For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
– Matthew 18:20 (KJV)
Living together in Christian community gives us an opportunity to practice Jesus’ teachings. The core of our meetings is the meeting for worship. The unifying experience of worship offers loving support, comfort, and inspiration as we seek together God’s will for ourselves and for the community.
Our worship together gives us an opportunity to commune with God and one another. The life of Jesus with his disciples was such a fellowship. As he lived with them, so we can live with one another. As the spirit of love and truth grows among us, it will help us in times of trial to meet hostility with compassion and understanding and so hold us together precisely when we disagree.
Our life is love, and peace, and tenderness; and bearing one with another, and forgiving one another, and not laying accusations one against another; but praying one for another, and helping one another up with a tender hand.
– Isaac Penington,
Meetings do well to exercise a tender concern for those facing personal difficulties. A clearness committee can enable persons to meet in a spirit of worship with other Friends to seek guidance and support in times of need.
We value visitation with other Friends, including visits beyond monthly and yearly meetings. This practice furthers our experience of an extended family. Some Friends are led to travel in the ministry among Friends with a particular concern, and this experience enriches the traveling Friend as well as those visited.
Through worship the community seeks to find the spark for action. Continually discovering the will of God helps us to discern creative solutions to disagreements and new ways for meeting human need that sometimes transcend rational decision making. Community offers us . . .
the promise that God will continually move among us and within us, bringing fresh vitalities and new possibilities to life... if we have eyes to see and ears to hear, if we are capable of receiving the stranger.
– Parker Palmer,
The Company of Strangers, 1981