Put God at 
the center of your life.

 

 An Introduction to Downingtown Friends
 

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 us.

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 participate.

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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