Dear Friends: On November 11, 2018, San Francisco Friends came to unity on holding a public meeting for worship every Wednesday at 5 PM at UN Plaza. Worship takes place across from the new “mobile command” police station. Worship lasts for 30 minutes and anyone moved by the Spirit is welcome to speak a Word, the same as our Sunday meeting for worship.
Many Quaker meetings prepare cards or brochures to introduce newcomers to Quaker worship and the meeting. One of my favorites is a tri-fold brochure from Strawberry Creek Meeting in Berkeley, California, which describes meeting for worship in straightforward terms:
When the English composer Solomon Eccles became a Quaker around 1665, he sold or gave away all his musical instruments and all his printed music. Then, fearful that by doing so he had led the recipients morally astray, he bought everything back, carried it to the top of London’s Temple Hill, stomped it to pieces, and set it all on fire.
The pioneering quality of Quaker social work is largely due to the character of the meeting for worship. Silent waiting worship permits a fresh and direct facing of facts under conditions in which the conscience becomes sensitized. There is no screen of words and abstract concepts between the soul and reality. . .
There are these two young fish swimming along, and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, “Morning, boys, how’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes, “What the hell is water?” – David Foster Wallace, This is Water (2009)
Dear Editor: When I was a kid, I thought elections were exciting! All the speeches, the ads, the canvas voting booths going up all along the school hallways. Lately, I have come to hate election season. I find that the yelling, name-calling, anger, and general distrust of one another is distressing to me. And yes, it affects our Quaker meetings as well.