Putney Friends Meeting is a welcoming faith community deeply rooted in the Quaker tradition. As Friends, we believe that everyone has the capacity to both inwardly experience and faithfully respond to God’s love, presence, and guidance. In our experience, there is “that of God in everyone” and we seek to nurture a sense of being joined to this Divine Presence and to one another. As followers of the Spirit, we also encourage each other to foster creative peacemaking in our families and communities–and to work for a more ecologically sustainable, socially just, and spiritually fulfilling society. At the heart of our spiritual community, though, is the regular experience of worshiping together. In our silent, meditative worship, we share the expectation that the Eternal often breaks in and spiritual revelation occurs.
We believe that every person is loved by the Divine Spirit. There are Quakers of all ages, religious backgrounds, races, education, sexual orientations, gender identities, abilities, classes and experience. You are welcome to join us as you are.
What Makes Friends Worship Special?
We gather together each week without priest or pastor in a meditative silence of expectant waiting. The silence of our group worship is not an emptiness crying out to be filled, but a disciplined and contemplative openness to the Spirit of God. All we ask of those who join us for worship is that you listen attentively to the harmony of this silent waiting and to any vocal ministry from attenders moved by the Spirit to speak out of the silence. Receive what is said openly. Each contribution rightly given will help someone. If the ministry does not speak to you, let it wash over you as you remain centered. It is often possible for those present in a Meeting for Worship to become aware of a divine love and spiritual fullness that transcends ordinary existence.
Outwardly all silences seem alike, as all minutes are alike by the clock. But inwardly the Divine Leader of worship directs us through progressive unfoldings of ministration… Words should not break our silence, but continue it. For the Divine Life who was ministering through the medium of silence is the same Life as is now ministering through words. And when such words are truly spoken “in the Life” then when such words cease the uninterrupted silence and worship continue, for silence and words have been of one texture, one piece.
–Thomas Kelly, A Testament of Devotion
After the close of worship, marked by participants acknowledging each other or shaking hands, feel free to introduce yourself–and if you wish to know more about Quaker faith and practice, the Putney Friends Meeting, or the larger Religious Society of Friends, please ask. Someone will be glad to talk with you and we have books and other literature that are available for loan or purchase. This website also includes many online resources for learning more about the Religious Society of Friends on the “to learn more” tab in the sidebar at right.