“To follow the principles in Faith and Practice, making all who wish to join with us feel welcome.” These words were recorded July 1972 in the first minutes that still remain of an untitled worship group meeting in the Clifton area of Cincinnati. How did Eastern Hills...
By Betty Johnson Since our founding in 1905, Xenia Friends has been cognizant and mindful of the Quaker testimonies known collectively as SPICES–Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality and Service/Sustainability. The first building on High Street was built...
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The Quaker religious faith leads to a way of life. In Friends' thinking, the practice of Christian faith is not primarily a matter of taking part in rites and ceremonies. What is of primary importance is that we should open ourselves to the Light of Christ and try to live in obedience to the leading of God's spirit. Friends' missionary outreach and social service activities alike have grown out of this continuing attempt to translate Christian faith into life and action. The corporate testimonies and concerns that are set forth in [our Faith and Practice], and the standards of conduct that are recommended, have grown out of Friends' experience in trying to be faithful to the teachings of Jesus and to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in their lives as individuals and as a religious society.
From the earliest days of their history, there are frequent references in the writings of Friends to the belief that there is in the human soul a Light (Ps. 36:9, John 1:9) which is of divine origin and which makes mankind capable of responding to moral and spiritual influences. It is this divine quality that enables one to develop that awareness of moral distinctions and obligations known as conscience and inspires one to live, struggle, and suffer for the achievement of what ought to be.
In the teachings of Jesus are the seeds of the Quaker “testimonies” ~ equality, simplicity, integrity and peace. More than beliefs, testimonies are a way of life that witnesses to a dedication to the teachings of Christ. “A testimony is an outward expression of an inward leading of the Spirit, or an outward sign of what Friends believe to be an inward revelation of Truth” (Wilmer Cooper).
Mission & Purpose
A UNIVERSAL MISSION
Twenty-first-century Friends are challenged by these words of George Fox, as were those to whom he addressed them in 1656:
"Let all nations hear the word by sound or writing. Spare no place, spare not tongue or pen, but be obedient to the Lord God and go through the world and be valiant for the Truth upon earth....Be patterns, be examples in all countries, places, islands, nations, wherever you come, that your carriage and life may preach among all sorts of people, and to them; then you will come to walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in everyone."
(Wilmington Yearly Meeting Faith & Practice, 1977)
A LOCAL PURPOSE
It is the purpose of Wilmington Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends as a Christian religious body to develop and maintain a Quaker community of faith, centered in this region, which fosters understanding and experience of Christ, the Teacher within, as known directly and through scripture; to share this understanding and experience with young people in our midst, and with others in our communities and the wider community, through ministry, service, and active engagement in the world around us….
(Wilmington Yearly Meeting Faith & Practice, Approved 1995)
Join Your Friends!
ADA CHAPEL FRIENDS MEETING (WILMINGTON, OH)
WORSHIP 10:00 am
Sunday School 11:00 am
Monthly Meeting For Business 1st Sunday 11:00 am
Ada Chapel Friends- DETAILS
332 Grant St. Wilmington, OH 45177
Lead Pastor: Hannah Lutz (937-503-4709)
Pastor Emeritus: Violeta A.T. Gwynn (937-725-5071)
Campus Friends- DETAILS
Contact person for more info: Patricia Thomas — phone: 937-708-6211; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
You are welcome to come to Campus Friends Meeting at 10 a.m. Sundays on the Wilmington College campus in the T. Canby Jones Meetinghouse (specific directions below) and worship in the manner of unprogrammed Friends.
We have no paid or ordained clergy who leads worship or delivers a sermon. When there is spoken ministry, it is provided by members and attenders, who sit on pews facing each other in a square. Anyone who feels prompted or moved by the Spirit to speak may do so.
How we conduct unprogrammed worship
The initial stage of unprogrammed worship is often described as “centering”. This is when Friends clear their minds and settle down to attain a spiritual focus. The centering process can of course begin prior to arrival.
After a seasonable time of centering, worshippers may give a spoken message, utter a prayer, or break forth in song.
You may wonder how a person can be confident it is the Spirit moving or prompting them to speak, and not some other impelling cause.
According to Patricia Loring’s Pendle Hill pamphlet titled ‘Spiritual Discernment’, having the experience of the “fruits of the Spirit” as identified in Paul’s letter to the church in Galatia suggests the presence of God’s Spirit. The fruits of the Spirit listed in the letter have been translated as “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness [sometimes translated as faith or faithfulness], gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:23). Vocal ministry that is laden with these fruits, or which sow these fruits, suggests strongly the Spirit’s stirrings.
