Sunday, February 4, 2024
#35 / Where Two Or Three Gather
Quaker Meetings don't operate on the basis of any predefined "liturgy." No specific words are spoken. No "order of worship" guides those who have gathered together. Literally, the Quakers just "meet."
The content of such a Quaker meeting is determined by what happens in the meeting itself. Quakers wait in silence until someone in attendance is moved by the spirit to say something. There are no routines. There is no designated person who "leads" or "guides" the group, or who organizes what happens.
Quakers just "meet."
I have always liked to think about Quaker Meeting in light of Matthew 18:20. That is the verse in The New Testament that quotes Jesus to the effect that, "where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them." There are some who really dislike the idea that this verse seems to say that Jesus actually shows up when a couple of people get together in his name. Quakers, however, do not, in fact, rely upon or make any reference to that verse in the Bible, or to any other Bible verse, when they think about, or talk about, what goes on in a Quaker Meeting.
Quakers just "meet."
The fact that Quakers still do meet, after something like 371 years, is based on experience. Quakers believe (based on their actual, lived experience, and not on any Biblical or other theological authority) that the creative spirit that has constituted and continues to inhabit and inspire the world, will speak through those who wait, in patience and faith, to be instructed and educated by what that spirit will say - and what that spirit will tell them that they should do.
Anyone interested in learning more about the Quakers can read an online Book Of Faith And Practice prepared by the Pacific Yearly Meeting. And, anyone interested is also invited to attend.
Quakers do just "meet."
If you would like to meet with the Quakers, and attend a Quaker Meeting - giving yourself an opportunity to experience, yourself, what happens when Quakers meet - please know that you will be welcomed. If you happen to live in Santa Cruz County, or nearby, the Santa Cruz Friends Meeting meets on every First Day (on Sundays, that is), at 10:30 a.m. in the Quaker Meetinghouse (pictured above) located right adjacent to Highway One (near the Morrissey Avenue entrance to the city) at 225 Rooney Street.