We, at Downingtown Friends Meeting,
welcome you to worship with us each First-Day (Sunday) from 10:30 A.M.
to 11:30 A.M. On most First-Days, we gather for Opening Exercises, an
organized session of presentations, singing, and announcements at
10:00 A.M. in our Schoolhouse, next to our Meeting House.
Members of the Religious Society of Friends, or “Friends,” as we
call ourselves, believe in direct communion with God, continuing
revelation and that the Light of God is in everyone. Firmly rooted
in the Christian tradition, we eagerly welcome believers of all
faiths as fellow members of God's universal community.
We, at Downingtown Friends, follow the "unprogrammed"
style of worship, which simply means that we don’t have a pastor to
lead our services. As an attender, you should enter our Meeting House–the
stone building on the right as you enter our property–quietly and
take any seat. Some Friends often arrive early to sit in silence and
quiet their thoughts–called "centering down"–before the
start of Meeting for Worship. Most sit on the benches facing the front
of the Meeting Room.
In our worship we try to keep an expectant attitude, waiting for
the "still small voice" of God. Occasionally someone in
Meeting will feel the prompting of the Holy Spirit to give a vocal
message. Friends are urged to wait until they are sure that the
prompting is genuine and then speak loudly enough that all can hear.
Since we believe that "that of God" is within every person,
we listen carefully to each message, seeking together for the truth.
Sometimes the reason for a message may be unclear, even to the
speaker, but we often find out later that it "speaks to the
condition" of another listener. We prefer speakers be brief–not
continuing beyond what they feel they’re required to say–and that
ordinarily they speak no more than once. Also, we prefer a
respectful period of silence follow each message. Occasionally, we
spend an entire Meeting for Worship in silent prayer or meditation.
Many of us feel that meeting in the silence enriches us or that a
spoken message has had a meaning for us. These messages aren’t
planned but come from a the true spirit of God and the Light within
We invite you to bring your children to Meeting. While you attend
Meeting for Worship in our Meeting House, your children are welcome to
join in our First-Day School activities, though children sometimes
choose to remain with their parents for the whole hour. They’ll join
you again in the Meeting House at approximately 11:15 A.M. to spend
the remaining time in Meeting for Worship, so they can learn how to
center themselves and pray silently.
To signal the end of Meeting for Worship, a self-appointed member
shakes the hand of the person sitting next to them. Everyone in
Meeting follows by shaking hands and share greetings with those around
them. We then ask newcomers to introduce themselves.
Occasionally, we hold an optional activity at the rise or end of
Meeting for Worship which usually begins around Noon. These may
include brown-bag discussions, an invited speaker, or a coffee social
on the first Sunday of the month. You’re more than welcome to
If you’d like to learn more about the history of our Meeting,
please visit our History Page. To
find out about the Religious Society of Friends, visit The
Quaker Way section of this Web site.
Got a question? Send
us an E-mail.
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