All are welcome to attend our silent Meeting for Worship, held 10:30-11:30am every Sunday.
The original Quakers called themselves "Friends of Truth," which was then shortened to "Friends" or "Religious Society of Friends." Their worship sometimes reached such fervor that worshippers would tremble or "quake", which earned them the nickname "Quakers."
Today's Quakers are quite diverse in their beliefs and styles of worship. Fresno Friends Meeting is an unprogrammed (silent) Meeting under the care of Pacific Yearly Meeting. To get an idea of what Meeting for Worship is all about, here are a few words, adapted from the Boulder, Colorado Friends Meeting web site:
Friends come together during Meeting for Worship in silence, without formalities or professional ministry, and without a theme or program. We gather in silence to draw near to God. Through quiet waiting or prayer, we seek inspiration, comfort, and Divine guidance for daily living. Listening and seeking are important parts of our corporate worship. The Inner Light -- rather than a creed, a sacred book or the authority of a priesthood -- is our spiritual guide as we strive to live our daily lives in obedience to the Holy Spirit. Friends do not practice sacraments such as communion or baptism or use symbols such as a cross. Our Judeo-Christian roots have been enriched by the wisdom found in many religious traditions.
A Quaker meeting is grounded in silence and expectant waiting. We seek to come nearer to one another and to God. You may find it easy to relax in the silence and thus connect with the spiritual center we find in worship together, or you may be disturbed by the strangeness of the silence, by distractions outside, or by your own roving thoughts. Don't worry about this but return again and again to the still center of your being where you can know the presence of God.
Recognizing that each person present possesses a part of the Truth, or God's wisdom, we trust in the silence to bring forth ministry. During some Meetings for Worship the ministry is entirely silent. At others a few worshipers may be inspired to offer vocal ministry. Anyone may speak. However, before doing so we ask ourselves, "Is this a divinely inspired message? Is it meant for me alone or is it to be spoken aloud?" In vocal ministry we speak out of our experience, in a spirit of humble reflection. Receive what is said with an accepting, open spirit. Each contribution rightly given will help somebody. If something is said that does not "speak to your condition," try to reach the spirit behind the words. A period of silence should surround each spoken message to allow time for reflection. Spoken ministry is not discussion or education, but rather vocal expression of the divine in our lives.
The Meeting for Worship lasts one hour. It will end with joining hands followed by sharing of personal joys and sorrows, introductions, and announcements. There is a period of fellowship and refreshments afterward to which all are invited.
|We meet for silent worship at 10:30am every Sunday.|
On the first four Sundays of each month we meet at Hudson's Barn, behind the house at 4230 N. Arthur Ave., Fresno. map
From the corner of W. Ashlan and N. Palm, go west on Ashlan two short blocks and turn right (north) on N. Arthur. 4230 is the second property on the right.
|Proceed via the long driveway past the house until you reach the "barn" at the back.||Margaret Hudson|
|It is not a barn at all, actually, but a simple, spacious, spiritually uplifting (at least we think so) building with large windows. If you have mobility challenges we recommend that you drive all the way to the barn; there is space to park on the grass just outside. Otherwise you may park on the street, diagonally next to the fence, and walk in.|
|The Meeting is also accessible by city bus #26. Please consult the Fresno Area Express maps and schedules for more information.
There is a fifth Sunday in some months. On such Sundays, we often share Meeting for Worship and a potluck lunch with Visalia Friends Meeting. Location will vary.
Tentative Fifth Sunday Schedule
Children are welcome in the Meeting. For younger children we offer child care during Meeting for Worship. We also offer First Day School education for older children who would like to learn more about their emerging spirituality, Quaker history, or Quaker testimonies and beliefs.
For more information please contact us via voicemail at (641) 715-3900, extension 886633, or email webmaster (at) fresno.quaker.org. Our mailing address is
Fresno Friends Meeting
P.O. Box 25991
Fresno, CA 93729-5991
To learn more about the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), here are some links to information on the Web:
Pacific Yearly Meeting: The annual gathering of Quakers from throughout the Pacific region, including California, Hawaii, Mexico and Guatemala. This year's Meeting will be July 29 - August 3, 2013 at Mt. Madonna, 445 Summit Road, Watsonville, California 95076.
Faith and Practice: A guide to Quaker testimonies and ways.
Quakerfinder.org: a brief introduction to unprogrammed Quaker worship and a way to find Friends throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Friends General Conference Library: lots of readings on the faith and practice of Quakers in the unprogrammed (Hicksite) tradition.
Reading List for Quaker Inquirers, from Patapsco Friends Meeting in Maryland.
Wikipedia: another perspective on unprogrammed worship.
We look forward to seeing you at a Meeting!