To gain further clarity about unprogrammed worship and spoken ministry, we might ask ourselves these questions in light of the spiritual fruits: What might this worship look like? What might such worship feel like?
It is Friends’ practice to leave ample time for reflection after a spoken message, and for a person to speak no more than once in a meeting for worship. Campus Friends value the spoken word, and also value the silence.
More of what to expect in our worship
During worship at Campus Friends Meeting, the weekly greeter/breaker sometimes offers a short reading or asks a query. A query is a question; indeed, often a query is “a question for all seasons”. In the Quaker tradition, queries are a way to examine our lives and actions, and a means to help direct us, individually and as a meeting. Unless moved to do so, no one need answer the query aloud.
In short, we wait during worship in an expectation that by leaning into God’s Spirit and listening closely when someone speaks, it helps unite us as Christ’s sisters and brothers and friends (Friends); strengthens our commitment; provides lessons for living; helps us grow; and encourages us on our path.
When the rise of worship nears, the greeter/breaker asks whether we have joys or concerns, or a prayer request to share with the meeting.
Lastly, the greeter/breaker signals the end of worship (usually around an hour) with greetings or perhaps a handshake, at which time we make announcements and fellowship is encouraged.
At 10 a.m. Sundays our unprogrammed (but not graceless!) worship begins on the Wilmington College campus in the T. Canby Jones Meetinghouse, an attached yet distinct space located at the Boyd Cultural Arts Center (the building off College Street where the college stage plays are held). There is a College Street pole sign standing beside a sidewalk that runs parallel to the meetinghouse. You can park nearby on the street or in the college’s corner parking lot.
On the first Sunday of the month, beginning at noon, we gather for a simple, carry-in fellowship meal at the home of a member. Also the first Sunday of the month, we set out an offering basket for charitable work in the local community, including on campus.
Many Campus Friends come together on the 3rd Wednesday of the month beginning at 6:30 p.m. for a book club. When not meeting on Zoom, the gathering involves a self-packed brown bag meal before a discussion led by the person whose selection we are reading that month.
Organized in 1954, two of Campus Friends Meeting’s key minutes — which are statements or decisions approved by the meeting — can be found below, with brief introductions.
Campus Friends Meeting’s inclusivity statement
In May 2021 we reaffirmed a commitment to the meeting’s inclusivity that had been declared in two prior minutes in 2014, condensing them into one minute, which we then approved. This inclusivity minute reads as follows:
“Campus Friends Meeting is a welcoming and inclusive monthly meeting. We affirm the full dignity of each person created in the image of God. The Light of the Living Christ has taught us that God’s love extends equally to all people regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Our understanding of God’s universal love leads us to affirm the full dignity of LGBTQ+ persons and equal status within the Religious Society of Friends and the wider world.
“All covenant relationships including marriages under the care of a Quaker meeting are sacred, legal and the cause for joy. As with all couples, we follow Quaker process to discern their readiness to be married under the care of Campus Friends Meeting. In honoring and caring for any marriage we affirm that we are ‘witnessing that which God has already done.’ ”
Campus Friends “bridge building” statement
In October 2014, we approved a minute relating to Campus Friends Meeting (CFM) being a “bridge” meeting — that is, CFM is a monthly meeting that belongs to two yearly meetings: the Wilmington Yearly Meeting (Friends United Meeting) as well as the Ohio Valley Yearly Meeting (Friends General Conference). The bridge meeting minute reads as follows:
“We strive to be a monthly meeting that builds bridges. We come together to worship in expectant waiting in the presence of God and these our friends. Friends welcome personal and spiritual leadings that seek to serve as ministry for all.
“Meeting for worship informs our understanding of Quaker tradition and testimonies and guides our daily lives and corporate decision making. We strive to love and support each other within our monthly meeting community, and value our relationship to the wider body of Friends.”
