I visited the Quaker church here in Statesville a couple of weeks ago. To me, this is surprising on a couple of levels. a) Statesville has a Quaker church??? and b) why am I going to church in the first place.
b) that's a good question
I went without wife or kids. It was part scouting mission to see if kids would be cool at a Quaker meeting...that's what they are called, meetings, and part looking for something different that might appeal to me in Statesville.
It turns out that, yes, children are very welcome at the meetings and they can talk as much or as little as they want. The same rule applies to adults.
There is no pastor/minister/priest/holy man.
No performance to watch.
No music to listen to (unless you bring your own).
No obligation to pray or read aloud or anything else that I've had to do at other churches (mostly Presbyterian, because that's what I was raised)
They have Bibles and hymnals if you want to read scripture or songs.
They believe in The Trinity but don't make blanket statements in regards to it because they believe that what you believe is not necessarily right on with what the guy next to you believes through and through. And it's not their place to question others' beliefs. Be peaceful with yours and I'm peaceful with mine.
You are supposed to (I think) be at peace with yourself through self awareness and self discovery. Also be at peace with everything and everyone else. (the Quakers are pacifists) Contemplate what you will and if you so choose to talk about it to anyone else or the entire group (I was one of three people there) then you go right ahead.
I gotta say that I liked it. I was alone with no obligations to anything. I could just sit in the silence and look at the stained-glass windows and really old organ. I read a pamphlet on prevention of deadly conflict (very insightful)
In the end I did not stand up and share my thoughts with anybody else. I did talk to the guy in charge before and after the meeting. I learned about the history of the building and a little bit of lore about Statesville.
I will go back and try it with the fam. Maybe not too soon though, they didn't seem to have any air-conditioning.
I did return later that day to take some pics. Click here. The pics are not separated into albums, so you'll just have to look through the list. If it looks like a small church, that's it.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot. I got a bumper sticker,
WAR IS NOT THE ANSWER
I don't remember getting that at any other church, but then Quakers don't have an annual BBQ to advertise on T-shirts either.
3 weeks ago