Strawberry Creek Quaker Meeting

in Berkeley, California

About Quaker Meeting

Quakers believe that there is that of God in everyone. A Quaker Meeting is grounded in silence. It is a silence of expectant waiting, where we open ourselves to the Divine. In the still of the Meeting, we seek to come nearer to each other and to Spirit.

We come to Meeting to worship together. There is no ceremony, no paid minister, and no prearranged service.

You may find it easy to relax into the silence or you may be distracted by the silence or by your own roving thoughts. Do not worry about this, but keep returning to the still spiritual center of your being.

Occasionally, the silence may be broken when someone feels led to speak. No one comes to Meeting prepared to give spoken ministry. Before speaking we ask ourselves whether our message is meant for us alone or whether it is meant for the Meeting. Spoken ministry is offered in a spirit of worship, not of discussion or controversy. It is meant to focus and deepen the silent worship. Each message is surrounded by silence. Anyone is welcome to speak, provided that the message comes from the prompting of the Spirit during the course of the Meeting.

Receive what is said in an accepting, charitable spirit. Even if a contribution does not speak to you, it may help someone else. Try to hear the spirit behind the words.

One of the unique features of a Quaker Meeting is the variety of experience it can embrace. We seek, and often find, peace of mind and a renewed sense of purpose and direction. Some may experience a profound sense of awe, sensing the presence of God. Others may be far less certain and may only sense that the experience of worshiping together points to a greater whole.

Should you wish to know more about Quakers you are welcome to ask the person who closes the Meeting.

Our life is love,
and peace and tenderness;
and bearing one with another,
and forgiving one another,
and not laying accusations one against another,
but praying one for another,
and helping one another up
with a tender hand.

Isaac Pennington, 1667

Worshipers are like the spokes of a wheel.
The nearer they come to the center of all Life the nearer
they are to each other.

Howard Brinton, 1931

Meeting for Worship begins at 10:00 and lasts about an hour. There are usually 60-80 people at Meeting. Many Friends arrive well before 10:00 to help set a spiritual atmosphere. If, due to special circumstances, you arrive after 10:00 please take a seat in the circle of chairs outside and begin gathering in silence. At 10:15 latecomers will join the main Meeting as a group.

At the close of Meeting, we take a moment to share the names, and only the names, of those we wish to have the Meeting hold in the light. We go around the room and say our names. This is followed by brief announcements relevant to the Meeting. Then we rise and share refreshments and fellowship. We invite you to join us.

We have a First Day (Sunday) School with classes for children from pre-school to teens. It meets at the same time as Meeting for worship. Children are also welcome to stay with their parents. On the first Sunday of the month older children come to Meeting for Worship for the first 15 minutes and then go to their classrooms.