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Sunday Mornings Meeting for Worship

 

 

11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

 

All are welcome to Meeting for Worship

Our Quaker Meeting takes place on the First Day (Sunday) and is based in silence, a silence of waiting and expectancy.

We come to meeting to join in a community of friends without creed or ecclesiastic service. There is no ceremony, no priest. Our church is established in the hearts and minds of all those who come together to wait in silence on our teacher who reveals to us the beauty of a life of peace and love and the sublime comfort in knowing that this wisdom is always there at the moment we open ourself to receive the message.

After we have assembled our meeting begins to center down with a hymn which is followed by a selection of scripture read responsively. After worship with another song the meeting begins to settle into the silence as the children exit to begin first day school.

In the silence, Quakers attempt to open themselves to the wisdom of Jesus and take his teachings into their heart to conquer all the creaturely preoccupations that distract our everyday lives. Our tradition comes from the acknowledgement that there is more to life than the world. Also there is more to life than man's wisdom, and more order available than all the laws and contrivances of our worldly existence.

To quote the late Manasquan Friend and elder Dean Freiday in his book "Nothing Without Christ", "We rejoice that we have been required to lay aside our own wisdom and learning in order to learn from Jesus. Let us sit down at the feet of Jesus in our hearts and hear him that makes all things manifest and reproves by his light".

In the silence we believe you can hear the instructions of our teacher, Jesus Christ. God has given every man the light within. In the everyday din of the world it becomes very hard to hear the teachings of Christ. In the silence, when you find your own mind monopolizing the conversation you can perceive the noise and racket of worldly existence that keeps you from hearing the words of the Teacher. As you become silent, centered, and at peace, only then can Christ come to speak to you that you might hear.

Again we can listen to Dean Freiday," a gathered meeting should move beyond meditation to holy expectancy, a time of passive yet alert receptivity to God's will and change, received through both the indwelling Presence of Christ and His Presence in the midst of the worshipers. At that level of gatheredness, faith prompts the belief that worshipers will be told what they are to do or say, for in Fox's word's: "Christ has come to teach his people himself," without human meditation. In the final analysis, the only stimulus, inspiration,and norm is Christ, who presides and guides and inspires through the Spirit. Those who have come to learn from and follow Him are confident that He will show them the Way Himself, and that what He shows them, and what He bids them to do, will so transform the quality of their lives that they will become New Creatures, citizens of heaven and children of God, sojourning on earth for a time."

The sense of community among a gathered people, at one purpose, is to love one another; in the words of our founder "the power of Christ can come over us all". It is not uncommon in the silence for a member to rise and witness the life we try to lead. This wisdom we believe comes from Christ and "in the light" this wisdom benefits us all as individuals and as a community. Members are regularly struck by how someone's' testimony spoke to their condition as if that person was speaking directly to them.

When someone witnesses in the silence, the silence is not interrupted because we listen in an open-minded, charitable spirit. If what is said, is said in the spirit, then that wisdom flows over us because we know that Christ has risen to teach his children himself. In the silent meeting the humble nature of brotherly love permeates the silence to gather all within. We know that to seek to be open to people in a spirit of love and trust is the direction in which all the world must move. In the silence we become united in love and strengthened by that truth that transcends ordinary experience.

The silence continues while the children return 15 minutes before the rise of meeting. Their return to the silent meeting is our living witness to the hope we all share for a better future. A future where brotherly love and the teachings of Jesus are honored by all people.

The meeting is brought to a close when members shake hands and greet each other. At this time greetings are shared and we welcome you to our meeting. You are invited to share refreshments with us and ask us any questions that you might have.

Peace

 
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