Your first time in a Quaker Meeting?
Friends' Meeting begins when those present turn their minds to God and worship together both through expectant silence and through spoken words. Friends, commonly called Quakers, have no creed or statement of belief and no outward sacraments or symbols. There is no human leader and no prearranged program. Friends sit in silence in the belief that they are in direct communication with God.
You may find it easy to relax in the silence and enter into the spirit of the Meeting or you may be disturbed by the starkness of the silence, by distractions outside, or by your own roving thoughts. Do not worry; we all find it difficult to settle at times. However, we return again and again to the still center of our being, where the presence of God can be known. Try to be quiet in body, mind and spirit, if only for brief periods. Bring whatever is pressing on your mind to the Meeting. It can be a time of insight, revelation, healing or calm.
In the stillness, listening for leadings of the Spirit, we may feel compelled to share some insight. The decision to speak or not is not made before worship begins. We speak only when we are moved to do so. Such messages may deeply touch those present, drawing us closer together in amity and worship. At other times, the entire hour is spent in silence, also meeting the needs of those present.
Listen to what is said in an open-minded, charitable spirit. Each contribution may help somebody, but our needs are different and can be met in differing ways. If something is said that does not speak to your condition or need, try nevertheless to reach the spirit behind the words.