Worship is at the
heart of all Quakers do and are. From their beginning, Quakers adopted worship practices
with a minimum of planned events, instead relying on direct revelation by the Holy Spirit
to the worshipers gathered in silent expectation. Quakers call their services
meeting for worship.
The community gathers together in a
waiting, expectant frame of spirit. Worship is in silent waiting upon insight from God. A
participant may feel led to share a message with those present. There may be many, few, or
no such messages, which Friends call vocal ministry. The meeting concludes
when the person with responsibility for closing the worship discerns that the meeting has
drawn to an end. Worship usually lasts about an hour.
Beliefs in Action
Quaker spirituality is both
inward and outward. Friends have always expected the Holy Spirit to transform individuals
and then guide them into ways to transform society. The mystical stream in Quakerism has a
profound ethical dimension. In worship together Friends have experienced not only wordless
union with God but also practical leadings to engage in concrete actions. Friends have
always held dear the belief that the Light would bring them into unity.
At the June 2009 Mid-Ohio Valley Multi-Cultural Festival, the Mid-Ohio
Valley Friends hosted a booth where 125 participants voted on their priorities for how the
federal government should spend our tax money. To read more about this project and the
article which includes the results of this survey,
click here "Multi-Cultural Festival Article"
The section on Meeting
for Worship is from Silence
and Witness: The Quaker Tradition, by Michael L. Birkel, 2004