Our Meeting has seen worship become more silent over time — not uncommon for small Meetings with falling attendance. Some Friends rejoice in the depth of the gathered silence; some are challenged to center in the absence of vocal ministry; and some experience both from time to time. Our individual busy-ness complicates our desire to nurture the Meeting Community.
As an experiment this past summer, we shortened the expected time for worship to 45 minutes and shifted the starting time from 11:00 AM to 10:30. At the rise of Meeting we gather in a circle to share a particular joy or moment of meaning from the past week. We are carrying these changes into the fall, when we also plan to resume monthly adult discussions before worship.
This summer, our tradition of opening the Brick Meetinghouse in Calvert Maryland on the first Sunday of the month attracted a number of curious neighbors and passers-by. This created pleasant opportunities for sharing histories, laughing and worshiping together. The sessions proved so successful that we shifted to opening twice a month and prompted one Friend to suggest that perhaps we should move back to this architectural gem with its multi-holed outhouse.