Our formal name is the “Reno Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends.” Reno Friends is an unprogrammed Quaker Meeting, which means we worship in silence, without a pastor or liturgy.
Our formal name is a reflection of the Quakers’ fondness for the term “meeting.” The word means different things to Quakers in different contexts: often it refers to the hour-long worship service, sometimes it’s shorthand for the building (or meeting house) where the worship service is held. And many times the word is used to name an organization unit within the broader Quaker organization.
Rather than use the term church or congregation, Quakers call local worship groups like ours “Monthly Meetings” – even though they meet weekly for Silent Worship. That’s because Quakers manage the business of their local meetings once a month at what we call the Meeting for Business; at Reno Friends, we usually hold ours on second Sundays after Silent Worship.
Each Meeting is responsible for its own operation, but it also is part of a wider Friends organization. Monthly Meetings are organized into regional gatherings of Friends that meet quarterly and yearly for worship and fellowship, and to conduct business. The Reno Meeting is part of the College Park Quarterly Meeting, which comprises about thirty-two Meetings in Northern California and Hawaii.
The College Park Quarterly Meeting, in turn, is part of the Pacific Yearly Meeting, a regional organization that includes unprogrammed Quaker Meetings from Southern California, Mexico and Guatemala. As the name suggests, this organization holds an annual meeting for Friends from its region.
Reno Friends Welcomes the GLBT Community.
Reno Friends Meeting is an “Open and Affirming” religious society that provides a safe and sacred space for the GLBT community to worship. This conviction is based on one of the central tenets of the Quaker faith, the Equality Testimony. According to the Pacific Yearly Meeting’s manual Faith & Practice, “Friends’ testimony on equality is rooted in the holy expectation that there is that of God in everyone, including adversaries and people from widely different stations, life experiences, and religious persuasions. All must therefore be treated with integrity and respect. Friends recognize that unjust inequities persist throughout society, and that difficult work remains to rid ourselves, and the Religious Society of Friends, from prejudice and inequitable treatment based upon gender, class, race, age, sexual orientation, physical attributes, or other categorizations. Both in the public realm – where Friends may ‘speak truth to power’ – and in intimate familial contexts, Friends’ principles require witness against injustice and inequality wherever it exists.”
Given that the Equality Testimony is central to the Quaker faith, we at Reno Friends believe it is important that we keep our Meeting House a safe and sacred place for all who worship with us. We ask that those who attend worship respect our testimony in word and deed. As Quakers, we stand for fairness, inclusiveness, tolerance and equality.
To Learn More About Reno Friends …
You can find out more about Reno Friends by exploring the links that drop down from the All About Reno Friends link in our navigation bar. You can learn what happens during Sunday services, about our First Day School for children, our lending library, our gatherings for fellowship, the Alternatives to Violence program in Nevada prisons, whose work we support, and meet some of the men, women and children who attend Reno Friends.
If you would like to know more about what is happening now and in upcoming weeks at the Meeting, you can view posts from Our Blog, read our monthly Newsletter or view our monthly Calendar using the links on our navigation bar too.
The Reno Friends Meeting House is located at 497 Highland Avenue in Reno, just east of the University of Nevada at Reno campus. For contact information, directions and a map, click on the Contact link above.