What Happens During Sunday Services?

The Reno Friends Meeting House is a small, brick house at 497 Highland Ave., Reno, NV, that has been converted into an airy, well-lit space for our Silent Worship. We also have a large fenced yard that we refer to as “The Garden” that we use for social gatherings in good weather, and sometimes for worship. When it seems prudent to do so, we may meet via the Zoom app. Our usual gathering time is 10:00 a.m. on Sundays, but in hot weather, we gather at 9:30 a.m. to beat the worst of the heat. Check our current newsletter or our calendar for any updates, and also check the front page of this website for any last-minute changes.

When we gather in person, we do our best to follow CDC guidance and state mandates with regards to social distancing, and for mask usage. If you are not feeling well, please stay home, even if you are vaccinated.

Worship inside our Meeting House

You may enter the Meeting House from the front or by the back door (most of us use the back). Inside you will find two concentric circles of chairs; you may sit anywhere you please. We have enough chairs and space for about twenty attendees.

We have one or two air purifiers which we have running while the Meeting House is occupied. We don’t currently have air conditioning. In good weather, and providing the air quality is good, we will have the windows and doors opened to improve ventilation.

We use microphones and a small amplifier so that all can hear. In good weather, if you prefer to sit outside, you may sit in the shady area by the front door; you will be able to hear through the open door and windows. See below for more about our Silent Worship hour.

Worship on Zoom

When air quality is poor, or the weather forecast is daunting, or there are health concerns, we hold Silent Worship on Zoom so everyone can stay safe. If this decision is made with short notice, we will send out an email alert to our mailing list and usually put a notice on our web site’s front page.

Here is the Zoom link, which is active between 9:15 a.m.-12:00 p.m. on those Sunday mornings:

https://zoom.us/j/98305205938?pwd=cDZseGdLbWMyYWZsZDdiN00rMjRUZz09

If you will be joining us for Silent Worship via Zoom, please review our Zoom Worship guidelines.

Hybrid Worship using Zoom

A woman sitting outside at a computer
Using our hybrid technology

As of the summer of 2021, we offer hybrid worship (i.e. both in-person and virtual) on the first and third Sundays, using the web app Zoom. We use a webcam and a small video screen so that in-person attendees and Zoom attendees can see each other.

Hybrid Silent Worship extends our Meeting to those who live too far away to regularly attend in person, and also provides an accessible option for those who aren’t feeling well or otherwise have difficulty attending in person.

The chairs inside the Meeting House that will be off camera are so marked, so you may sit off camera if you prefer.

Here is the Zoom link, which is active between 9:15 a.m.-12:00 p.m. on those Sunday mornings; it is the same recurring meeting link we use for Zoom Silent Worship:

https://zoom.us/j/98305205938?pwd=cDZseGdLbWMyYWZsZDdiN00rMjRUZz09

If you will be joining us for Silent Worship via Zoom, please review our Zoom Worship guidelines.

Silent Worship in the Meeting House Garden

Bring a chair or a mat or blanket for worship in the garden

When the weather is very nice, we sometimes gather in our Garden for Silent Worship. If you will be joining us for Silent Worship in the garden, please review our Garden Worship guidelines.

What happens during Silent Worship?

Our silent worship – which Quakers call “Meeting for Worship” – is unprogrammed; There is no minister in charge and no formal service, hymns or collective prayers. Silent worship lasts about an hour until the Friend serving as “worship clerk” for that day rises and invites everyone present to “rise from Meeting.”

After joining us for a few minutes at the start of silent worship, children are invited to spend the rest of the worship hour in our First Day School inside our First Day School building immediately adjacent to the Meeting House. In good weather, First Day School may be held outdoors.

Quaker worship is based on a silence of expectancy: we seek to come nearer to God and each other as we share the stillness of the meeting. Participants are not expected to say or do anything other than join in this seeking. Do not be concerned if the silence seems strange at first. We rarely experience silence in everyday life so it is not unusual to be distracted by outside noise or roving thoughts.

If someone feels compelled by the Spirit to speak, pray or read, they will rise to share those words and the silence will be broken. Such ministry, which has not been planned before worship begins, seeks to enrich the gathered worship. If something is said that does not seem to make sense, try to reach behind the words to the Spirit which inspired them or allow them to be absorbed into the silence. Meeting for worship is not a debate, so it is inappropriate to respond directly to spoken ministry – although it is not unusual for other ministry to build on what has been said.

In worship we have our neighbors to right and left, before and behind, yet the Eternal Presence is over all and beneath all. Worship does not consist in achieving a mental state of concentrated isolation from one’s fellows. But in the depth of common worship it is as if we found our separate lives were all one life, within whom we live and move and have our being.

                                                                                             Thomas R. Kelley (1938)

No two Quaker meetings are the same. A worship hour can embrace a wide range of experience. Some people may experience a profound sense of awe or an awareness of the presence of God. Others may have a less certain sense of an indefinable spiritual dimension.

At the close of meeting for worship, the clerk will welcome everyone and ask for “afterthoughts” that anyone would like to share. We then introduce ourselves, share any announcements, and invite everyone to stay for tea or coffee and conversation. Once a month, on the fourth Sunday, we have a potluck lunch and celebrate birthdays.

We do not take up a collection during our worship hour, and we do not try to convert those who attend. You are welcome to attend as often as you like, without any expectation or pressure to join or donate.

Many of us are attenders who have not chosen to become members of the Religious Society of Friends, but all are welcome and all are treated equally.  We would be glad to see you again in our meeting, but this is entirely between you and God.

If you would like more information about Quakers than you find on this website, the clerk or other Friends will be happy to provide it.  We have a small library of books about Quakerism available for borrowing, along with pamphlets to take away.

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