Visiting a Quaker Meeting for the First Time
I went to a Quaker Meeting today. This is my second entrance into a place of worship since I quit my boycott of churches last week. My boycott had lasted almost ten years following the death of my girlfriend.
This was my first meeting. I went to the Valley Mills Friends Meeting House on the southwest side of Indianapolis. It is a very simple building and does not have much of a sign out front. It does not look like a church. There are no stained glass windows or crosses. It is a simple white building with a more modern addition to the side.
I entered the building and went to the fellowship hall. There were about one dozen persons there. Almost everyone seemed to be 70 years old or older. Everyone was White. There seemed to be more women than men. I introduced myself and everyone was very friendly. What impressed me initially was how smart these people seemed to be.
I had just enough time for a sip of coffee and we were called to the worship hall. I was told after the service that this building was made in 1856. It was a plain room with old fashion pews. If the room was packed, it would only hold about 200. It appeared to be about to comfortablely hold a hundred or less. There was a podium with a lectern. There was a hand hewed floor of dark wood. All of the wood work was stained or was naturally dark. The walls and ceilings were off colors of white.
There were two concessions to comfort. One was a simple two inch think red cloth colored pad and three ceiling fans. There was no air conditioning and this part of Indiana was in the middle of an unprecedented drought and heat wave. It had stormed hard last night which done little to lower the temperature, but raised the humidity and discomfort level a lot.
At the beginning of the service, a lady came over and told me I could move to the center and I would be cooler due to being directly under the ceiling fans. I declined. It took about fifteen minutes for me to start cooking and I then understood the wisdom of her offer.
The service had three songs, an offering, a short sermon, and a three to four short periods of silence for about five or so minutes. A few of the members were moved to speak and give a short testimony.
I must say, that this service was a very enjoyable experience [except for the heat]. I should say I was the only one dressed in a black shirt and gray slacks. everyone else was dressed in a normal fashion in colors of the rainbow. The lone young twentysomething male [the preacher’s kid] was dressed in shorts.
I was invited back and was told I would probably enjoy the study discussions which begin after Labor Day.
I plan to go back. I seek the comfort there and want to be of service where I can.
I liked it very much at the Valley Mills Friends Meeting in Indianapolis.