What Are Friends (Quakers)?
The concept of the Inner Light being present in every human soul lies at the center of the Quaker faith. Friends generally believe that first-hand knowledge of God is only possible through that which is experienced, or inwardly revealed to the individual human being through the working of God's quickening Spirit.
Quaker Meeting for Worship happens when two or more people feel the need to be still together and seek God's presence. In attentive waiting together in silence, Friends can receive spiritual awakening, a renewed sense of purpose for living, the awe and joy of being fully alive and connected to all of creation. Our experience has been that the spiritual quality of our faith and practice has been enriched over these years by the full participation and leadership of all Friends and friends. We celebrate the inclusion of individuals, couples, or families in all aspects of the life of our Meeting.
How We Worship.
We gather for an hour to listen for the presence of Spirit within-- our inward teacher. We wait in the power of this silent communion which is the ground of our worship. Occasionally, and at any point in the Meeting, someone may stand and deliver a message which they discern to be from the Divine, to be shared with all. Those who speak and those who are silent are equally vital to the worship. Meeting is concluded when our clerk shakes hands with the person next to her; all then shake hands and our clerk will begin introductions and announcements.
Madison Friends Meeting
The Madison Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends was formed in 1938 from a group that had been worshiping since the 1920s. It is affiliated with the Northern Yearly Meeting, which is composed of monthly meetings in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Michigan, and North Dakota. We are an unprogrammed meeting, affiliated with Friends General Conference, an association of 15 yearly meetings or regional groups, and 12 directly affiliated monthly meetings.
All members and attenders are invited to participate in our monthly meeting for worship for the purpose of conducting business. We convene at 10:00 am on the first First Day of every month and end 11:00, resuming at 1 pm if necessary, after Meeting For Worship. The current clerk guides business meetings in a spirit of worship. To learn more about our process, see How Do I Participate in the Business of the Meeting?