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 potlucks and other gatherings. Our First Day School for children is open, with a varied schedule of classes. We regularly offer Hybrid Worship, which includes a Zoom component for those who live far away or can’t come to the Meeting House in person. Check our current newsletter for our calendar and any updates. Also check the home page of this website for any last-minute changes and for our COVID policy.
What Do Quakers Do During the Silence?
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.”
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 gatherings 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, and share any announcements. Once a month, usually on the fourth Sunday, we have a potluck lunch.
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.
See below for silent worship details and logistics.
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 ask that attenders be vaccinated and boosted; mask usage is optional for indoor activities, including silent worship. If necessary, we may open doors and/or windows for air, so dress warmly if it is chilly. We plan to run our air purifiers. If you are not feeling well or think that you may have been exposed to a virus, we ask that you stay home, even if you are vaccinated.
We may 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 above on this page for more about our Silent Worship hour.
Hybrid Worship Using Zoom
As of the summer of 2021, we offer hybrid worship (i.e. both in-person in our Meeting House and virtual) on the first and third Sundays, using the web app Zoom.
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.
We use a webcam and a small video screen so that in-person attendees and Zoom attendees can see each other. The chairs inside the Meeting House that will be off camera are so marked, so you may sit off camera if you prefer. If you are moved to speak during hybrid Silent Worship, please speak up so that everyone, including remote attendees, can hear you well.
Here is the Zoom link, which is active between 9:15 a.m.-12 p.m. on those Sunday mornings; it is the same recurring meeting link we use for Zoom Silent Worship:
If you will be joining us for Silent Worship via Zoom, please review our Zoom Worship guidelines.
Worship on Zoom
When air quality is poor, or the weather forecast is daunting, or there are health concerns, we may 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 home page.
Here is the Zoom link, which is active between 9:15 a.m.-12:00 p.m. on those Sunday mornings:
If you will be joining us for Silent Worship via Zoom, please review our Zoom Worship guidelines. If you are new to Zoom and would like to learn more, go to https://westernfriend.org/media/how-use-zoom-videoconferencing.
Silent Worship in the Meeting House 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.
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.