Quaker worship

Silence as a Bully Pulpit

Dear Editor: I wanted to thank you for undertaking a group discussion by videoconference. I listened to the entire hour. One type of “bullying” that did not come up is the personal use of the silence as a bully pulpit (I call it “Quaker open Mic”). I have participated in a number of meetings in different parts of the West. A weighty Friend in one meeting produced a sermonette each First Day.

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The Confluence of Body, Mind, and Soul

The coming together (“confluence”) of Friends in silent worship is a rare and precious human experience. Even if other creatures have their equivalent merging with the Divine, Quaker worship is a distinctly human thing to do.

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Mindfulness and Quaker Worship

In meeting for worship, we center down, listen to vocal ministry, discern authentic vocal ministry, and hold people in the Light. The practice of mindfulness helps me with all of these. Also, if it weren’t for my mindfulness practice, I probably would have had to abandon Quakerism decades ago.

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Quaker Culture: Speaking and Silence

[In Quaker worship,] words should not break the silence, but continue it. For the Divine Life who was ministering through the medium of silence is the same Life as is now ministering through words. And when such words are truly spoken “In the Life,” then when such words cease, the uninterrupted silence and worship continue, for silence and words have been of one texture, one piece.

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Passage Out of Chaos

I began attending Quaker Meeting at a time of darkness – it was both Winter Solstice, and I was struggling with life transitions. My husband and I had recently moved to Washington from my hometown in Missouri. Six months prior to our move, my grandfather had passed away. I struggled with my sense of family in the face of loss, and home in the face of moving.

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Ministry

Imagine the Dalai Lama comes to your part of the world and decides to visit your Meeting for Worship. This may be his first visit to an unprogrammed Friend’s meeting. After worship, during fellowship, he approaches you.

The Dali Lama asks: “Tell me about Quakers. What makes you unique?”

You respond: “We believe there is that of God in everyone.”

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