Vistor Welcome

What to expect for new visitors

Welcome to the Holland Friend Friends Meeting (Quaker) of the Religious Society of Friends. We invite you to worship with us in the spirit of expectant silence and through spoken ministry. The basis of Quaker life and practice is a conviction that there is something of the Spirit of God in all of us. Meeting for Worship is one aspect of a discipline and belief which permeates all we do. Sitting quietly in worship, we seek the immediate sense of Divine leading and firsthand knowledge of that Spirit. Quakers believe that there is continuous revelation by God of Truth and Light. The Meeting for Worship should revolve around the efforts of the group to uncover the Light within, to share it, and to live by it.

We call this approach to the Spirit or Inner Light "expectant waiting." We begin this waiting in the Meeting for Worship by stilling our bodies and directing our minds beyond the distraction of the immediate environment. It is not easy to clear our minds of outside concerns. Perhaps a phrase of poetry, a passage from the Bible, or an idea from our reading may serve to focus attention away from crowding thoughts. As we quiet our senses and "center down," we reach a deeper level within ourselves and approach the spiritual center of the Meeting. On this deeper level we may become aware of a clearer relationship to God, a fresh understanding of experience or awareness of our leadings in obedience to God's will.

Since there is no designated minister, we are all charged with the responsibility for participation. All present are potential ministers. Anyone present may feel moved to speak, to share an insight, to pray, to praise.

Before speaking, one should first sense a leading of the Inner Light, then respond with a brief, simple message. When someone speaks, each of us should listen with an open heart. If a particular message does not "speak to your condition" you can still seek the Spirit behind the words and hold the speaker in love. A further period of expectant waiting and contemplation is appropriate between speakers.

Whether one is moved to speak or to worship in silence, what matters is that each of us sensitive to the inner prompting that should be our guide.

A Meeting for Worship is spontaneous and unplanned. Until we have gathered and settled into the silence as a group, none of us can foresee how this common experience may develop.

No one of us knows in advance what needs or creative power may surface. Each Meeting for Worship is a spiritual adventure. We invite you to share with us.

* The children who attend are asked to stay and share in the Meeting for
Worship for the first 10-15 minutes. Then the adults in charge of First Day School will lead them to another room where they will have their religious education. The children come back at the end of the Meeting. The end of the Meeting is signaled by the holding of hands by all present.