What happens in Quaker worship … is it really silent?

Quaker worship is based on silent waiting, where we expect to come into the presence of God. In this living silence, we listen for the still, small voice that comes from God through the Inward Light. Worshiping together in silence is a way for a community to be brought together in love and faithfulness.

During silent worship, anyone – adult or child – may feel inspired to give vocal ministry (speak out of the silence). After the person speaks the message, the silence resumes. Such messages may be offered several times during a meeting for worship, or the whole period of worship may be silent. The clerk signals the close of worship by shaking hands with another person, then everyone shakes hands with those seated nearby.

What are Quaker testimonies?

Quakers find that attending to the Light Within influences the ways we act in our personal lives, as well as the changes we work for in the wider world. We have noticed that certain values seem to arise more or less consistently when we try to stay close to the guidance of the Inward Teacher, and we call these principles our “testimonies.”  They are not so much rules that we try to obey as the outcomes of our efforts to live in harmony with the Holy Spirit.  Some commonly recognized testimonies include peace, integrity, equality, simplicity, community, and care for the earth.

How do I find out more about this community?

Attend meeting and talk to people afterward. Ask what you can read. Stay for potluck.

What should I wear to meeting for worship? Dressy or dress-down?

There is no dress code; attire typically ranges from casual (shorts, sandals, t-shirts) to what is sometimes called “business casual.”

How early should I arrive for a 10:30 meeting for worship?

It’s nice to arrive early enough to find a seat. If it’s your first time, you might want to take some literature to read with you; ask about pamphlets and flyers available for first-time visitors.

What should I do as a new person once I arrive at meeting for worship?

Take a leaflet for first-time visitors if you like, and then go in and find a seat. You may sit anywhere; it’s fine to walk across the room and sit on the far side from the doors.  Be sure to sign the guest book before you leave.   We’d love to add you to our mailing list, if you’re interested.

What if I arrive after meeting for worship has started?

Listen as you enter to make certain that no one is speaking. If a message is being given, wait by the door until it is over. Walk quietly to an available seat.

What is involved in becoming a member? How is that different from being an “attender”?

Please click to see this FAQ on membership.