Meeting for Worship (each 1st Day, each Sunday)
The Meeting for Worship is at the core of Quaker practice. There, Friends gather together in expectant silence, waiting upon God. Friends assemble in the silence without prearranged program. Each tries to still the inward clamor of personal anxieties and ambitions, listening for the voice of the Inner Guide, endeavoring to be faithful to its instruction. Such faithfulness may require an outward silence. It may require one to rise and speak words that do not come easily, which may not be fully understood, or which may beuncomfortable. During worship, all share responsibility for vocal ministry. God may call upon any one, regardless of experience or education, age or gender, to be a messenger. No one is excluded from the possibility of such service just as no one is appointed in advance to preach or pray at a particular Meeting for Worship. When someone does offer vocal ministry, Friends listen, seeking to be open, not withstanding any hesitations or imperfection in the speaker’s words. An unexpected message may touch hearts, reveal the wisdom from the Source, and encourage the growth of the Seed within. During Meeting for Worship, Friends seek connection to one another and to God dwelling amongst them. Not every Meeting is a gathered Meeting, and not everyone may have the same perception of a particular Meeting. After Worship, we hold dear ones in The Light, have announcements of import to The Meeting, and then appreciate a social period with refreshments. We welcome those interested to join us in worship and community.
First Day School (each First Day, each Sunday, at the same time as Meeting for Worship)
As adults, we are constantly modeling behavior for our children to observe, learn from, and perhaps incorporate into their own behavior. As Friends involved with the 1st Day School, we emphasize those attributes which we encourage the children of our meeting to respect: fairness, equality, kindness, ability to remain silent and listen, and yet to be as strong as an oak. During the 1st Day School, there are usually a couple groups of children gathering separately, depending upon their ages. During each 1st Day School class, children are encouraged to engage in some period of silence, the length of time depending on the age level. They are also encouraged to share and communicate thoughts, ideas, and feelings with other children as well as adults. The younger children finish each Sunday morning with a silent circle, a sharing of gratitude, and the hand squeeze. The older children have their own meeting for worship, worship sharing, and group discussion. The 1st day school children also engage in various activities such as: visual art, music, and drama.
The Oakland Quaker Worship Group is a worship group under the care of Strawberry Creek Meeting. We arose from a shared sense among members and attenders of Strawberry Creek who lived in Oakland, California, that there was a need for a Quaker presence in Oakland. We meet in a living room in the Laurel District of Oakland every First Day (Sunday) at 5PM. We also have a monthly potluck.
Wednesday Morning Worship
Mid-week Worship is available at 7 AM at the Berkeley Meeting House (2151 Vine St, Berkeley). We gather (usually from 2 to 5 persons) for silent Worship, ministry, and upon the rise of Meeting, to have refreshments and some social time. All are welcome.