Strawberry Creek Quaker Meeting

in Berkeley, California

Our Meeting Community

Community is one of the most important values for Quakers in general, and Strawberry Creek Meeting in particular. Pacific Yearly Meeting’s Faith and Practice notes that:

The Religious Society of Friends arose as a community of the Spirit, centered in regular, shared worship. Ostracized and attacked by mainstream English society, Quakers developed a loving social community which, while not immune to struggle and conflict, supported their personal growth, their care for one another, and their work in the larger world.

Now as then, community is essential to Friends life and spiritual growth. A strong Meeting community offers companionship, resources to care lovingly for those in need, and a place to test and support leadings and concerns. Community is expressed in many ways: by cheerfully joining together to accomplish the work of the Meeting, refraining from gossip and disparaging others, taking part in clearness committees, providing pastoral care, and reflecting Friends values in the larger society. Community is also expressed in commemorative, sociable and playful activities of the Monthly Meeting.

Recognizing the universal human needs for embrace, intimacy and sharing, as well as solitude, Friends support each other as individuals, couples, and families, however constructed or defined. The Meeting strives to be present for all its members throughout different stages of their lives and their specific needs – as single people, coupled, or in broader communities – recognizing the Divine in each.

I do not think I am alone in my certainty that it’s in my relationships with people that the deepest religious truths are most vividly disclosed.

-George Gorman, Religion and Life, 1982, Britain Yearly Meeting, Quaker Faith & Practice, 1995

Strawberry Creek Meeting has a variety of activities that help nurture our community. Some examples include:

Weekly Social Hour – Following Meeting for Worship each week, our Loaves and Fishes Committee provides coffee, tea, and light refreshments to enjoy while people have an opportunity to talk informally with one-another.

people talking to one another

Committees – One of the best ways to become acquainted with other participants in our Meeting is to work with them on a committee. Several committees (such as our Peace, Earthcare, and Social Witness Committee) have open meetings in which anyone can participate.

Retreats – Strawberry Creek Meeting usually has a one day retreat in the fall and a weekend-long retreat in May. These retreats provide a good way for participants in our Meeting to get to know one another by sharing ideas and experiences.

Young Adult Friends – An informal group that shares lunch on the first Sunday of each month after Meeting for Worship.

Twelve Step Group – Anyone who has been in or is interested in twelve step programs are invited share with one another on the first Sunday of each month after Meeting for Worship.

Friendly Sevens – From time to time we invite people to sign up to join a group of seven Friends to share a simple meal and to reflect individually and collectively on a query posed by our Worship and Ministry Committee.

Spiritual Learning Groups – Periodically (perhaps in late winter) the Worship and Ministry Committee invites members and attenders to sign up to be in Spiritual Life Sharing Groups. These groups are an opportunity to share our lives from a spiritual perspective. The groups of four people meet approximately monthly for about two hours, with a commitment to meet together six times. At each meeting, the group responds to a pair of queries.

Spiritual Discernment Groups – Coming out of a centered Meeting for Worship in which many world problems were brought up, we started small groups to discuss how Quakers, and particularly our Meeting, are called to respond to current world problems.