Purpose of Worship

What is the “point” of Meeting for Worship for you? Why do you think we worship together as a community?


Collected From an Open Online Survey
6/22/09 – 6/27/09


Many points. Someone told me just last night of the ways the worship was just what heneeded last Firstday. So one is healing. One is being community by doing community, by theshared experience. One is hearing truth, one is transformation. Loving one another

-Lu from Rochester, NYYM


“It’s always been that one time a week I could be sure that I would be reminded to tune in to God’s influence.Doing it with others increases the amount of easily-available energy for aligning oneself.Some people seem to diminish that amount; I’m not sure why they are there (They don’t seem to get much out of it) but we’re a small group, & these are the people we’ve been sent.”

-Forrest Curo, San Diego Meeting


The point is to hear God.  To really participate I must be open to hearing God as anindividual, but I must also be open to hearing God through the spoken or silent ministry ofothers in the room. I think we worship together as a community because part of what Godwants to do for us and with us is to make us into a community that embodies his love and models his love for humanity. Such a community is in a real sense Christ’s “body”. The pointof vocal ministry is to “edify” (i.e. “build up”) the body

-Anonymous, 15th Street Meeting, New York Yearly Meeting


The point is–I know this isn’t very Quakerly–but it’s ritual. It’s a way to mark the week,check-in with God in a place that is community-supported. The point is to gather with otherseekers and believers to share, learn and teach. It’s a way to “reset” the week, start fresh.It’s a way to check in at regular intervals with my spiritual family. “There is a deep, full,restful, alive silence. Given ministry is rich and *heard.

-Betsy Blake, First Friends Meeting, Greensboro, NC (NCYM-FUM)


I go to Meeting to listen together with my community to the Living God, Truth amongst us.

Christ has come to teach his people himself. I am here to listen and to obey. I am a busy mum with a baby and I don’t get to do the kind of worship I used to do at home, so we are really much more dependent on our Meeting for help to listen to God together.

I understand we are meant to fill our hearts with God and wait in God’s love to be instructed,in the endeavor of following Christ Jesus and witnessing to how the Kingdom is always just starting to break out amongst us. Meeting for worship with a concern for business is exactly the same just often with a pre-agreed agenda instead and a clerk to record.

We worship together because we need each other to help each other live a life of service to each other and the world in God’s grace.

We need to be reminded of our purpose; we need to recognise each other’s gifts and support each other in their proper exercise for the glory of God, the giver of gifts.

-Alice Yaxley, Britain Yearly Meeting


I guess the “point,” if there is one for me, is to take that time out of an otherwise hectic life.There is so much time that I feel like I spend on autopilot–doing the laundry, working forpay, picking up the toys, that it is necessary for me to have a set time out for stopping all that. As much as I’ve tried to set myself up with a worship time at home, it rarely works forme–I need that other place to go to, and the other people to hold me accountable, or I findtoo many justifications for not doing it. Worshiping together allows us to give and take from each other, to feel like we are not alone in the world.

-Mia Kissil Hewitt, Chatham-Summit (NYYM)


The reason that we come together to worship is that we might be drawn together as one Body in the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Meeting for worship is our spiritual communion, and thepresence of the Holy Spirit in our midst is our spiritual baptism. We gather together in thename of Jesus and are baptized into that name. We are comforted by the Spirit’s presence,and we are called to service so that Christ’s love might be known by all.

Meeting for worship, when practiced in Spirit and in Truth, is the act of uniting the Body in one Spirit. It is an act of spiritual union, being brought together under one Head, JesusChrist. In submission to Christ, we become one Body; we become Jesus’ friends, because wedo what He commands us. We are given unity of spirit and unity of purpose. And we areloved.

-Micah Bales; Great Plains Yearly Meeting


The point for me is to join with others in worshipful expectation, knowing that through the gathered meeting all of our pieces of the divine image will speak more clearly than one piece alone.

-Gil George River’s Way Community, NWYM


It is easier to focus when I am in meeting than it is alone. “One memorable gatheredmeeting occurred when I was having a dialog with a group of students and one started byreading from Martin Luther King. I deep silence ensued.

-Ruth Hyde, Rochester


Joining together in community makes it much easier to listen to God. The presence of otherworshipers helps me to be drawn into the silence. I do find that the power to draw me intothe silence depends on how centered the other worshipers are.

-Anonymous, NCYM-C


Meeting for Worship is to renew and recommit to the Inner Light and the life we have chosen.It is a time to review one’s concerns, lift up one’s joys, and griefs and offer them up to the One who comforts and embraces. Worship in community keeps me honest. The weight of other friends who are also drawing close to the Divine is a continual support and reminder of what we are all working at.

-Sue Tannehill Buffalo, NY


For me, the point of Meeting for Worship is communion with God. This is facilitated by thepresence of others who are in this same field (not with the same words, but headed in thesame inward/Godward direction). We worship together because we are all needed in thisprocess   of   helping   each   other   approach   God.  This   approaching   necessitates   humility,grounding, openness, inspiration, guidance. No one person can provide all of this. The moregifts that are Rightly shared in the process of worship (on Sunday at 10 and during the rest ofour collective lives), the more likely we are to receive the most True message of Love.Love/God is so vast and gets interpreted in so many ways, so multi-faceted and multi-functional, that we must sink to the deepest places we can as a group to best receive/absorb what is ours to receive.

-Gordon Bishop Grass Valley Friends Meeting – PacYM


I want to be with people who are as hungry as I am for companionship in the Sacred Center,struggling as I am with being open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, joyful at being joined together into a common body.Sometimes this actually happens.

-Anonymous, Strawberry Creek Meeting, Pacific Yearly Meeting