FAQ - Quaker of the Light
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Barnstable Friends Meeting - Quakers of the Light
What is the Barnstable Meeting (CCFM)?
We are a group that meets for worship in the manner of Friends with an unprogrammed format. We join together in a spiritual community that is welcoming and positive.
Why do we call ourselves “Quakers of the Light?
Early Friends initially called themselves “Children of the Light”. Rufus Jones said that for these early Friends, “ The thrilling thing was the certainty of God’s light and love in the individual’s soul.“ Barnstable Friends Meeting affirms this universal principle.
Is Barnstable Friends Meeting a Monthly Meeting?
No. The Society of Friends (Quakers) is organized into Monthly, Quarterly and Yearly Meetings. Although we have requested to be recognized by Sandwich Quarterly Meeting this has yet to occur. We are however a “Friends Meeting” in that we function as a normal meeting conducting business, having usual committees, etc. See Faith and Practice
What do we believe?
Friends have no creed. However we do believe that there is that of G-d in everyone that is directly accessible without an intermediary. In addition, the basic values of Friends are equality of all people, peace and nonviolence and simplicity. We follow the faith and practice of the Society of Friends (see http://www.quakerinfo.org/)
Who are we?
We are group of Quakers who have long experience in the Meetings on Cape Cod and else where. We are from 16- 86 years ; educators and artists, business people and health practitioners, historians and secretaries.
Why did we form?
We came together to start BFM because we made a decision to focus on the positive. When the local Monthly Meeting made the decision to lock East Sandwich Meeting for worship we opened our hearts, hands and minds and formed Barnstable Friends Meeting.
What makes us different?
We honor and celebrate diversity. We welcome difference whether race, class, orientation, belief, and respect each person’s inner wisdom. We are committed to work for justice in a proactive way. Our understanding is that it’s about how we walk not what we talk.
How do I participate?
Come Sunday morning. Join us for worship, be part of our potlucks, and discussion groups, join in a business meeting (see next 2 questions), participate on a committee.
Who’s in charge?
We, as most Friends in New England , have no clergy or one particular leader. There is a person designated as “clerk” whose job it is to listen to everyone and sense where G-d is directing the group.
How are decisions made?
Elemental to our process is a belief that something beyond us can guide us in making decisions that are more complete and Spirit centered. Such decisions strengthen the bond between Creator and us. It also fosters a close, strong community where each person’s contribution and energy is utilized, valued and respected. Our decision-making is cooperative rather then competitive. This does not mean conflict avoidance. But ideally no one should leave a meeting or discussion thinking that someone won and someone lost.
Where do I go if I need help?
One of the principal committees of a Friends Meeting is “Ministry and Counsel”. One of its primary jobs is pastoral care. There is often informal one on one counseling available. It can also be more formal, sometimes accomplished with a small group called a “clearness committee”. Speak to the clerk of either this committee or the Meeting to request help. This committee also concerns itself with the needs of people who are sick or going through significant experiences.
Can I participate and still be a member of another Meeting or spiritual practice?
Absolutely. Everyone is welcome to be as much a part of our community as makes sense for them. While it is possible to be a formal member of another faith community and join in actual membership with BFM, this requires special considerations as membership involves a certain commitment of heart and time.
How do children participate in a Friends Meeting?
Usually children join the worship for the first 15 minutes. They then go to our Youth Programl. The Burgess House particularly lends itself to walks in the woods and games of various sorts. We are also putting together instructional materials. One of our members is particularly gifted at developing exciting and relevant programs.
Are there dues or financial requirements?
Each person is encouraged to give as they are able. There is no set amount that anyone is obligated to contribute.