Our open house will consist of a number of talks and discussions on Quakerism, as well as a brief taste of traditional silent worship. You are welcome to come for all or any part of the schedule below:
The Public Meeting will be a silent (unprogrammed) Quaker Meeting for Worship. We will wait in the silence for the presence of the Holy Spirit. There will be no sermon, but there may be Ministry. This Ministry occurs when someone, receiving a message from the Holy Spirit, stands and speaks the message out loud. It is spontaneous, not planned in advance.
This Public Meeting differs slightly from most Meetings for Worship in that we have invited a number of individuals who are known as Recorded Ministers. These are not Ministers as one might find in other denominations. Rather, they are Quakers who have been recognized by their community as having a Gift of Ministry. That is, they are known for effectively receiving and speaking messages in a Meeting for Worship. They may sit on the “facing benches” but this is not a reflection of greater importance. It simply addresses a practical matter of allowing their messages to be better heard.
There is no guarantee that any of the Ministers will speak. In fact, the Holy Spirit can anoint anyone. All participants in a Meeting for Worship, whether longtime Quakers or first-time-attenders, must listen closely for the Still Small Voice. Anyone hearing this voice has a responsibility to stand and speak the words they have been given.
Doug Gwyn grew up in the pastoral stream of Friends in Indiana. After experiencing a call to ministry in 1968, he attended Union Theological Seminary in New York City, where he began to know unprogrammed Friends better. His training in biblical studies has informed his research and writing on early Friends and on current issues among Friends today. Doug has coined the term “bispiritual” to describe Friends like himself who are engaged and nurtured by both pastoral and unprogrammed Friends, in different ways. After serving as a Friends pastor in Maine, Doug is currently a Friend in Residence at Pendle Hill..
(Thanks to New England Yearly Meeting for this short bio.)