Earlier this month I wrote about my first time at Quaker meeting and how that experience nearly thirty-five years ago felt like coming home. That was enough to keep me going back for more, even though I left that silent worship with many questions. I didn’t know if that time of worship was typical or if it would be different on another day. I wasn’t sure if I’d broken any “rules” about where to sit or what to wear. And I wondered what the other hundred or so folks were “doing” during that hour of silence.
Over the years I’ve learned the answers to those and many other questions through reading, discussions, and by attending many meetings across the U.S. and in Latin America. And still, I never tire of hearing how people prepare for and are touched by this form of worship. Whether you’ve never attended a Quaker meeting or you are, as we say, a “seasoned Friend,” you might enjoy these two short QuakerSpeak videos: What to Expect in Quaker Meeting for Worship and What Do Quakers Do in Silent Worship?.
Big thanks to: Friends Journal for supporting this project; QuakerSpeak project director Jon Watts; and project partners Friends Committee on National Legislation, American Friends Service Committee, and Friends World Committee on Consultation.
*“Afterthoughts” are my blog version of a practice followed in some Quaker meetings. After meeting for worship ends, people continue in silence for a few more minutes during which they’re invited to share thoughts or reflect on the morning’s worship. I’ve adopted the form here for last-day-of-the-month brief reflections on headlines, quotes, books, maybe even bumper stickers.