Banner photo by Nony Dutton, 2013.
MEETING FOR WORSHIP
Every Sunday at 10:30 am. For many of us, Quaker meeting for worship is the central, defining experience of our community. Our worship is unprogrammed and led by the Spirit. We have no professional ministers; all are encouraged to share and develop their gifts of spoken ministry as they are led. The newcomer packet has more on Quaker worship.
OUR LOVING COMMUNITY…
…welcomes all who wish to join us in sharing spiritual journeys with each other. We strive to nurture each other and be nurtured in living more fully in “that of God” or the “Christ within” or the “Inward Light” in all of us. We have no creed; we seek fresh and continuing revelation of divine Truth. We try to listen deeply to the Spirit and each other, seeking to discern and embrace God’s will for us individually and for our community. We strive to let our lives speak Truth and Love. We embrace the core Quaker testimonies of equality, integrity, peace, simplicity, and community. Baltimore Yearly Meeting, a broader, regional Quaker community, has developed a guide called Faith and Practice, which is available on the hallway table, in the library, and at http://www.bym-rsf.org/publications/fandp/. This guide contains “queries” that we use to examine our faith; the newcomer packet includes these queries. Consistent with Quaker principles, we welcome and hope to achieve a genuine diversity of religious outlook, race, age, sexual orientation, income level, education, physical and mental ability, and other human qualities.
THE WORK OF THE MEETING
All are warmly encouraged to participate in our meetings for worship with a concern for business, which have the ultimate responsibility for ordering the life and work of the Meeting. Ideally, the meeting for business is a shared spiritual effort to discern God’s will and divine guidance for the collective work of the Meeting. Decisions are made only when all present reach unity on what we are called to do.
Many opportunities for fellowship, growth, and participation in the life of the Meeting occur as individuals come together for committee service. Since we have no paid staff, volunteers do all the work of the Meeting, especially through the committees. The newcomer packet includes a description of each committee. Committee and position assignments are listed in the directory and on the bulletin board. All are welcome at any committee meeting, except those of the Personal Assistance Committee and, on rare occasions, Ministry and Care, for privacy reasons. Meetings are often held before meeting for worship on the third First Day. Ask a committee member for details.
On 8/3/2002, Patapsco Friends Meeting became a “Monthly Meeting” under the care of Chesapeake Quarterly Meeting and Baltimore Yearly Meeting. Yes, we do meet for worship every week; “Monthly Meeting” refers to how often we meet for business. See our Resources page for more information on our business process.
We began meeting in November 1996 as a worship group under the care of Sandy Spring Monthly Meeting of Friends. In January 1999 Sandy Spring Monthly Meeting established us as a preparative meeting. Our page On Becoming a “Monthly Meeting” gives more detail about that history.
On 3/5/2006, Patapsco approved a minute taking South Mountain Friends Fellowship under its care as a worship group. South Mountain meets at Maryland Correctional Institute-Hagerstown each Saturday with up to two visitors from Patapsco (who must be registered). Their spiritual state of the meeting reports can be found here.
For more on our history and the long history of Quakers in Howard County, click here.