyone who attends (including the speakers!) so much, that it is well worth it.

Views: 98

Comment

You need to be a member of QuakerQuaker to add comments!

Join QuakerQuaker

Support Us

Did you know that QuakerQuaker is 100% reader supported? If you think this kind of outreach and conversation is important, please support it with a monthly subscription or one-time gift.


You can also make a one-time donation.

Latest Activity

Theodore Schmidkonz liked Kirby Urner's video
9 hours ago
Kirby Urner posted a video

New England Transcendentalism: Bringing It Forward

The history of American literature includes the philosophy, and futurism, of R. Buckminster Fuller. Given our historical framework, let's give that philosoph...
yesterday
William F Rushby replied to William F Rushby's discussion 'Recapturing Initiative for Conservative Friends'
"Wow, Marcia!  Your email is packed with issues we could discuss.  I am still laboring…"
9th month 2
Marcia P Roberts replied to William F Rushby's discussion 'Recapturing Initiative for Conservative Friends'
"I am curious to know what rituals Conservative Friends hold dear, William, when you talk about…"
9th month 2
Scott MacLeod liked Laura Rediehs's profile
8th month 26
William F Rushby replied to William F Rushby's discussion 'Recapturing Initiative for Conservative Friends'
8th month 23
Keith Saylor replied to William F Rushby's discussion 'Recapturing Initiative for Conservative Friends'
""The evidence suggests that Friends need the counsel of one another to implement their…"
8th month 23
William F Rushby replied to William F Rushby's discussion 'Recapturing Initiative for Conservative Friends'
"Howard, I think you would be above such stuff!"
8th month 22

© 2020   Created by QuakerQuaker.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service