who attends Downingtown Friends Meeting came to both our Meeting and
Quakerism for different reasons. And while we may all be striving
towards the same goal, how and why we arrived here are as different
among us as there are people at our Meeting. Below is just a sampling
of thoughts from our Meeting's members and attenders:
Light of God
Most of what I had learned about Quakerism I felt at home with... the
Peace Testimony, the belief in that of God in everyone (whatever form
that might take), and subsequently the honoring of whatever form the
ministry might take coming through the individual, the sitting in
silence, the value placed on simplicity and integrity. And as far as
Downingtown Friends meeting specifically, the people are just so
wonderful. The spirit and the vitality of this group makes me feel
right at home, as well as the fact that Quakers, at least this group,
can laugh at themselves.
It was 1980, and I was working at the corporate office in downtown
Philadelphia. Around the corner was a Quaker Meeting. There were two
posters on the gate. One talked about the Quaker Peace Testimony which
immediately attracted my attention. The
second said “Monthly Meeting, Sundays 10:15." It just didn't
say which Sunday. Ten years went by when I discovered Faith
& Practice while packing up to move. Inside,
there was a note for me: "You are a Quaker, and you didn't know
I moved to Philadelphia in 1975 to attend the University of
Pennsylvania. I became intrigued by the Quaker history and presence in
Philadelphia. I took a closer look at Friends Meetings when we were
considering where our children should attend school. Like many other
parents, the exposure to Quaker thought via a Friends school made me
want to be more involved.
My reason for coming to Quaker Meeting was for the silence. Our last
church had a formal service that felt like calisthenics–stand
up, sit down, pray but get ready to sing in a few seconds, and get
preached at. There was too much noise and never time to find your
spiritual center. We stuck at Downingtown Meeting because of the
really great people that make it what it is. We really like it here.
I was raised Catholic but couldn't stay in the Church anymore.
I objected to the Catholic Church's position on women priests,
divorce, abortion, and sexuality. I determined that when I had
children, I must find a faith tradition that I could actually share
with some enthusiasm. I visited many different churches. I tried both
Episcopalian and Unitarian for quite some time. I never knew any
Quakers until I moved to Pennsylvania. I ended up at Downingtown
Friends by the quirk of our buying our house in Downingtown, itself. I
really loved the feel of this Meeting from the first time I visited,
and high on my list was the obvious presence of children.
I felt it was a good place to bring my own kids.
I am glad to have found a home among Friends. It is a whole new
spiritual journey for me, and it feels right on so many levels. I am
inspired and grateful to be a part of Downingtown Meeting whenever I
can. The simple directness of appreciating where each member is and
growing together in that spirit fills me with joy.
been interested in Quaker beliefs, and particularly the focus on
inclusion, equality, simplicity, and peace, for years and occasionally
attended Meeting for Worship at different places in the Philadelphia
area. I loved the silent worship and the sharing by members. After
moving to Downingtown, my husband and I wanted to join a church or
group to help us continue to grow spiritually. We tried a few
different places, but nothing felt right. I called Downingtown Meeting
on a Thursday morning to see if children were welcome since our girls
were only two and four at the time. A member answered my questions and
encouraged us to come that Sunday. We did, and we've been coming for
over two years.
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