Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
In the last two months, the Quaker Worship Group in Whitehorse witnessed an increased interest in the Quaker tradition of seeking God and the Quaker form of worship. As a very small and very isolated group, the concern of how to build community has been raised on several occasions.
Within the last year, we have reframed and updated the entry in the listing of religious services in the local newspaper. We have also updated the listing on the website of the Canadian Yearly Meeting and established a dedicated email address. However, the increased interest seems to have come mostly from the relationship-building done by the individuals from our Worship Group. I have finally dared to tell others in this secularized world about my interest in the Quaker way and the decision to join the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). The reactions I have witnessed have ranged from surprise to curiosity. But it is not the curiosity that has brought new people to come and experience silent worship and the warmth of community: It has consistently been the personal invitation.
A direct invitation on a different level has also contributed to the increased interest: Half a year ago, our Worship Group had to look for a new space to meet. For quite a while, we met in members’ homes, because it is most consistent with the Quaker tradition that God can be experienced anywhere – we don’t need a temple or a church. When we had to seek a public venue for our meetings for worship, we asked the United Church congregation if we could use their Upper Room. They received us with open arms, and “Quaker worship” started to show up on their facility booking schedule. Which in return yielded some curious questions about Quakerism.
It was at that point that we extended an invitation to the congregation of the Whitehorse United Church. The invitation was published in the church newsletter and announced during the service by the minister, a gesture of interdenominational collaboration that I honour very much. And to my surprise, there was instant uptake.
I am glad that we dare to let our Light shine, no matter how small our candle is and how much darkness we seem to see all around us.