Come to Worship
Where / When
We're glad you found us!
Chatham Summit Friends Meetinghouse is located at 158 Southern Boulevard, Chatham, NJ 07928
Our Sunday Worship is held at 10:00 am at the meetinghouse. You may also join us on Zoom. For the Zoom link, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 973-635-2161.
We are an unprogrammed meeting in the tradition of The Religious Society of Friends, meaning that we do not program our worship around music, sermons, or readings. Instead, we worship in silence and expectant listening. See Quaker Worship: What to Expect below for a more detailed description.
Our service lasts one hour and is followed by a time for afterthoughts, joys and concerns, and announcements. If you are visiting, you are welcome to introduce yourself. After meeting, we look forward to having you join us in our Gathering Room for refreshments and conversation.
Childcare is available for young children during the meeting. We also have programs and activities for school age children and youth from September to June. Children of school age usually join worship for the first 15 minutes before going to their classes. On the first Sunday of the month, our whole community gathers for intergenerational worship.
Are you a first-time visitor? Below is a good introduction to Quaker Worship. And check out "Answering Your Questions About Worship" below. We warmly welcome you to our community!
Quaker Worship: What to Expect
Silent, meditative worship is a new experience for many people. It may require practice to learn how to quiet distracting thoughts and focus inward. The videos below describe what it is like to be in Quaker worship as we quiet ourselves in body, mind, and soul and seek guidance from the Inner Light.
Sometimes there is vocal ministry when a worshiper feels moved by the Spirit to share a message. That ministry may come as a prayer, a spoken message, a song or even the babbling of an infant. Following spoken messages, the silence resumes so that all can reflect on the message. On occasion, a meeting for worship can pass without anyone speaking at all but with a deep sense of the presence of the Spirit.
Answering Questions About Worship
What should I wear to Meeting?
People usually dress in casual clothing. Feel free to wear whatever you feel is most comfortable.
It is my first time attending. What should I expect?
Quakers begin worship in person, or virtually, by entering quietly and finding a seat in the meetinghouse. Then we settle into worship, gathering in prayerful silence with neither clergy nor liturgy. Silence is an integral part of the meeting for worship as all of us try to center in the gathering stillness and to be open to that of God within. Listening together, we share the experience of being filled with and led by the Spirit.
Who can speak or give a message during worship?
Anyone who feels that God requires them to share the “Light” given to them may speak. If a message presents itself, it is helpful to wait before standing to deliver it in vocal ministry. Sometimes thoughts arise that are just for you yourself or for sharing with only one or two others. And some thoughts may be more appropriate as announcements or discussion topics. Vocal ministry, on the other hand, arises from an inward, spiritual prompting, insistent, direct and difficult to resist. We share a message when waiting makes it clear that we can no longer keep it to ourselves.
How will I know when silent worship is over?
After about an hour of worship—which could be entirely silent, or filled with words—a Friend will indicate that the meeting has ended with a handshake. We’ll hear afterthoughts, joys and concerns, and announcements about upcoming activities. Newcomers and guests will be invited to introduce themselves. Please note that it’s your choice and no one will call on you if you choose not to speak—some people like to introduce themselves right away, while others prefer to attend a few times before making an introduction.
What if I am new to Quaker Practice? Will I be out of place?
You are welcome here. Our community is a mix of longtime members and attenders and newcomers. Some of us grew up Quaker but many grew up in other faith communities and are new to Quakerism.