Welcome to Quaker Meeting
You are cordially invited to worship with us.
Corvallis Friends Meeting 3311 NW Polk Avenue Corvallis, Oregon 97330
(541) 752 - 3569
Who are the Quakers?
Founded in 1652 by George Fox, Quakers (The Religious Society of Friends) spread from England to America, Europe, and every continent in the world. The Friends’ way of life emphasizes simplicity and humility. Quakers made up a major part of the population in several of the early American colonies. The influence of Friends can still be seen in our Constitution and form of government. Friends’ deep spirituality has been, and still is, a source of profound social activism. Over the centuries this activism has included early equality for women and active opposition to slavery, along with the major Friends’ concerns for religious freedom and avoidance of war. Friends strive to in such a way as to take away the occasion of all war.” These and similar concerns continue today, with Friends still active with regard to peace and social equality.
How do Quakers Worship
As in other unprogrammed Meetings, Corvallis Friends gather for worship in silence. When you join us, you will find people sitting quietly. Occasionally someone may speak briefly, after which the Meeting settles back into silence. No designated minister speaks or prays at an appointed time.
What happens in the silence? Each person present shares the responsibility for worship and may share in its blessing. The idea is to open yourself as fully as possible to receive God’s messages. Friends strive t attain a “centered” Meeting, in which the presence of God is deeply experienced by the gathered worshippers.
Some Friends meditate. Some consider a phrase, or an image. Others simply wait expectantly. Some try to relax as fully as possible. Some consider a particular problem they or someone else is currently experiencing. Do whatever works best to open yourself to God’s presence in our midst. If you feel led by God, speak to us. However, directly responding to messages of others is discouraged. After someone has spoken, wait a few minutes before speaking yourself. After an hour of worship, a designated member closes the Meeting by shaking hands with another.
What do Quakers believe?
There is no set creed or belief for the Religious Society of Friends. Each worshipper is responsible for his or her relationship with God, and the experience of each will be different. The only near-universal belief is that there is an Inward Light, a spark of the Divine, that of God in every person. Friends do publish Queries, which are not statements of belief, but rather are designed to strengthen our spiritual awareness through questioning. The intent is to bring up important areas of life for examination in the light of God’s guidance. Corvallis Meeting considers and answers a set of Queries at each Monthly Meeting for Business. An example: “Do we center our lives in the awareness of the presence of God so that all things take their rightful place?
Who has authority among Quakers?
Corvallis Friends Meeting has no one person with the authority that a pastor would exercise in a church. The Meeting does have a Clerk, who presides at Meetings for Business. It also has a number of committees to carry out the necessary business of the Meeting. Members and attenders share in this work. Decisions of committees are reached in accordance with Friends’ practices for business.
Meetings for Business are conducted in a spirit of worship with, we hope, God’s guidance. Votes are never taken. Decisions are reached through Sense of the Meeting following a search for unity with regard to proposed action.
How is the Religious Society of Friends Organized?
No person or group speaks for the Religious Society of Friends as a whole. The Monthly Meeting — such as Corvallis Friends Meeting - is the fundamental unit for Friends’ organization. Corvallis Friends also participate in Willamette Quarterly Meeting (Oregon) (WQM) and North Pacific Yearly Meeting (NPYM), the latter comprising Friends Meetings in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana. NPYM is one of several dozen Yearly Meetings which geographically organize Friends throughout the world. By meeting regularly with Friends from other Meetings throughout WQM and NPYM, or beyond, Corvallis Friends seek to remain in close touch with leadings of Friends elsewhere, and to test our own leadings against a wider group of Friends.
Everyone is welcomed into the Meeting as member, attender, or visitor without regard to donations. Financial needs of the Meeting are met through contributions of members and others taking part. Donations may be made personally or by mail to the Treasurer, or may be placed in the container kept on the table with the visitors’ register.
Corvallis Meeting’s religious education program for children and youth takes place simultaneously with Meeting for Worship, with the young people joining Meeting for the last few minutes. The program each week is led by one or more volunteer teachers from the Meeting. Child care for younger children is also available.
Our religious education program for adults currently takes place after Meeting for Worship at 11:30 a.m., encompassing a wide range of discussions on spiritual and social topics.
How to join Corvallis Friends Meeting
To participate in the Meeting, simply come. Attenders are always welcome. After becoming familiar with us, if you wish to apply for membership in Corvallis Friends Meeting, please write a letter to the Clerk of the Meeting stating your request. Meeting will designate a small committee to meet with you and discuss membership, and then report to Business Meeting.
The only belief most Friends hold in common is that there is that of the Divine in every person. There is no standard test or creed required for membership. Rather, it is a matter of seeking God’s guidance.
Membership is a two-way commitment of Member to Meeting and Meeting to Member, with the expectation that the Member will continue to search for a better relationship with God (however perceived) and with fellow humans. Corvallis Friends Meeting welcomes new members, and we hope that those who worship with us and find the Meeting to be a suitable spiritual home for them will so acknowledge, as way opens, by requesting Membership.