WELCOME TO THE
BINGHAMTON COMMUNITY FRIENDS MEETING
RELIGIOUS SOCIETY OF FRIENDS (QUAKERS)
1 (607) 648-8448 (toll-free)
Meeting for Worship:
Sundays 4:00 PM
Sarah Jane Johnson Methodist Church
308 Main Street, Johnson City, NY
Directions to the Meeting:
The Meeting for Worship is held Sundays at 4:00 PM at the Sarah Jane Johnson Methodist Church on Main Street in Johnson City, New York.
On Route 17, take exit 71 S (for route 201 South) and follow the signs for Johnson City (route17C). Take a right on Main Street (East on 17C). The Sarah Jane Johnson Church is at the top of the hill on the right. The church steeple is the tallest structure on Main Street and is easy to see from a distance. Parking is around back, as is the entrance we use for Meeting. Please see the map for further details.
Who are the Quakers and what do they believe?
The Religious Society of Friends was founded in the mid-17th century in England by George Fox (1624-1691). The Society spread to America and grew here in a climate of religious tolerance that Quakers like William Penn helped establish.
Friends believe in the presence of God within each person, often referred to as the "Inward Light." God is directly accessible to all persons without the need of either a pastor or set ritual. God speaks in a manner that is personal, direct and certain - a continuing revelation. The Scriptures can be understood only by entering into the Spirit which produced them. Divine revelation did not end with the publication of the Bible but remains available to anyone open to receive it. Because we believe in the presence of God in every individual, we place a strong value on humanitarian and pacifist activities. Friends seek to remove the causes of conflict and war, striving to trust in love rather than to react in fear. The term "Quakers" comes from a description of early Friends as trembling in the presence of God. While originally intended by the authorities as an insult, Friends now happily refer to themselves as Quakers. *See sources for more information on Quaker history and beliefs
"We utterly deny all outward wars and strife, and fightings with outward weapons, for any end, or under any pretense whatever; this is our testimony to the whole world. The Spirit of Christ by which we are guided, is not changeable, so as once to command us from a thing as evil, and again to move us unto it; and we certainly know, and testify to the world, that the Spirit of Christ, which leads us unto all truth, will never move us to fight and war against any man with outward weapons, neither for the Kingdom of Christ, nor for the kingdoms of this world ... Therefore we cannot learn war any more."
- George Fox and others. Declaration presented to Charles II, 1660.
What is a Meeting for Worship like?
The Binghamton Friends Meeting for Worship is based on the idea of "expectant waiting." We sit in silence to hear more clearly God's "still small voice" (1 Kings 19:12). Each worshipper is a listener. There is no pastor and there are no prearranged prayers or readings. During worship, a message may come to one of us that we wish to share. Friends value messages that are simple, come from the heart and are prompted by the Spirit. Following a spoken message, we return to silence to reflect and wait. Meeting for worship ends when a designated Friend shakes hands with her or his neighbor, and everyone else with their neighbor. Some newcomers find an hour of silent waiting difficult, and should feel free to leave the room quietly for a break as needed.
*See sources for more information on Quaker Meetings
"Be still and know that I am God"
- Psalm 46:10
"I am morally certain, that I have many a day gone through the cares and concerns of life, with much more composure, stability, satisfaction and propriety, for the strength and assistance I have found in drawing near to God in solemn silence."
- Job Scott, Journal, 1797
Who May Attend?
Anyone who is interested in learning more about Quaker beliefs may attend the Meeting. Children usually sit in the silent meeting for 5-10 minutes and then go downstairs to the activity room for "First Day School" songs, stories and games that teach the values described above.
Links to Friends:
QuakerFinder: Looking for a meeting near you? The Friends General Conference provides this directory of meetings.
Friends General Conference (FGC): Friends General Conference is a Quaker organization in the unprogrammed tradition of the Religious Society of Friends which primarily serves affiliated yearly and monthly meetings. FGC provides resources and opportunities that educate and invite members and attenders to experience, individually and corporately, God's living presence, and to discern and follow God's leadings. FGC reaches out to seekers and to other religious bodies inside and outside the wider Religious Society of Friends.
New York Yearly Meeting (NYYM) of the Religious Society of Friends is a gathering of Quaker meetings and worship groups in New York State, northern and central New Jersey, and southwestern Connecticut.
- NYYM Spark and Infoshare
- The Nor'wester, newsletter of the Northwest Quarter of New England Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends
Pendle Hill: a Quaker Center for Study and Contemplation
"Faith and Practice" <http://www.nyym.org/quakerism/fnp/> New York Yearly Meeting, 1998 "Who are the Quakers?" <http://www.pym.org/exhibit/p045.html> Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, 2000 "Silent Worship and Quaker Values" <http://www.fgcquaker.org/library/welcome/silentworship.html> M. D. Holliday, Friends General Conference