Worship In The Manner Of Quakers
Meeting for Worship every Sunday 9:30-10:30 at Quaker House, 28 Ames Ave.
Worship room is accessible and all are welcome.
If you have never attended an unprogrammed Friends (Quaker) meeting for worship, your first meeting may surprise you. We hold that anyone may have an unmediated experience of the Divine, if they wait in expectant worship, listening for that “still small voice (1 Kings 19:12). We gather in silence, without minister, program or sermon.
We gather to worship in community believing Christ when he said, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am there among them. (Matthew 18:20).” Out of our waiting worship, some may be called to offer brief vocal ministry or the meeting may rest in silence for the entire period of worship.
Read what others say about Quaker worship at Chautauqua
For years, my two children and I attended Quaker Worship in the Octagon House, a space furnished with old fashioned school desks of the type with an arm/notebook rest that curved around. When that space suffered winter damage, we sat on wicker furniture in the CLSC Alumnae Hall. This wasn’t as cozy, but still a warm place. Finally, we attended meeting at the gracious invitation of the Unitarian Universalist House — meeting in their living room. Guests of the house had to avoid the living room while we worshipped. While Quaker worship is primarily about listening for the “still small voice within” alongside other folks doing the same thing, the space where you do that listening matters. Now, at long last, we have a home — and the physical setting amplifies the spiritual setting of meeting for worship. The space is lovely, intimate and friendly. Over time, worship spaces develop their own sense of place. This one feels like home and I’m grateful that we can practice Quaker hospitality and welcome people week after week to our new home.
For me, Quaker Worship is like an oasis in the busy-ness of life. A time to settle into one’s self and listen inwardly instead of outwardly. A time to feel the spiritual presence that can be elusive in the midst of daily activity. A time to connect to the universal consciousness of all people who are “listening.” A time to sit in openness to the “still, small voice” of God. Quaker Worship at Chautauqua is a special kind of oasis because it occurs within the context of a community of summer Chautauquans who are experiencing, learning, and sharing together through religion, education, the arts and recreation. Centering down within that unique buzz of activity provides a unique spiritual experience. I recommend it!
I have been attending Quaker Meeting for Worship at Chautauqua for a number of years. Each summer, I eagerly look forward to the gathering of local Friends who give leadership, several Friends from around the country, and a few attenders who have never experienced Quaker Worship before. Through the years, we have held Meeting for Worship in various venues, none of which were ideal. This one hour a week was all the contact we had with each other. I am excited that Friends will now have an attractive venue for Worship as well as space for getting together for social interaction, learning together, and experiencing Quaker Faith and Practice. Friends have much to offer the larger Chautauqua community, and I look forward to seeing this long-awaited dream come true.