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What We Believe

 

Welcome to Freedom Friends Church

What to expect
at a Meeting for Worship
at Freedom Friends Church

 

Quaker worship is different from many other forms of Christian worship. Quakers believe that every day is sacred, and that every worthy activity can be done in a way that praises the Creator. At their best, our Sunday worship services mirror our everyday spiritual practices. We come together to amplify our individual spiritual journey in the presence of other Friends.
Quakers also believe that everyone has ministry and that God can speak to the group through any individual, so worship is a participatory event that invites everyone to participate if they wish and as they feel led.

At Freedom Friends Church we participate in worship in these ways:

· Centering – being gathered together by God, agreeing to be fully present, tuning in to the Spirit, just being ‘here-now’. We may do this by singing, or prayer, by making art, or sitting together in silence for a few moments.

· Gratitude - We think that gratitude is a great attitude adjuster. We start there. We do this verbally or silently as we feel God leads us.

· Asking - We recognize that we are not self-sufficient and that we rely on a higher power for help. We ask for what we need, because Christ told us to do so whenever we feel a burden.

· Listening - This is the core of our worship. After we have cleared ourselves of our thoughts and worries through gratitude and petition, we just listen together to God. We believe that Christ is present in this and will teach us Himself. We hear God in the silence, we hear God in the voices of others, and we find that God’s voice rises up as we paint or draw or read. Sometimes we hear things that are just for us, sometimes they are for everyone, and then we share them. For some people ‘hearing’ is not the right metaphor for this, but they do have an awareness of God in those moments.

There are some things that you won’t find at Freedom Friends during worship. There won’t be a liturgical sacrament like communion or water baptism - In many Christian churches these are certain blessings that can only come through the church, and that you need for spiritual health. We believe in communion with God and the immersion in the Holy Spirit, but we believe these are internal spiritual events; they do happen in meeting, they also happen outside of meeting. We do not believe that anything is truly essential for spiritual life except for a direct individual connection with God. We come together to strengthen that connection, but we do not believe that it can be produced by any particular behavior or ritual. In believing this, we do not condemn any other part of the Body of Christ for seeking those practices that are meaningful to them.

There are some things that you will never see at Freedom Friends:

· Worship as Entertainment - Worship where a few talented individuals ‘perform’ and everyone else watches. We like entertainment; we just don’t think that it belongs in worship because it allows some people to be spiritually idle while others are required to act spiritual whether they feel like it or not at that moment.

· Coercive Evangelism - No one is ever going to try and persuade, or cajole, pull, guilt or shame you into a decision, spiritual or otherwise, during worship. A sudden awareness of a spiritual need, or an awareness of an area of your life that needs looking at may happen in worship. You may have a sudden understanding or even an epiphany, but that is between you and God, and we won’t try to manufacture it.

· A Manipulated Cathartic Event - Emotion happens, that’s just human. But we won’t try and manipulate your emotions in a positive or a negative way. It is not good spiritual health to have a spiritual/emotional binge on Sunday that runs out on Thursday, so that you are starving on Saturday, needing another spiritual fix. We will try and teach you practices that you can use everyday so that you will have a steady and stable spiritual walk. We believe that it is ethically and morally wrong to use fear, guilt or shame to attempt to control behavior or belief.

So come check us out – You will be welcome.

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