Westerly Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends
57 Elm Street, Westerly, RI 02891-2136
(401) 474-9635

Worship with us:

Our worship service is an hour of shared silence, each of us responsible for our own spiritual journey.  Quakers have no written creed, but central to our faith is an understanding that the Light of God is in everyone, and thus, that God is available to us all.  From this central idea the testimonies of Friends flow: Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality and Service to others.

Quakerism is deeply rooted in the Christian Reformation, but the expression of Quaker faith today is broad and diverse.  The continuum of that faith has evangelical Friends on one end and universalist Friends on the other.  It is a subtle difference, but Friends tend to speak of themselves as followers of the teachings of Jesus, rather than as worshippers of Jesus.  Noting how much evil has been done in the name of Christ, some Friends are reluctant to use the word Christian to describe their faith.  However, the founder of Quakerism, George Fox, considered the Friends faith to be “Primitive Christianity Revived,” an understanding of Christ’s ministry as rooted in the commandments to love God, and to show our love for God by loving those around us.

Our Monthly Meeting would be close to the middle of that continuum; it was historically home to the Wilburite Yearly Meeting in New England. For more on that, turn to the HISTORY page.

Our QUERIES AND ADVICES can be an excellent mirror of Friends thought, concerns and religious expression. Turn to WHAT TO EXPECT to get some insight into our worship service.

What to expect:

Join us on a Sunday morning and you will share an hour of deeply spiritual silent worship with ten to thirty adults, each one following a discipline that will lead to individual inspiration. Occasionally, someone may rise and share with the group the ministry which has come to them. These spoken words (usually quite brief, but sometimes up to five minutes or so) may inspire another to speak on a similar theme; or not. Nevertheless, our practice calls for a period of silence between each speaker, and what is said is never conversational or argumentative which is not to say that it might not be challenging.

The hour closes with the Clerk or a member of the Ministry and Counsel Committee shaking the hand of a person close by, and we all share similar greetings. The Clerk will then ask for reflections on our worship or afterthoughts that Friends might wish to share perhaps a response to some ministry during worship that didn’t rise to the level of inspiration; perhaps a request for prayer or to share a concern, or a request for an individual to be held in the Light. After a few announcements we then gather downstairs for refreshments and conversation. On the fourth Sunday of each month we hold a pot-luck lunch to which all are invited.

But what do people do during that hour one might ask. That varies; many will review their week comparing their lives to the challenge of Jesus and the examples of other Friends. Others will meditate on something that was read earlier, or a bible verse, or a favorite hymn. Others may be drawn to an examination of the troubles within the world seeking inspiration for solutions. Another may follow a pattern of breathing exercises.  All of these practices are focused on gaining a greater understanding of one’s role in sharing God’s love in a complex world.

Children will be involved in their own program called FIRST DAY SCHOOL, and join the adults for the last five or ten minutes of our unprogrammed worship. During the school year, First Day School is held on the first and third Sundays of the month. Unprogrammed child care is available on other Sundays. (You may want to call to check ahead if you plan on bringing your younger family with you.)

© 2013 Westerly Friends
Web Design & Web Hosting by WhoIsTheOldGuy.com