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What to expect from Quaker worship
In the Religious Society of Friends we worship together in expectant silence and through spoken words. There is no human leader and no prearranged program. Each person who enters the Meeting helps to determine the depth of our worship as a group.
The silent hour is a time of seeking awareness of the Divine — dropping our usual patterns of thought, analysis and worry. We wait patiently for a kind of consciousness which Quakers have traditionally called the Light.
The Light may come as a new insight with regard to oneself, a deep sorrow for mistakes and wrong attitudes, an embrace of life and its joys, a new courage to face life, or power to obey the Light. This is the ministry of silence, of opening ourselves to feel the presence of the Divine Spirit with us and within all of us.
The Light may also lead one to feel he or she has an insight to share with the Meeting. This is vocal ministry, and is offered in the sense and hope that the worship of others may be deepened by this ministry. After such a message, the group should have ample time to truly listen and sink back into silent waiting before the silence is broken again, if at all, during the rest of the Meeting.
There is the ministry of listening, of listening behind the words that are spoken, of holding up those words to the Light, to hear that of God in the speaker.
Because we value the experience of worship so greatly, we want to share it with the children of the Meeting, who join us in the first ten minutes of worship.
At the end of the worship hour, someone will close Meeting with a handshake followed by introductions of newcomers
Programs for children and youth
Infants and Preschoolers
Child care for infants, toddlers and preschool children is available during Meeting for Worship at 11:00. It is located downstairs in spacious, well-equipped nursery school rooms. The infant/toddler and preschool programs at UFM seek to strengthen the same foundations of spiritual growth that Quaker parents strive to nurture within their families. Our fundamental goal is to acknowledge and treasure that of God within each person, often referred to by Quakers as the Inner Light. Believing that Quakerism is caught, not taught, child care providers and preschool teachers consistently practice principles of simplicity, honesty, nonviolence and creative response to conflict, service,love, self-respect, respect for others, and respect for the natural world.
Elementary School Age Children
Care for elementary school children is available during Meeting for Worship at 11:00 with a First Day School teacher where they participate in a wide variety of activities. Activities focus on Quaker tenets (such as simplicity, community, tolerance, ecological awareness, social justice), Quaker spirituality (including the richness of inner silence and the Inner Light), Quaker practices (Meeting for Worship), Quaker foundations (Christianity and the Bible), and Quaker history. Activities include creative arts, crafts, interactive stories, cooperative games, participatory music, gardening and walking trips to nearby sites.
Middle and High School Students
A schedule of activities planned by teens and their advisors is available for middle and high school students. Most programs begin around 11:15 AM when students leave Meeting for Worship with their advisor, but some programs begin before Meeting for Worship and/or extend beyond 12 noon. Other programs may involve traveling to visit a different religious service, work at a community service venue, attend a social action demonstration/event, participate in an arts activity, or go on a fun outing. Transportation for events away from UFM is walking, by bus, or in cars driven by adults.
Our main floor is wheel chair accessible, we have a hearing loop in the worship room for the hearing impaired, and we also provide electronic versions of our publications in email for the visually impaired. The main floor has two gender-neutral single stall bathrooms, one of which is wheel-chair accessible.
A Cabinet of SPICES
Our testimonies are the way we live what we believe. Quakers believe that God wants us to live as good people. Quakers try to do this in many ways, but the six most important ones are described by some people as the SPICES. After each testimony are queries which are questions that we use to help us think about how we can improve.
Quakers believe that if we are always trying to get better things, we can forget to be good people. Sometimes keeping a lot of fancy things, clothes, and toys can get in the way of doing our work. Sometimes we can begin to think our things are more important than people.
Is our stuff more important than our friends and family?
Do we do things just because they look cool?
What are fun things to do that don’t cost anything at all?
Quakers believe that war and violence do not solve disagreements between anybody. These things only make people suffer. Quakers try to settle all their arguments with out using weapons or words to hurt others. Quakers believe that world peace begins with each of us.
Do we listen to all sides when there is a disagreement?
What should we do when we are mad at someone?
What can we do to make our world more peaceful?
Integrity means being truthful and trying always to do a good job. It means saying what we mean and meaning what we say. Quakers believe that God wants us to be honorable in all that we do and say.
Do we always try to be honest in every situation?
Do we try to give our best effort on everything we do?
Do we do just enough or as much as we can to do a good job?
Quakers believe that it is very important to be a good neighbor. This means being helpful to people around us. This could be the people we live with or near, our schoolmates and teachers, and people at our Meetings or churches. It could be doing chores or it could just mean visiting someone who is lonely. Having fun together is a great way to build community too!
What can we do to be good neighbors?
How can we be helpful and take good care of each other?
What can we do to have fun and get to know each other better?
Quakers believe there is that of God in everyone. Everyone is created equal. This means everyone has the same human rights and should be treated fairly. It also means we should treat people the way we want to be treated.
What can we do to be fair to other kids we meet?
What can we do when we see people being treated unkindly?
Do we try to share the things we have?
To live with simplicity and integrity, we need to do a good job taking care of the things we own and use. This means taking good care of the earth. Quakers believe in trying to leave the world a better place after we have been here.
Do we help with cleaning chores at home and at school?
Do we take good care of our own clothes and toys?
What can we do to avoid being wasteful?
What questions can you think of?
Other local Quaker meetings
Using Quaker Finder
Friends General Conference Quaker Finder has an easy to use map and list of local Quaker meetings and worship groups.
Worship Groups under the care of University Meeting
Marysville Friends Worship Group — Marysville is about 25 miles north of Seattle. Contact information: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 425-403-1798.
Lavender and Gray – contact meeting office for information.
Meeting for Healing – contact meeting office for information.
Other Worship Groups in the Seattle area
Buckley Worship Group (South King County)
Vashon Friends Worship Group
San Juan Society of Friends Meeting
Nearby Monthly Meetings
South Seattle Friends Meeting
Salmon Bay Friends Meeting
Eastside Friends Meeting
Tacoma Friends Meeting
Olympia Friends Meeting
Agate Passage Friends Meting
Port Townsend Friends Meeting
Whidbey Island Friends Meeting
Lopez Island Friends Meeting
Bellingham Friends Meeting