On Sunday, December 3, at 9 am Merry Stanford will facilitate the Adult Religious Education meeting on the topic of the gathered meeting. The gathered meeting is, according to many Quakers, the apex of Friends’ worship, and one of the great gifts that Friends have to offer the world. One might even say that the gathered meeting is the Quaker equivalent of samadhi, a term from Buddhist and Hindu mysticism which points to the unmistakable but barely describable experience of union with what one is observing or experiencing.
For Friends in a Gathered Meeting, the illusions of everyday life fall away for a while, and the undergirding Reality which is always available, but seldom experienced, gathers us together in Love. What makes this Quaker experience so unique is our dependence on each other for this transformative and intimate spiritual experience.
We will approach this topic from the vantage point of experience. Please come and join us, if you have experienced a gathered meeting or if you have not. For those wishing to read up on the topic ahead of time, Merry suggests one or both of the following.
- Four Doors to Meeting for Worship, by William Taber. Pendle Hill Pamphlet #306
- The Gathered Meeting by Steven Davison, Pendle Hill Pamphlet #444 (brand new)
Published in the late 1940s, the following might also prove enlightening.
- “The Gathered Meeting” in The Eternal Promise by Thomas Kelly. Also available online from the Tract Association of Friends. http://www.tractassociation.org/tracts/the-gathered-meeting/