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Friends/Quakers - Page 2

post #21 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by dolphinkisser
a weighty Friend who was committed to Quaker process ( because it seems to work) suggested that reading while others where worshiping was not a good idea as it distracts the whole community worship process. The goal of unprogrammed Meeting is not individual meditation but to collectively worship as a community and wait upon the Spirit that is believed to be within all. I think that is the beauty of unprogrammed Meeting...there is synergy that is not found in individual meditation and the reality of 'Christ (or spirit Deity)gathering where 2 or more people are found gathered in his name'.
I agree with this. There have been a few occassions where someone in meeting reads, and I think it does have a negative effect on the "gatheredness" of the meeting for the reasons stated above. The exception to this (for me) is if a Friend reads briefly from the Bible or a song book or some other sacred or inspirational text. I've seen people read a short passage to themselves, then close the book. That seems more to me likely to be a spirit-led action and it even sometimes leads to vocal ministry.

I read that same article in Friends Journal, btw. I liked it, but I do remember thinking that I would not approve of the reading during meeting. It doesn't happen often enough in our meeting for anyone to make an issue of it, but it is distracting, IMO.

Should you go just for your son? I don't know -- that's a tough call. Perhaps if it's been a long time since you were in an unprogrammed meeting, you would find the experience different now. Or perhaps you wouldn't and it wouldn't feel honest to be there. Maybe you could find a programmed meeting as dolphinkisser suggested. Some of the FUM meetings are fairly close to FGC in their beliefs, I think. If you can find one of the more liberal FUM meetings, that might be a good solution for you. Good luck!
post #22 of 87
I don't know whether anyone from this thread is still looking in... I dug it up by searching for Quaker.

I'm a sometime attender (haven't been in a year but feeling very strongly that I should go back). I thought the question about reading in meeting was interesting. I wouldn't read through an entire meeting (and I haven't seen anyone do that) but I think reading something that helps you to center and inspires your worship is fine. I think the goal of the reading should be to bring you to a state of mind in which you can worship with the community, rather than the ordinary goals of reading outside of meeting (learning something new, etc. etc.)
post #23 of 87
My grandmother told me that her father was raised a Quaker, and later studied Buddhism. It's always put a place in my heart of wanting to find out more about Quakers. (My grandmother was Buddhist most of her life, and later became Christian. However she is still a very liberal pesron with diverse beliefs).

I am thinking of going to a meeting Sunday. What should I expect?
post #24 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by heartmama View Post
I am thinking of going to a meeting Sunday. What should I expect?
It depends on the meeting you attend. Do you know if the Meeting near you is programmed or unprogrammed? (If they have a website, it might tell you.)
post #25 of 87
I emailed them and asked. They said at 10am is singing, and at 11am is unprogrammed worship.
post #26 of 87
This is very interesting....my dh and I have been Christians all our lives, but recently have questioned almost everything. We took this test online with a ton of questions that supposedly determine which religion or belief system would be best for you. We both took it separately and both got QUAKER!

We were really suprised! At first we laughed about it- thinking of the Quaker Oats guy (sorry...)

But we looked more into it and kinda liked what we found.

How does it differ from mainstream Chrsitianity?
post #27 of 87
I just wanted to pop in over here and mention that I used to go to Friends meetings when I was little! My dad has always been into different religions and he loved the meetings and took me along and my ant and uncle are Quaker, so the Friends will always have a special place in my heart.
post #28 of 87
Heartmama, here's a good link that describes generally what to expect in an unprogrammed meeting for worship: http://www.quakerinfo.org/quakerism/worship.html

I hope you enjoy your visit!
post #29 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdmaze View Post
How does it differ from mainstream Chrsitianity?
You might find this link helpful: http://www.quaker.org/friends.html
Interestingly, I recently read a Quaker pamphlet (from Pendle Hill, for those familiar), which argued that Friends should reject belief systems of any kind -- ideological, religious, political, etc. -- and return to our roots in pure spiritual *experience*. Genuinely thought provoking, but it makes it pretty hard to answer the question "What do Quakers believe?"

BTW, dh and I found Quakers through a quiz too! Liberal Quaker was our highest common denominator. We've been attending regularly for about 3 1/2 years now, and we are both feel we've found a "home".
post #30 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdmaze View Post
This is very interesting....my dh and I have been Christians all our lives, but recently have questioned almost everything. We took this test online with a ton of questions that supposedly determine which religion or belief system would be best for you. We both took it separately and both got QUAKER!

We were really suprised! At first we laughed about it- thinking of the Quaker Oats guy (sorry...)

But we looked more into it and kinda liked what we found.

