Visiting Churches

Quakers: Unplanned and Spontaneous, Church #70

A few years ago, I stumbled upon a group of Young Quakers online. Their faith, their passion for community, and their desire to make a difference in their world drew me in.

They even invited me to their annual gathering, halfway across the country.

Though I had never met one of them in person, for a time I considered going. That’s how desperate I was to be part of a vibrant faith community—even for a weekend.

They were all about half my age, which may explain their zest and their appeal to me. After serious consideration, however, I opted not to go.

Local Opportunities

Being ever practical, I looked for a gathering closer to home. Some of their group met on the other side of the state, but that was still too far away.

Casting a wider net for Quakers in general, I found a gathering some forty minutes from my house. They don’t meet every week, but instead get together the first, third, and fifth Sundays of each month.

According to their website, their meetings are unplanned and spontaneous. They use different wording, but my take is they spend a lot of time listening to the Holy Spirit, responding as appropriate.

Sometimes this means sharing insights and other times it entails keeping it to themselves. With no minister, everyone can participate in an egalitarian manner.

This is quite different from my normal Sunday practices, yet I have often experienced this, albeit without my bride, in other settings. There we would quiet ourselves and wait for the Holy Spirit to speak to us.

If his words were for the group, we would share them. Otherwise, we would keep his insight to ourselves. I wrote what I heard in my journal.

I know Candy would go to this church without complaint, but I also worry that their format would make her uncomfortable. I never resolved this dilemma, so the Quakers also kept moving down the list as we visited other churches. 

Range of Quaker Practices

Of note: In my online research about Quakers, I gather there is a wide range of Quaker practices. On one side are those gatherings that focus on the leading of the Holy Spirit, as this church seems to follow.

In contrast, other Quaker meetings are quite different.

[See the discussion questions for Church 70, read about Church 69, or start at the beginning of our journey.]

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Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

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