What’s a Meeting?
In the quiet we look for a sense of connection. This might be a connection with those around us, with our deepest selves, or perhaps with God.
As we feel this sense of encounter grow stronger, we may begin to see the world and our relationships in a new way. Our worship may take us beyond our own thoughts and ideas to help us respond more creatively to the world around us.
Gathering and stillness
We try to gather in the Meeting room by 10.30 and to settle ourselves to listen deeply for the “still, small voice” of the Divine in our midst.
If you are a little late please come in, and you may be asked to wait in the hallway with the doorkeepers for a few minutes.
Before we enter the room we turn off mobile phones and remove our coats, so we can enter having lessened distractions, and then find a seat that we think we’ll be comfortable in. As Quakers have no priests, seats are not reserved, so please choose whichever you like. You may notice people dressed from smart casual through to very casual, essentially whatever they feel comfortable in.
Sometimes there are books around – which are more likely than not ‘Quaker faith & practice’, and this has excerpts on many aspects of life. You are welcome to read it if an issue arises which may benefit from another perspective, or if you are finding it difficult settling into a sense of stillness.
Silence and sharing
It may be that during the Worship, (the name Quakers give to this process of quiet, divine seeking and receiving), someone feels they have a something to share verbally with the meeting and they are free to stand and speak their message.
Children and young people…
…are always welcome and they usually share activities in a different room – with DBS-checked helpers and perhaps parents. Either at the beginning or towards the end of the adult meeting, they also share a few minutes with all ages. Do ask for further details at your local meeting.
Ending, announcements and social
After about an hour the meeting will close with people shaking hands, and after a few notices there is tea and a chat.
So that is what can be expected in physical terms. And as we aspire to be led by the divine it is impossible to define how the experience may move us spiritually; each meeting is a unique experiment in which we all take part, however quietly, and where it leads us both as individuals and together can’t be anticipated.