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History

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Hanover Monthly Meeting History

In the late 1950s, Quakers associated with Dartmouth College began meeting in each others’ homes for worship. Hanover Friends Meeting was officially established as a member of the New England Yearly Meeting in 1959.

In 1965, the meeting received a bequest that made it possible to purchase property on Rope Ferry Road, which was dedicated on May 28, 1966. Friends gathered there until the early 1980’s when they outgrew this space, especially for First Day School. After renovation and expansion, on May 13, 1984, a new building at 43 Lebanon Street was dedicated as Hanover Friends Meeting. Further renovation in the early 2000s made more space for both our use and to provide meeting space during the week for a wide variety of community groups.

A Very Short Quaker History

In England during the 1650’s, George Fox began gathering together people who disagreed with the state religion. Grounded in Christian tradition and believing that Jesus was the Inner Teacher, these dissenters denied the need for creeds; for “the truth cannot be confined to a creed (G. Fox)”

Instead Friends described basic beliefs and experiences that defined themselves. Primary beliefs include: there is that of God in every person and, Truth, or God’s will, is continuously revealed. This understanding gave rise to testimonies. When we live faithfully by these testimonies, we bear witness to these beliefs. Since everyone has access to the Light (God), anyone may be called upon to witness to it in worship and service, thus we do not have paid clergy. Each of us has responsibility for the life of the meeting and business is conducted in worship. Decisions (or sense of the Meeting) are arrived at through a process of discernment through which we seek understanding of God’s will on the matter. When the sense of the meeting is reached, it is approved by those present and minuted. The sense of the meeting is stated by the clerk and may or may not be a unity statement.

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