New to Meeting for Worship?
If you've never attended a Meeting for Worship, we hope you will come worship with us -- give it a try.
Most Quaker meetings, at least in this part of the country, are so-called "unprogrammed" meetings. This means that our meetings for worship are not led by a minister, but are largely conducted in silence. Typically, a Clerk or other Member of the Meeting will close worship with a simple "Good morning friends" but otherwise the meeting may be completely silent.
Members and attenders are always invited to speak out of the silence with a message about their spiritual journey, although messages are not responded to directly .
A message has been described as a pebble tossed into a pond. The resulting ripples are received by others in the meeting and may contribute to their own spiritual journeys.
For more in depth information, go to Understanding Quakers
In the Religious Society of Friends, continuing revelation comes from the Inner light or the light within. This light has traditionally been identified as the spirit of Christ or Christ within, although not all Friends associate the inner light with Christ. It is understood as the presence of God which provides illumination and guidance to the individual and through individuals to the group.
Because Friends believe that revelation is ongoing, we have no set creed or dogmas and we believe that new truth is revealed to us as we continue our spiritual journeys individually and with one another.
As early Friends listened to the inner light and endeavored to live accordingly, a common set of beliefs gradually emerged, which became known as Quaker testimonies. Although rooted in the immediate experience of the community of Friends, these testimonies are based on what Friends believe are verified in the Bible, especially the Gospels regarding the life and teachings of Jesus, and in our ongoing discernment of God’s desire for us to fulfill loving relationships with each other and the world.
PYM (Philadelphia Yearly Meeting) Quakers consider the inner light to be above and beyond the Bible and other formalistic, written dogmas. We trust that the continuing revelation of the inner light speaks to us in our everyday lives.