Friends General Conference

Nurturing faith and Quaker practice

Introducing Newcomers to Meeting for Worship

Getting Started

Newcomers and Meeting for Worship

Many aspects of a meeting’s or worship group’s life influence a visitor’s decision to become a regular attender and active participant.  The vitality of your meeting or worship group and the ways you inform newcomers about your faith affect visitors decisions whether to return or not, as do their feelings of welcome and acceptance.  Most important though is the quality of worship.  Quakers offer a form of worship that is distinct from other faiths.

Besides meeting other like-hearted people, Quakers offer a winsome invitation to come meet God, to encounter the Divine.  This is an invitation to listen for God's words to their souls in company with others who have gathered expecting an encounter with the Divine.  We gather in silence and listen openly to God, the Light, the Seed, the Inward Teacher, the Living Christ.  The Divine encounter may come through spoken word, a song, a smile, or through the silence.  Women, men, and children are equally able to give vocal ministry as they feel led in a Quaker meeting or worship group. 

Meetings can help first-time visitors and new attenders find meaning in the profoundly spiritual way we worship.

Meeting for Worship

Do your part in helping your meeting for worship to be grounded in expectant waiting and Spirit-led ministry.  Remember, the silence of worship is not a passive silence, but an active going toward God, seeking a glimpse of the Divine.  The special discipline of the Quaker way is to listen with more than our ears.  We listen for the Voice that speaks not only in words, but also in gentle tugs on our hearts, images and insights arising in our minds, in the beauty our eyes behold, and the gratitude we feel. So come to meeting expecting to attend to  the Voice within and, perhaps, to be transformed.

The deeply spiritual nature of our worship is one reason it is important to have materials to explain Quaker worship to newcomers.  You can visit Quaker Books of FGC (http://www.quakerbooks.org/).

Connect

Connect with FGC:

  • FGC has resources to support new and existing groups
  • FGC can help a group connect with other local Quaker groups
  • FGC can help you get listed on QuakerFinder.org to help others find you

FGC staff and volunteers are happy to talk with you about this, or any other issue, your meeting or worship group is facing.  Please contact us by emailing us at newmeetings@fgcquaker.org or phoning 215-561-1700.