Lidney Molnari was “church shopping” when he had an experience that spoke to his condition at Live Oak Friends Meeting in Houston, TX.
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- Lidney says that Quakers don’t have a dogma or creed, and that spoke to his condition. What does he mean? Can you relate?
What I like about the unprogrammed style is the power in the silence. I have a hard time sitting still. I have a hard time centering myself. I have a hard time meditating, sometimes a hard time praying.
But the silence, it just allows the Spirit to move within us, and when it does it’s what we call a “gathered meeting,” and it’s very powerful and very enriching and uplifting. It’s that spirit as a kid I remember moving through church, through worship with the music and the instruments, whereas this is moved through with silence. It’s so powerful, man.
How Quaker Meeting Changed My Life
My name is Lidney Molnari. I’m from Live Oak Friends Meeting in Houston, Texas.
Seeking a Community of Worship
Because I was raised Evangelical, right? And of course, like many people, I rebelled against religion in general, and over the years I personally confirmed with myself and my spirit that God does exist. So that was the first hurdle for me to get back into a community of worship.
So I went “church shopping,” right? And visited different religions, different churches, and to use a Quaker term, they didn’t “meet my condition”. So that first experience I had at Quaker meeting “met my condition.” The silence was so moving, so powerful. I knew that was my place of worship. That was my home.
My First Experience at Quaker Meeting
My first experience was at Live Oak Friends Meeting in Houston. I was a bit nervous because I didn’t know what to expect, not knowing for sure how I would handle or how I would experience the silence kinda made me a bit nervous.
But I remember where I sat and I remember looking around, watching people settle into prayer, meditation, and I began to settle in myself. As I did, I experienced the presence of God as I did when I was a child. It was moving. I’m getting chills, sorry.
What I also like about the unprogrammed Friends worship is it’s all-inclusive. We don’t ask what your belief is. We don’t ask if you believe in God. We just ask you to come worship with us. And that really touched me, ‘cause like I said, I rebelled against religion when I was younger.
As a kid, my pastor, my preacher mentioning how other churches weren’t as “Christian” because they didn’t believe the way we believed… And I remember, as a kid, the children’s pastor telling me that these people were going to go to hell because they don’t believe in Jesus and it just didn’t sit well with me, you know? Quakers not having a dogma or a creed spoke to my condition.
How Quaker Meeting Changed My Life
After visiting Live Oak Friends Meeting and seeking a place of worship, my prejudics, my judgement towards religion, religion in general, subsided because I learned to believe, I learned to see that of God in everyone. So how can I say your religion is wrong if I seek that of God in you? How can I judge the way you worship if I see that of God in you?
Finding Quakers, finding a Quaker meeting, changed my life in that I’m more open minded, more accepting, more tolerant, more compassionate.
The views expressed in this video are of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Friends Journal or its collaborators.