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Two Churches.

"....Around 79% of Quakers worldwide belong to the "evangelical" and "programmed" branches of Quakerism – these Quakers worship in services with singing and a prepared message from the Bible, coordinated by a pastor. Around 11% of Friends practice waiting worship, or unprogrammed worship (more commonly known today as Meeting for Worship), where the order of service is not planned in advance, is predominantly silent, and may include unprepared vocal ministry from those present.,,,"

Quakers - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

On the internet the Friends in Meridian did not call themselves a Church, but i had no espectations.  I spent an enjoyable hour there but it was not worship for me,  There was no "open worship" though such was advertized.  The muisic was nice, but i would have enjoyed it more in a western bar on a Saturday night.  But i knew that my likelihood of encountering part of the "11 percent" was pretty slim.

Afterward there was still time (almost) to get to Mass.  The Catholic church is a massive structure, cavernous almost, with much symbolism. the pianist played stately music, the officiants were robed, the homily was brief, the sacrament of the eucharist took up most of the time (and today there was anointing of the sick, in which i participated).  The Friends church was a low structure with no obvious  external  signs of its function,  The guitarist and singer sounded country, almost appalachan   The pastor wore jeans, the sermon was long, taking up more than half the time.  It was a good sermon, but i've been away from Protestantism too long.  I like my sermons/homilies to be both profound and short, but brevity will trump depth every time.

Well, there are still the Buddhists and the Unitarians.

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( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 7th, 2016 12:32 am (UTC)
I'm surprised such a high percent of Friends churches are programmed! That is very strange to me.
Jun. 7th, 2016 04:39 am (UTC)
Yeah, me too.
That percentage is worldwide;
it might be different in North America

I remember attending a Quaker meeting in Denver, 1955-6
I remember it being very small.
Sunday there were fifty people in the Meridian Church
in the first of two services.

I know that one of my colleagues attended a meeting in the 70s
but it seems to be gone now,

Sociologically meetings would seem less viable than Churches.
The tendency of groups to become bureaucracies and then oligarchies is a sad "fact" in our illusion we call the world.

Edited at 2016-06-07 04:45 am (UTC)
Jun. 7th, 2016 11:14 am (UTC)
I'm happy that my local meetinghouse uses unprogrammed worship -- it's the kind that I associate as Quaker. It surprises me that so many are programmed!
Jun. 8th, 2016 02:03 pm (UTC)

Yeah, me too.
But here in SW Idaho
the percentage programmed seems even higher.
Jun. 9th, 2016 02:12 am (UTC)
Yeah man, I've run around buying milk and eggs while a million great fucking Christians just did the same, and we never got to connect.

Maybe that non-connection is what gives us space? I call it a "glass-egg", that fragile zone between humans where we do our necessities (shelter, food, etc) that can so easily be broken by whatever outside noise from the external world.

The irony is how rarely we get to speak to each other. I think maybe we are in our many "matrix"es, but I like to think here a simple "thank you" and "hello" and "good bye" serves as a sort of Namaste.

But still, we cannae let our brilliant shine fall away from us. To talk truthfully together about our spirit, without the inside baseball, is necessary to truth itself. We are mired by the necessity to hide one meaning in another, and so we are a world-poem, but we can not lose track of honest communication about exactly what the Way is.

That's called true Christianity.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )



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