The public is warmly invited to a teaching opportunity to both discover and experience the unique attributes of Quaker (Friends) waiting, worship on Sunday, July 2 at 2 p.m. in the large historic Stillwater Friends Meetinghouse at 61826 Sandy Ridge Rd. Barnesville, OH.
Dr. Kim Palmer will be facilitating the afternoon. Kim first attended Stillwater Meeting while working with an apple picking crew in a local orchard in 1972. It was here at Stillwater Meeting that he was exposed for the first time to Christian quiet waiting worship.
"Quaker waiting worship is different than any other form of Christian worship," reports Dr. Palmer. "Waiting worship is an adventure of meeting directly with our risen Lord, while waiting as a congregation in silence before Him. There is an expectancy as we wait together in the quiet that God may speak not only to us, but may also speak through any of us."
Dr. Palmer, a classroom educator reported that in waiting worship, Quakers gather as a group and wait in silence. Then, as they quiet their minds, he indicated that they find their cares and distractions seem to quickly leave. Next, as each person waits in the quiet, he or she may find that a Bible verse, a prayer, a song, or a new insight about a verse of the Bible may come to him or her.
Palmer went on to explain, "The verse, song, prayer, or insight given from the Lord may be just for the individual's benefit. However, as we wait in the quiet, some individuals may begin to realize that what the Lord has shown him or her is meant to be communicated aloud for the entire congregation. When that happens, the individual may simply stand where he or she is, and share with the congregation what the Lord has revealed to him or her. Quaker worship is always open to visitors. In addition, anyone may speak: men, women, and even children, and a person doesn't even need to be a member to speak in worship. We only ask that each person listen very closely for the Holy Spirit's voice and leading. The worship usually lasts for about an hour and comes to an end when two (pre-selected) people shake hands."
The public is invited to this free-of-charge teaching opportunity. Palmer plans to begin with a five - 10 minute history of Quakers (James Barnes, the founder of Barnesville was a Quaker), then speak for about 20 minutes on how to do waiting worship. Next the group will practice Quaker waiting worship. Finally, a time of light refreshment will follow the meeting.
A similar opportunity is scheduled to occur at the Chestnut Ridge Friends Meetinghouse on Monday July 3, at 7 p.m. This meetinghouse is located south of Barnesville. Take SR 800 south of Barnesville, turn left onto Twp. 26, Chestnut Ridge Rd., keeping to the left at the second road on the left. The meetinghouse is a frame structure on the left, opposite the cemetery.