“Be still and know that I am God.”
Salem Friends gather for worship in the meetinghouse on Sunday mornings from 10:30 – 11:30 am. Our services are open to all and are utterly simple—a coming together for a quiet hour of worship without clergy, sacraments, scheduled music or planned Bible readings.
We believe that, through silent prayer and meditation, each of us can communicate directly with God’s living presence. Sometimes a Meeting for Worship will be entirely silent, but frequently individual worshippers feel inspired to share a spiritual insight, or a prayer. In the quiet of the meeting those present can become aware of a deep and powerful spirit of love and truth that transcends their ordinary experience. Out of the silence often emerges a real sense of shared communion with the Divine.
Our worship lasts for about an hour and ends when a designated member on the facing bench shakes hands with a neighboring worshipper.
For many years we have gathered in worship by candlelight on Christmas Eve. In contrast to our weekly worship, we share music of the season prior to settling into our traditional worship. While it is not a representation of typical worship, it has become a treasured opportunity for us to share worship with extended family and visitors.
First Day (Sunday) School
Many Quakers refer to Sunday School as First Day School. Salem Friends have an adult class that meets each week on Sunday at 9:30 am in the annex, the building behind the meetinghouse. Class format is usually a discussion group led by a class member. Topics vary and are selected by class members.
First Day School classes for youth are conducted at 10:30 am. They begin by joining worship in the meetinghouse for about fifteen minutes. They move from the meetinghouse to the annex from about 10:45 to 11:30 am. Their course of study is tailored to their ages and is based on Quaker values, beliefs, and concerns.
In addition to worship and spiritual growth, we often gather in social activities to bond as a community. These include monthly covered dish luncheons, with movie matinees, and game days. Warmer weather brings our annual tea, a picnic supper of iced tea and sandwiches, and our annual First Day School covered dish picnic. A summertime ice cream social is a seasonal favorite.
Each spring, we host a Chicken Pot Pie Dinner as a fundraiser for special projects within Quaker communities and the local Salem area.