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Norman Friends Meeting - Quakers

We invite you to share your spiritual journey with us. Children are welcome at meeting for worship
and First Day School. Please join us.

 

When:

Sundays

 

Silent unprogrammed worship 10 - 11 am (followed by refreshments and fellowship)

 

Children’s First Day School (second Sunday)
10 - 11 am

Meeting for Worship with attention to business followed by potluck (third Sunday) 11 am

Where:

Episcopal Student Center, St. Anselm of Canterbury
800 Elm Street (one block north of Lindsey)
Parking Available in the OU lot across the street


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Norman Friends Meeting

We gather weekly to build a spiritual community that listens with an open heart in expectant silence to leadings from the Light within (which some refer to as God or the Divine) and, out of the guidance received, work on behalf of peace and justice. We respect the integrity of each individual's beliefs and do not require conformity to an established creed or prescribed statement of belief. We recognize that there is something of God's spirit in all of us. If this approach meets your needs, we encourage you to visit and get to know us better. Visitors are very welcome.

Our Meeting is an open and affirming place of worship:  as members of the Religious Society of Friends we oppose all forms of prejudice and discrimination.  This is based on the Quaker tradition of Equality that is respect for all persons regardless of ethnicity, sexual orientation, or economic status.

We are affiliated with Friends General Conference and South Central Yearly Meeting

 

Who are the Quakers?

While Quakers are rooted historically in Christian tradition, we began as a reaction against established church practices, and today's Quakers come from a variety of backgrounds. Ours is a non-dogmatic spiritual path. We have no orthodoxies to define, no creeds to defend, and no test of faith. In all things, we seek the guidance of the Light within. Quakers believe that the same Spirit or Inner Light that inspired sacred traditions and writings throughout history continues to work in the lives of individuals today.

Quaker Worship

Quaker worship is a little difficult to explain to someone accustomed to church services centered on creed and ritual. Because we believe that the "Inner Light" is accessible to all, we have no clergy or hierarchy. Instead Friends seek the guidance that comes from the experience of collective worship. In unprogrammed meetings like ours, Quakers gather together in attentive silence, each seeking direction for our lives and our actions. At times the silence may be broken by brief messages of vocal ministry from any person present. This unique style of worship is at the heart of the Quaker experience.

Quakers are a society of friends who seeks to encourage one another along a spiritual path which affirms the potential of every person to connect with the central mystery that lies at the heart of the human experience. Some call this mystery "God", some the "Inner Light", some "Spirit", and some prefer not to name it at all. What we all share is the common conviction that there is "that of God" in each of us, and that it can be known through direct personal experience. This experience guides us through life and opens our consciousness to a growing awareness of the unity of all human beings. The fruits of this process have found outward expression in certain principles referred to as our Quaker Testimonies.

Quaker Testimonies

An old Quaker story tells of a puzzled newcomer's question, “when does the service begin?' “When the meeting for worship ends,” came the reply. Not believing in creeds, Quakers developed “testimonies”, that are a set of principles used to guide one's life. Some of the primary ones are:

Integrity Quakers strive to put truth, honesty and integrity into practice in their daily lives, in dealings with others, and in the internal conversations they have with themselves.

Peace Of all the testimonies identified with Quakers, the peace testimony is perhaps the best known and most controversial. The Society of Friends is committed to non-violence as the method of dealing with conflict on both a personal and societal level. In the three centuries of their existence, Quakers have given the world a powerful and consistent witness to peace and non-violence. Individual Quakers have often accepted persecution and imprisonment rather than take up arms. Friends reject the notion that violence is an inevitable element of the human condition. The quest for peace will always begin within the individual human heart and with the knowledge that peace is more than simply the absence of violence, it is also the presence of justice, tolerance, equity, and love.

“Let your lives speak” –– George Fox

Equality The conviction that the presence of the divine dwells within each person has led to a radical commitment to human equality within Quakerism. Regardless of race, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, or economic status, all people are deserving of respect and dignity. Quakers have often been at the forefront of important social movements including humane treatment of prisoners and the mentally ill, abolition of slavery, and equal rights for women and gays.

Simplicity A voluntary simplicity of life is central to the Quaker Way . Mental and material clutter destroys peace of mind and distracts us from the spiritual values by which we seek to live. Even more so, in a world of limited and shrinking resources, our luxuries may deny others of their necessities, creating poverty, want, and war.

Stewardship Stewardship of our natural and economic resources is an emerging testimony that unites many of our Quaker ideals. Our faith gives us a direct call to action. We must protect our natural environment and live simply so that all people may share in the earth's bounty. Economic justice is the prerequisite of peace.

Activities

1. Fellowship: Monthly potluck dinners are held after meeting for worship with attention to business.
2. First Day School for children is held on the 2nd Sunday of each month from 10:00-11:00am
First Day School
3. Spiritual Growth: Monthly evening sessions for discussion are held in our homes.
4. Eyes Wide Open: We have been the State coordinator of the American Friends Service Committee exhibition “Eyes Wide Open”.  This exhibition of boots and civilian shoes is a memorial to those who have lost their lives and a witness to our belief that no war can justify its human cost. Since 2007 the boots have been displayed at major cities throughout the State.
EyesWideOpen2010
5. Incarceration: Our meeting has undertaken a public education campaign to promote awareness of Oklahoma’s incarceration policies.  Oklahoma incarcerates more women than any other state in the union – twice the national average.  We rank third in the incarceration of men. The impact this practice has on the children of incarcerated parents is tragic. We have provided informational displays at University of Oklahoma football games and have given presentations to church groups and various other public venues. Our meeting conducted workshops on incarceration for the Arkansas-Oklahoma Winter Quarterly Meeting, South Central Yearly Meeting, and at Friends General Conference “Gatherings” in Grinnell Iowa, and at the University of Rhode Island. Future efforts by our Meeting on this topic are being planned and overseen by a committee.

Incarc1 Incarc1
Incarc2 IncarcMom

6. Animal shelter: Meeting members volunteer at the Norman Animal Shelter and through the efforts of the new volunteer group FAN (Friends of the Animals of Norman) are exploring ways to improve the lot of dogs, cats, and other pets here in Norman.
7. Prayers for Peace: On two different occasions we invited religious groups in Norman to participate in an Evening of Prayers. Representatives from participating groups offered Prayers for Peace, creating a deeply moving evening with their presentations.
8. Student Group on OU Campus:  Norman Friends Meeting supports a student club that is officially recognized by the University. The club, “Friends and friend’s”, is open to all students regardless of religious affiliation. It seeks to follow Quaker practice in organizing its activities.
9. Environmental:  We set up a Quaker Earthcare Witness table and display at past Oklahoma Sustainability Conferences.

Questions?

Clerk: Gail Fletcher 405-329-7152

 

Links to Related Sites

QUAKER - Home
SCYM - South Central Yearly Meeting
FGC - Friends General Conference
FCNL - Friend's Committee on National Legislation
AFSC - American Friends Service Committee
QEW - Quaker Earth Care
RSWR - Right Sharing of World Resources