The Intimacy of Quaker Worship Spaces

Interview 9 Comments

Sitting in silence with a group of people every week can be an intimate experience. How do Quaker worship spaces encourage that?

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Comments 9

  1. Jules Rensch

    City & State
    Northwood
    It’s taken me a lifetime to finally embrace this intmacy that the Quakers do so well!

  2. Marie Vandenbark

    City & State
    Eau Claire, WI
    So great to hear you speak, Paul. Your integrity shows through in every word!

  3. Joan Kindler

    City & State
    Whitestone New York
    I belong to Flushing Friends Meeting….built in 1694 and has been in continuous use. Its history is part of freedom of religion in America….granted in 1664 by Holland after Flushing’s 1657 Remonstrance. considered to have direct connection to our nation’s Constitution. The Meetinghouse is in no way comparable to Notre Dame….it is a warm and welcoming structure
    like many Meetinghouses. The above is just for information .

    A problem of members giving messages many times it is difficult to hear because the speaker does not talk loud enough. About 10 years ago…we placed a microphone for a speaker to go to
    in the middle of worship room. Obviously that was soon abandoned as a deterrent to the very
    thing we wanted. Is there anyone reading this has a solution for many Meetings where this is a problem g

  4. jules

    City & State
    Northwood
    Thanks Joan..working with the hard of hearing for so many years and now finding it difficult to hear myself….Perhaps a little different seating arangement would prove useful.
    Folks suffering from poor hearing should be alowed to sit closer to the speaker….that might help.
    Also whenever anyone addresses the group and proves to be speaking too softly…merely ask them to speak up in a kind and loving way. They will, in most cases.

  5. Nancy

    City & State
    New Rochelle, NY
    I love our meeting room at Purchase in NY; its big window overlooks our historic cemetery and brings nature into the room. We bought a wireless microphone system, and ask the greeter to be a microphone “runner” if someone stands to speak.

  6. Joelyn Malone

    City & State
    St Paul MN
    Our Meeting (Twin Cities Friends Meeting, St Paul MN) has a microphone setup, and the meeting’s closer for that day announces at the beginning of the meeting that it is available. Anyone wishing to speak is asked to stand, and wait until the closer or some other designated person turns on the microphone and brings it to them. This has worked well for us. Being the designated person to watch for people standing brings a different quality of worship, but valuable in a different way than the usual silent waiting for a message from Spirit.

  7. Anne Wallace-DiGarbo

    City & State
    Lititz
    While I cherish the quietude of Quaker Meeting for Worship, the scale of meeting for worship space varies from little historic meeting houses in PA to 15th St. Meeting house in New York. The sense of waiting worship as discipline resonates with me.

  8. Cathy Webb

    City & State
    La Grande OR
    Didn’t a native American say when observing a Quaker worship service, “I love to hear from where the words come”. The story was he could not understand the English spoken but felt the the place from which they came. If someone made me speak into I microphone I would clam up, certainly would loose the presence that made me rise to speak.

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