About Penn Valley Friends
Penn Valley Religious Society of Friends is an unprogrammed meeting of Quakers.
We’d love to have you join us for worship. The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) is not a closed community but a group of seekers like you.
Meeting for Worship: 10am-11am, First Days (Sunday)
After Meeting Program: 11:30-12:30
Penn Valley Friends Meeting is an “unprogrammed Meeting.” The Quaker worshipping community has traditionally been called a Meeting for Worship. The worship is “unprogrammed” because there is no order of service and we have no pastor or minister. These are practices that follow from the convictions of those who founded the Relgious Society of Friends in the seventeenth century.
How to find us
We worship in a “meeting house” instead of a church. Historically Friends (Quakers) believed that the adornments of churches are a distraction to true worship. The meeting house of Penn Valley Friends is a converted home in a residential neighborhood of Kansas City at 4405 Gillham Road, .3 miles north of Cleaver II Boulevard, 1 mile east of the Plaza. Watch on the east side of the street for the small triangular lot formed by the intersection of the three streets in front of the house. Parking is on the street. There is a small sign on the porch and an elevator for those needing assistance. Click here for a map.
What to expect
The Quaker testimony of simplicity is immediately evident in the bright, unadorned worship space you enter inside the front door. At Meeting for Worship, you will find friendly people in simple, mostly casual clothes. Friends no longer express their testimony through plain dress (Quaker gray) or plain speech (thee and thou).
If you arrive early, you will find Friends enjoying fellowship before Meeting and they will greet you when you enter. If you bring children, a Friend will help you take them upstairs to First Day School. If you arrive a little late and find a sign on the door that worship is in progress, please just walk up the driveway and enter through the back door in the kitchen. And if you arrive very early, you might find a committee meeting or Bible study in progress — please feel free to join in!
Penn Valley Friends Meeting for Worship is unprogrammed. This means that we don’t have a pastor or an order of worship. As 10 am approaches, conversation will die down as Friends settle into silence. Friends worship in silence, in expectant waiting on the leading of the Spirit. Friends believe that every person can have a direct experience of the Divine without human intermediaries.
The Meeting for Worship is a time for meditating and waiting for guidance from the Light Within. Speaking in Meeting is unprogrammed. Anyone who feels moved by the Inner Light to express a message shares that inspiration with others.
Sometimes the time for worship may pass completely in contemplative silence. At other times, several people may speak for a few minutes.
During the last ten minutes of worship, Friends (including you) are encouraged to share joys, sorrows, and concerns in a spirit of worship.
We break meeting by shaking hands and greeting those around us. Then a Friend will lead us through introductions and announcements. We go around the room, sharing our names and any announcements we have. If it is your first time at meeting, we’d love to hear you say a few words about who you are.
More information on Quaker worship
Wait, there’s more!
After introductions, we enjoy thirty minutes of fellowship with refreshments. Please stay so we can get to know you. You might also want to take a look in the meeting library if you are interested in learning more about Quakers and our meeting.
After fellowship, we always have a program from 11:30-12:30. Everyone is welcome to stay and participate. Programs are a great way to learn about Friends and have a good time. You can see the upcoming programs on the Events calendar.Descriptions of programs we’ve had in the past will give you an idea of the variety of topics you can expect.
A brief description of our beliefs
Friends (Quakers) have no formal creed or required beliefs. Indeed, different Meetings may differ in ideas and actions. The most basic belief is in that of God in each individual, regardless of professed or non-professed religion. Penn Valley Friends also support the traditional Quaker ideas (called “testimonies”) of
- Silent worship
- Social action
- Equality of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and ethnicity
Spiritual and social concerns are the responsibility of the whole Meeting. Administrative duties are performed by a clerk, who is chosen annually from among the members of the Meeting. When there is disagreement, voting or majority rule is not appropriate since each person tries to speak in accord with the Light Within. The Meeting only takes action that is in keeping with the conscience of each person, either through that person’s agreement or willingness to stand aside.
For more information
Please visit other areas of this web site.
If you want more information about our meeting, email the clerk of the meeting Angelika Shafer ([email protected]).
If you are looking for a pastored Friends church, please visit Willow Creek Friends Church in south Kansas City.
We look forward to meeting you soon!