Our Meeting

 
Meeting House in Summer
 


Our Meeting is a small Friends (Quaker) faith community who gather for weekly worship to share fellowship and care for one another as we seek to live in the world with God’s guidance. We are a dynamic group of people from all walks of life who come together without the assistance of clergy or paid church staff to worship.

The work to support and care for our community is shared among its members and attenders. Each week we gather in silent expectant worship in the same manner as Friends who have worshiped here in our Meeting House for over 300 years. We welcome you to come and experience our way of faith and practice. Our Meetings for Worship are open to all.

If you are new to Quaker silent worship click here to learn more. Explore our web site to learn more about our Friends Meeting here in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania. To contact us, click this contact link.
 
Here are some definitions to help with understanding of words we use on this web site to describe our community.

Friend = Quaker

The official name of our faith community is the Religious Society of Friends. Here in the USA and around the world we are known by this name and by modern Friend's acceptance of the name Quaker.

The name Quaker was first used in 1647 to describe women from Southwark England who were not associated with Friends. It had become a derogatory description of these woman and others in the religious explosion of the 1600's, referencing those who "swell, shiver and shake" when having a personal spiritual experience.

George Fox records in his journal (1650) that Judge Bennett used the period epithet "Quaker" to describe Fox and his followers in response to Fox bidding him "to tremble at the name of the Lord."  Later, Robert Barclay records that the name came from the trembling of Friends under the powerful working of the Holy Ghost. (Braithwait's Beginnings of Quakerism to 1660).

The word Friend is one of the original terms (1654) that early Quakers began using to greet each other and describe themselves to the world. Other forms of self description were; Children of the light, Publishers of the Truth, Friends in the Truth (John 1:9) or simply Friends.

The scripture context of John 15:15 says: “ I have called you Friends ...” in defining the familiarity and intimacy of Jesus’s love for the people of his life (eternal) who are striving to live into his teachings. This word is appropriate for describing the relationship that draws Quakers into right relationship to one another and direct relationship with God which is at the foundation of Quaker worship.

"The uniting of wills in the discipline of worship engenders true friendship in the eternal" (Douglas Gwyn; Quaker Meditations on the Gospel of John).

Meeting

The word Meeting has several meanings in Quaker speak. Depending on context, the term Meeting may be referring to:

  • "Coming together" -- to worship or do business (Meeting for Worship, Meeting for Business).
  • A Friends (Quaker) faith community.
There are three groups of Quaker Meetings:
  1. Monthly Meeting -- a gathering of Friends who meet regularly (usually weekly) for worship and once a month to  attend to the business of the faith community. This use of the world Meeting is similar to the way that other faith communities call their gatherings churches, synagogues or mosques.
  2. Quarterly Meeting -- a group of more than one meeting in a geographical area (usually 3 to 15). This grouping of Monthly Meetings come together four times a year to worship, socialize and do the business of the Quarterly Meeting.
  3. Yearly Meeting -- A larger collection of Quarterly Meetings that may include Meetings from multiple States that meet one or more times a year to worship, socialize and do the business of the Yearly Meeting. 

 

First Day = Sunday

Early Friends used the number of the day of the week or month instead of the names of Greek Gods. The First Day of the week is Sunday.

Bonnie Miller, 6/25/2020