How does it differ from mainstream Chrsitianity?
Would you mind posting that online *test* that you are talking about...I really would appreciate it! Thanks!
post #31 of 87
post #32 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdmaze View Post

Thanks!

Well, my outcome. 100% New Ager 99% NeoPagan and Liberal Quaker was 91%...hum?????
post #33 of 87
Mike is a Friend; I am a fat chick who tags along and watches the kids at Meeting. I don't feel uncomfortable there, but I don't feel, as Mike does, that I've found a spiritual home; rather, it seems to me to be an open-minded, welcoming place. I like it a lot because it is (finally!) a form of Christianity (though not all Quakers are Christian, it arose out of Christian tradition and my husband is a Christian) which I feel comfortable introducing to my children.

Unlike my husband, I have actually felt moved to speak at Meeting a couple of times. It's kind of neat. I felt a lot better after the first time; I was sitting in the main hall and listening to my children playing with Mike downstairs in the nursery. They were shrieking and giggling and running and enjoying themselves, and I realized that I didn't know how to sit quietly anymore because I spent almost no time at all *doing* it. : I learned that I was not the only person in the room who found seriously mundane thoughts in their head, like "I wonder if that pancake mix is still on sale at Giant this week?" or "What time was that dentist appointment? Will I be able to make it to the fabric store first, or will it have to wait until afterwards?"
post #34 of 87
This sounds very interesting...and apparantly they have a meeting in the next town every second first day(?)...does that mean every second Sunday?

I may go when things settle a bit. I have always felt that the problem with Christianity is it spent way too much time trying to figure out what's a sin and what isn't, whose a sinner and who isn't and not nearly enough time on just being spiritual and sitting quietly.

I practice Buddhism for this reason but still, being raised in a Christian tradition I do miss the sense of community you can get from church.

Sounds very similar to sitting in a temple.

Would a Quaker praying at home sit quietly as well like a meditation or is a more active "asking for blessings and expressing thank you" to the creator?

Off to read some links...
post #35 of 87
My understanding is that prayer in the Quaker tradition is intensely personal, and usually preceeded by (if not consisting entirely of) expectant waiting.
post #36 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by eilonwy View Post
My understanding is that prayer in the Quaker tradition is intensely personal, and usually preceeded by (if not consisting entirely of) expectant waiting.
This is why I am such a fan of the Quaker beliefs. I thik it is far more personal than huge churches where one person talks and everyone has to listen. At the Quaker meetings I went to as a kid we would sit down and if someone felt like talking they would stand up and speak, say a prayer, whatever they felt like saying.
post #37 of 87

Just now getting to this...

After an absurdly long break from MDC, I am just now back and finding this thread...I see a lot of my old Ffriends (that's just a little Quaker humor) are here. Hi, guys!

I am the daughter of convinced Friends, and have always been a Quaker. It informs every part of my life, and if I find something in my life that it is not informing, it probably should. My DH began attending when he met me, and at first was not particularly interested in joining, but later got more active. We are raising our daughters as Quakers, and already I see many of the traits coming out--they are very comfortable in inter-generational settings, they expect to be taken seriously and listened to, and they care deeply for others and for the world around them. Both kids teachers have commented over the years how it is obvious that our meeting plays a large part in the girls' lives.

Anyway, just chiming in here--I'm not sure how active this thread is at the moment, but I'm happy to share experiences or offer suggestions.

Mia
post #38 of 87

No meetings nearby

Hi, all! I am a new Quaker but do not have any meetings nearby. I guess a few years ago there were some Quakers in this area and they had meetings but I called the number listed on Quakerfinder and was told that they have all moved away. :-( Anyone else live in an area with no meetings?
What can I do alone? Meditation, maybe? I already do that. I wish I had others to meet with.
post #39 of 87

Reviving the thread. I've been doing some serious research into this, coming from a very uncommon (long story) 'sect' called the Truth (guided by extended family since my father was agnostic) as a child... Seems the Truth may have some roots in Quaker which is weird because I've often found myself drawn to Quaker beliefs.

Big churches and huge services seem alien to me, given my background of going to people's homes for meetings... nevertheless I'm a member of a huge, wealthy, methodist church and feeling unfulfilled.

I'm planning on going to a non-programmed meeting in the next couple of weeks. I've felt my spiritual side has been neglected and I'm hoping that I've found my... 'place'...

post #40 of 87
I wanted to sub with a mini intro. I am a kitchen witch with a side track into fundimentalist christianity. I am back on the seeking path. UU is not a "fit" after several attempts with different meetings.

I have long been drawn to Quaker and Shakerism. I am just not sure if I am ready to go to a meeting not knowing anyone again. Sigh, it's tough being scarred by past experiences and just not wanting to stick my foot out again.
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