How Quakers worship?
Our meetings strive to be loving, nurturing communities. We celebrate diversity and encourage each person to find his or her true voice grounded in experience. We listen deeply to the Spirit and to each other as we seek to discern and embrace God’s will for us individually and as a community.
As in other unprogrammed Meetings, the Lower Columbia Worship Group gathers for worship in silence. When you join us, you will find people sitting quietly in a circle. Occasionally someone may speak briefly (offers vocal ministry), after which the Meeting settles back into silence. No designated minister speaks or prays at an appointed time.
At the rise of the Meeting (after the shaking of hands) there will be an invitation to share personal thoughts that may have arisen during the silence of worship, but did not present as vocal ministry. We will continue with any announcements and community sharing that is currently being attended to.
What to Expect from Quaker Worship
What do Quakers believe?
There is no set creed or belief for the Religious Society of Friends. Each worshipper is responsible for his or her relationship with God or the Divine or Spirit or Love, and the experience of each will be different. The only near-universal belief is that there is an Inward Light, a spark of the Divine, that of God in every person. Friends do publish Queries, which are not statements of belief, but rather are designed to strengthen our spiritual awareness through questioning. The intent is to bring up important areas of life for examination in the Light.
Silent Worship and Quaker Values
How is the Religious Society of Friends organized?
The Lower Columbia Worship Group is under the care of the Multnomah Monthly Meeting in Portland. We participate in Willamette Quarterly Meeting (Oregon) (WQM) and North Pacific Yearly Meeting (NPYM), the latter comprising Friends Meetings in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana. NPYM is one of several dozen Yearly Meetings which geographically organize Friends throughout the world. By meeting regularly with Friends from other Meetings throughout WQM and NPYM, or beyond, the Lower Columbia Worship Group Friends seek to remain in close touch with leadings of Friends elsewhere, and to test our own leadings against a wider group of Friends.
Our religious education program for adults currently takes place at the rise of Meeting (after Meeting) on the second First Day (Sunday) of each month. We have an interactive, encompassing wide range of discussions on spiritual and social topics.
As of yet, we do not have children attending our Worship Group. When we do have Children attending, we will provide an educational program for them.