As a lifelong seeker, I am attracted by the Quaker testimonies, in particular community and peacemaking. I have found that Campus Friends Meeting is comprised of wonderful people. While unprogrammed worship can have its own challenges, it is in line with the abolition of a passive laity. Campus Friends’ occasional one-day joint spiritual retreats with Eastern Hills Friends Meeting of Cincinnati have been meaningful to me. — Gary Huffenberger
CHESTER FRIENDS MEETING (WILMINGTON, OH)
WORSHIP 9:45 am
Sunday School 9:00 am
Monthly Meeting for Business 4th Sunday Following Worship
Chester Friends- DETAILS
3451 Gurneyville Rd., 8 Mi. N. off SR 68 N,
Wilmington, OH 45177
Mike & Nancy McCormick, (937) 728-0095
email: email@example.com (Nancy McCormick)
Clerk of Monthly Meeting-
USFW: Becky Godfrey, Clerk
Ministry/Counsel Clerk: Jonda Hamilton
Trustees Clerk: Richard Baker
Treasurer: Jill Hartley
Peace and Social Concern: Jonda Hamilton/Nancy McCormick
State of Society: Linda McKeehan
Pastoral Extension: Mary Ann Roddy
Out to Lunch Club: Billie Baker
CINCINNATI FRIENDS MEETING (CINCINNATI, OH)
SEMI-PROGRAMMED WORSHIP 11:00 am
Adult Study Discussion 10:00 am
First Day School/ Nursery 11:00 am
Monthly Meeting For Business 2nd Sundays
Cincinnati Friends- DETAILS
Minister & Public Friend: James Newby
Clerk: Michael Ramos
Cincinnati, OH 45243
Directions: I-71 to Exit 12, go east on Montgomery Rd; in .7 miles turn right onto Keller Rd; in .6 miles turn right into the Meetinghouse driveway.
DOVER FRIENDS MEETING (WILMINGTON, OH)
WORSHIP 9:30 am
Monthly Meeting for Business 1st Sunday 10:30 am
Dover Friends- DETAILS
Dover Rd., E. of OH 134, 5 mi. N. of Wilmington,
PO Box 166, Port William 45164
Dan Kazstelan & Katie Terrell
Clerk : Mike Miller
FAIRVIEW FRIENDS MEETING (NEW VIENNA, OH)
WORSHIP 11:00 am
Sunday School 10:00 2nd/3rd Sundays
Fairview Friends- DETAILS
Linda Achor, Clerk
1st and 4th Sundays : Dan Kasztelan
2nd and 3rd Sundays: Patricia Thomas
5th Sundays: Unprogrammed Worship
JAMESTOWN FRIENDS MEETING (JAMESTOWN, OH)
WORSHIP 10:30 am
Sunday School 9:30 am
Jamestown Friends- DETAILS
48 E. Washington St. Jamestown, OH 45335
Pastor: Steven Farsaci
Keith Cavender, Monthly Meeting Clerk - 937-675-6239
Darla Geis, Ministry & Counsel Clerk - 937-675-2464
KNOXVILLE FRIENDS MEETING (KNOXVILLE, TN)
WORSHIP 11:00 am
Monthly Meeting for Business 3rd Sunday
Knoxville Friends- DETAILS
Off I-640, exit 8, S. on Washington Pike ½ mile
4325 Pinehurst Dr., Knoxville, TN
MARTINSVILLE FRIENDS MEETING
WORSHIP 9:15 am
Martinsville Friends- DETAILS
112 E. Main St., OH 28
Martinsville, OH 45145
Pastor: Dennis Delaney
Contact: Barbara Shutts 937-685-4677 (evenings)
MARYVILLE FRIENDS MEETING
WORSHIP 10:45 am
BIBLE STUDY 7 pm on zoom on Wednesdays
Maryville Friends- DETAILS
2044 Sequoyah Avenue
Maryville, TN 37802
Phone - (865) 984-7999
Jonathan Goff -Pastor
Meeting email: firstname.lastname@example.org
SAMANTHA FRIENDS MEETING
(HIGHLAND CO., OH)
WORSHIP 10:30 am
Sunday School 9:30 am
Monthly Meeting for Business 2nd Wednesdays 7:00 pm
Samantha Friends- DETAILS
8070 Fall Creek Road, Hillsboro, OH 45133
Pastor - Rick Smith
SPRINGFIELD FRIENDS MEETING (CLARKSVILLE, OH)
WORSHIP 10 am
Springfield Friends- DETAILS
Todd's Fork Rd., off OH 380, N. of US 22
Clinton Co., OH
Mailing address: 121 Todd's Fork Road, Wilmington, OH 45177
Mike and Nancy McCormick - Pastors
Miriam Speaight- Monthly Meeting Clerk
WILMINGTON FRIENDS MEETING (WILMINGTON, OH)
WORSHIP 10:00 am
Fellowship 11:00 am
Sunday School 11:15 am
XENIA FRIENDS MEETING (XENIA, OH)
WORSHIP 9:45 am
Sunday School 9:00 am
Xenia Friends- DETAILS
502 Chestnut St.
Xenia, OH 45385
Corner Chestnut & High Sts., off SR 380 N. of SR 68
Rotation of Speakers
Monthly Meeting Clerk - Gary Farlow email@example.com
Acting Recording Clerk - Karren Smith