Planning Your Visit:
Venturing into a new religious community for the first time can be a challenge. We seek to be an open and inclusive faith community by welcoming all persons regardless of age, race, color, national origin, ethnicity, social or economic background, veteran status, sexual
orientation, gender identity, immigration status, or faith background. We welcome single people, couples, and families.
Quaker worship may be a new experience for some visitors. Watch the video "What to Expect in Quaker Worship" to hear from real Quakers about what worshiping with us will be like.
Answering Your Questions
What time does worship begin?
Weekly Meetings for Worship are held at these times:
Sunday mornings, 10:00-11:15 in-person or virtually on Zoom
Wednesday afternoon 4:00 - 5:00 virtually on Zoom
What should I wear to Meeting?
People usually dress in casual clothing. Feel free to wear whatever you feel most comfortable.
It is my first time attending, what should I expect?
Quakers begin worship in person by entering quietly and finding a seat in the meetinghouse. On many Sundays a Friend will share an inspirational message or story prior to worship. 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. Anyone who feels that God requires them to share the “Light” given to them may rise and speak. 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.
After about an hour of worship—which could be entirely silent, or filled with words—a Friend will signal the meeting’s end. We’ll hear announcements about upcoming activities, and 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. We also invite newcomers to introduce themselves multiple times so that the community can get to know you.
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. Quakers have no creed or statement of belief and we use many words to describe God. Some of them include the Light Within, Christ, Spirit, Seed and Inward teacher. The Quaker way has deep Christian roots and many Quakers strive to follow the example of Jesus. Many Quakers consider themselves Christian; others do not. Quakers draw spiritual nourishment from various religious traditions.
How Do I Become a Member?
When you have attended meeting for a period of time and regularly participate in worship and the life of the community, you may begin to feel a spiritual tie to
Birmingham Friends. You may want to consider becoming a member. the clerk of the meeting can explain the process, which is also detailed in our book of Faith and Practice.
Exploring Quakerism for Newcomers
Newcomers to the meeting are invited to join an Exploring Quakerism class held approximately once a year. The class usually consists of four 90-minute sessions scheduled at the convenience of the group and facilitated by two members of the meeting. The sessions are structured to provide newcomers with the opportunity to ask questions about Quaker faith and practices and how our meeting works. Selected videos and short readings provide food for thought and discussion. Attenders often say how much they appreciate getting to know a few people in this small-group setting.