Friends General Conference

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Worship at Orchard Park Friends Meeting

If you have never before attended an unprogrammed Friends (Quaker) meeting for worship, your first meeting may surprise you . . . while all Quakers meet in worship to hear more clearly God’s “still small voice,” Friends in the unprogrammed Quaker tradition base our worship entirely on expectant waiting. We meet in plain, unadorned rooms where we are less distracted.  There are no pulpits in our meeting rooms because we minister to each other. We have no prearranged prayers, readings, or sermons because we wait for God’s leadings and power in our lives. When you enter the meetinghouse and take your seat on a bench, you will find that those gathered around you are sitting in silence, settling into a period of quiet reflection, prayer and expectant waiting on the Spirit.

During worship, a message may come to us. Messages may be for our personal reflection or for sharing with others. They may be a leading to stand and speak. Friends value spoken messages that come from the heart and are prompted by the Spirit as well as the silence we share together. Following a spoken message, we return to the silence to reflect in the Light of that message. Meeting for worship ends when one Friend, designated in advance, ends the meeting with a greeting. No two meetings are ever the same.

Friends feel that there must be a vital and sustained connection between worship and daily life. When our ideal is attained, our meeting is merely the community search for that guidance which we covet for every important act of our lives.

During the time of Covid-19, all safety protocols are followed for in-person meetings that take place at the meetinghouse.

WHEN DO WE MEET?

Meeting for worship takes place every Sunday at 11:00 am and lasts about an hour. Worship is followed by afterthoughts in the spirit of meeting for worship, introductions, and announcements. This is an appropriate time to ask questions about Quakers in general and our meeting in particular. On occasion there are discussions before Meeting for worship or potlucks afterwards.  Visitors are welcome to join in these events.

WHAT DO QUAKERS BELIEVE?

In a nutshell, our branch of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) believe that everyone can have direct communication with the Spirit / God. We also believe that there is something of God in everyone, sometimes called the Light within. We do not have a pastor/minister/priest. All of our members can minister. Over time, we have come to adopt a series of testimonies that not only reflect our beliefs but act as guideposts for how we live. They are:

  • Simplicity: Focusing on what is truly important and letting other things fall away

  • Peace: Seeking Justice and healing for all people; taking away the causes of war in the way we live

  • Integrity: Living as whole people who act on what we believe, tell the truth and do what we say we will do

  • Community: Supporting one another in our faith journeys and in times of joy and sorrow; supporting our neighbors in the wider community

  • Equality: Treating everyone, everywhere is equally precious to God; recognizing that everyone has gifts to share

  • Stewardship of the Earth: Valuing and respecting all of God's creation; using only our fair share of the earth's resources; working for policies that protect the planet

WHAT ABOUT OUR CHILDREN?

Child care could be available during worship. Speak to a member about it.

Children are always welcome in worship. Spending some time in silent worship is a good way to get used to the expectant waiting. If there is interest, after the first 15 minutes children can go to First Day School (Sunday School) with the teacher.

HOW TO CONTACT US FOR MORE INFORMATION

There is no meeting representative available to take calls during the week. Should you have questions you can contact us at [email protected] You can also leave a message at 716-662-5749 and we will reply within a week.

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IF YOU WERE WONDERING...

If you are wondering what God may be, looking for purpose in life, craving company, or seeking solitude, come to our Meeting for Worship.

We shall not ask you to speak or sing;  we shall not ask you what you believe;  we shall simply offer you our friendship and a chance to sit quietly.

And perhaps someone will speak, and perhaps someone will read, and perhaps someone will pray, and perhaps you will find here that which you are seeking.

We are not saints; we are not cranks; we are not different ...

Except that we believe that God's light is in everyone, waiting to be discovered.