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Quaker Culture: Speaking in Meeting Friends worship in silence; it is not necessary to speak in Meeting for Worship. If we are led to speak, it is our custom not to speak more than once during an hour-long Meeting. Business Meeting is also a form of Meeting for Worship. If you have already spoken to a particular item of business, please give those who have not done so a chance to speak. When considering whether to speak a second time during a Meeting for Business, please do not repeat yourself: it is appropriate to rise and speak again only if you have something new to add.  

On Consumption (May 2013)

A Flawed Process Dear Friends: I believe that the decision to hold PYM at Mount Madonna this year was not made in good order. That haste has been rewarded with a larger price.

On Consumption (May 2013)

Quaker Culture: Plain Speech At the time when Quakerism began in the seventeenth century, the expression “plain speech” had a particular meaning for Friends. The plural form of the second person in English (you) was used to address someone of distinction or higher social status. The singular form (thee) was used to address one’s peers. George Fox and his Quaker followers chose to use the singular form to address everyone, reflecting a firm belief that all are equal in the eyes of God. The grammatical distinction has long since fallen into disuse, even among Quakers who continued the practice well into the twentieth century. The underlying belief, however, remains intact.  

On Superiority (July 2013)

Stages of Worship Dear Friends: What are the stages of silent worship which lead to the unity of a Collected or Gathered Meeting? The first stage is Settling into Worship, though not so comfortably that one has a hard time keeping awake. Focus on what is going on within, rather than distractions. This is known as Centering and includes awareness of similarly minded worshippers.

On Patriotism (January 2014)

Quaker Culture: Punctuality If we were coming together to worship individually, each to enter into his or her own private meditation, then it wouldn’t much matter whether all arrived at the appointed time. In private meditation, the worshippers could each “settle” separately, training themselves not to be disturbed by latecomers. But . . . our goal is to achieve a group mystical experience, deepening and enriching our individual experience; we need to start the process at the same time.  ~~~

On Time (March 2014)