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Switch to Forum Live View what to do in Meeting?
7 years ago  ::  Nov 28, 2010 - 12:18PM #1
Posts: 22

I went to a couple of Meetings and was just wondering what do you do in unplanned ones?Do you meditate or pray or just sit quietly wile people stand up and talk?I tried meditating but when people came up to talk I found it hard to keep doing it so I though oh do I start meditating on what they say or go back to my own?Thanks

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7 years ago  ::  Dec 02, 2010 - 2:56PM #2
Posts: 39

Hi again.  This again from a non-Quaker (though I am trying to discern if I may simply accept the label for myself, without a formal procedure to do so). 

The purpose of unprogrammed worship is to simply be in the presence of God.  Be open to His (Her) leadings in your heart.  You can start out with a question or testimony that you would like to have addressed.  And then don't try to do anything.  Simply sit quietly, like you're waiting your turn at the dmv, and you know that your number is almost next, so you don't want to get too into something else that helps pass the time, like reading (although I do see Friends reading during meeting as well).  You are waiting to see what God has to reveal to you.  The idea is that when a fellow Friend rises to speak, she or he was moved to share whatever revelation God put on their heart.  Therefore, you want to try to consider if their words are somehow relevant to your life.  They may not be, but that doesn't mean someone else hasn't gotten something out of it.

One meeting I was at, the first person to share commented on the peace testimony.  Several others then build on that.  I didn't know I needed to hear a message about peace, but it turns out I did.  Through their sharing, I realized that I had always focused on the sort of peace that is the absence of war.  But there is also the inner peace of perfect contentment, not wanting for anything, that in reality would lead to world peace if every individual had inner peace. 

Another person at that same meeting shared something not on the peace topic, but rather more specifically Christian.  He read a verse from the Bible and commented on the mainstream church's liturgical year.  This also had meaning for me, as it made me think of my Catholic roots and the upcoming Advent season.

So the answer to your question, the way I understand it, in a word is: you wait.

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7 years ago  ::  Oct 20, 2011 - 11:20AM #3
Posts: 9,274
I've been to a Quaker church on Sunday a few times.  If ya don't know how to sit and be still for an hour, you are in for it.  To me it was a cross between Eastern meditation and Western Christianity.  I've never been able to meditate just sitting, so that was difficult.  I'm rather a meditating all the time person, thinking, learning from thoughts constantly, all day long.  The Friends are very nice people.  You can pop in on Sunday and pop out if you can't stay the whole service.  You can pop up and say something, or not. It was very free that way.  In fact, that Quaker church called their Sunday service the Pop Corn service.  That was in Davis, California.  I liked the church because it didn't preach, and was in a very unassuming corner cottage that had been turned into a church, white picket fence and border flowers.
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