Visit a Meeting
September-May: You'll probably have the best experience if you come at 10:00 for adult discussion, and plan to stay for meeting from 11:00-12:00. We tend to chat after meeting, so you may want to plan to leave around 12:20 or 12:30. If you arrive before 10:00 and don't see anyone yet, just give us a few minutes. We'll be there, promise!
June-August: Plan to arrive just before 11:00 for meeting, which will last until 12:00. We'll probably chat for a little while after meeting. Also, you may want to contact us in advance to find out if there's a potluck this week following meeting!
We have two worship groups. From September through May, we meet at Wyoming Seminary Lower School in Forty Fort, PA, and at Journey's End Farm Camp in Sterling, PA. From June through August, we meet in the rear of Stella Presbyterian Church in Forty Fort and in various Friends' houses throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania. You can find maps and directions on our front page.
What do I wear?
Dress comfortably. Blue jeans are fine, and very common for both men and women. Members also wear shorts, skirts or dresses, slacks, t-shirts, sweaters, blouses, and occasionally even suits. Basically, wear whatever makes you feel most at ease, and don't worry about needing to impress anyone.
What do I do?
Just come in and sit down in an empty chair; you'll find us in a circle in the meeting room. If our meeting hasn't started yet, people will say hello. If meeting has started, we'll probably make eye contact and smile. If you want to talk with someone for a minute before joining the meeting, stand just outside the circle, and someone will come greet you.
During silent meeting, we meditate quietly together, seeking a sense of communion with one another, with the larger universe, and with the Divine. During this meditation, someone may feel led to share something out loud. Sometimes this will happen many times during a meeting; it's appropriate for people to leave space for reflection after something has been said rather than to speak immediately afterward. Sometimes, nothing will be said out loud at all. Either way, or anywhere in between, we hope our guests will experience the sense of welcome and communion we find in our meetings for worship.
We have a few brochures and information about our meeting, and it's all right to read those during meeting for worship if you like. It's also all right to bring your own inspirational reading material if you feel this will benefit your experience. If so, we would also encourage you to allow at least some time during worship to be quietly open to the direct experience of the meeting.
I have kids ... what should I know?
If possible, come at least a little bit before our 11:00 meeting for worship starts. (From September through May, come at 10:00 so your children can visit First Day School.) We have teachers who explore spiritual ideas with our children during First Day School, and child care providers who supervise play during meeting for worship. Children of any age are also welcome to sit with you during adult discussion, meeting for worship, or both. If your children may want to stay with you during meeting, it can be helpful to bring a few books or quiet toys to help occupy them. If one of your children feels led to say something during meeting, it's OK. We will accept their contribution to our gathering in the same spirit as anyone else's.
If your child has any special needs, it can be helpful to plan a few minutes to talk with the First Day School teacher or child care provider before the activities begin. Our current First Day School teacher for our 4- to 8-year-olds holds a master's degree in Special Education, and our other First Day School teachers are generally comfortable helping children with special needs participate fully in our community.
We enjoy children, and welcome them among us. Currently, we have young members and regular attenders ranging in age from 4 to 17, with occasional younger guests.
Will there be any weird rituals that might conflict with my existing beliefs?
Probably not. We have a minimalist approach to ritual, which mostly consists of sitting together to seek communion and community in meditation. You will not be asked to recite any creeds or participate in any ritual act beyond sitting in a circle with others. No one will even light any candles or formally invoke any deity, and we don't have an altar. You may encounter ideas that are unfamiliar to you, or that don't benefit your personal spiritual growth, but no one will pressure you to accept those. You may also encounter ideas that speak strongly to your personal spiritual growth--we certainly hope so!
What if I just want to visit because my teacher told me to visit a different faith group, or I want to show my kids what modern Quakers are?
You're absolutely still welcome. We welcome visitors for any reason, and encourage others in our community to come experience a meeting for themselves. If you ask, we'll help make sure you have the information you need for a school or family project.
What if I have a question that's not answered here?
E-mail us or leave us a voice mail (570-824-5130) and ask anything you like!