Competition has a bleak reputation among Friends. It brings out extremes in people, and Friends are inclined toward moderation. For some competitors, the demands of adversity arouse a vile nature in them, and Friends would rather ignore our shadow sides. However, for most of us, particularly most children and youth, our most extreme selves also express the best in us.
Brevity is an under-appreciated virtue. If you speak [during Quaker worship], do not feel compelled to explore all the implications of your insight. Rather, leave room for the Spirit to work through the next person, building on your words and possibly extending them in an unexpected direction.
- Baltimore Yearly Meeting (2007)
The purpose of meeting on Sunday morning is corporate worship. Worship transcends meditation, yet meditation can be excellent preparation for worship. Meditation is inwardly focused, as one plumbs oneself and frees oneself from worldly thoughts. Worship seeks a shared communication with God, through prayer, praise, thanksgiving, petition, humble penitence, or opening to God’s leadings.
Perhaps because unprogrammed Friends have neither ministers nor formal worship services, people who are new to the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) sometimes have the impression that our worship has no structure at all. This impression is incorrect. We Friends see ourselves as led by the Spirit, and we have quite a few customs, rules, and procedures that are important to us because they