How did I even know about Quakers? My Uncle Sidney was a convinced Quaker, a Conscientious Objector during World War II, and very familiar with Pendle Hill. His CO testimony was profound to me, but an even more dramatic witness came from seeing Uncle Sid on his home front, married to my mother’s very high strung older sister, with whom he lived in domestic peace and harmony until the end of their lives. You would need to know my Aunt Lillie (who was very good to me) to be fully impressed. Yet how many times did I hear a screeching “S-I-D-N-E-Y!” always answered by a very gentle, “Yes dear, yes Lillie.”
On to Delaware. I passed by Centre Friends Meeting so many times on my way to Winterthur or Longwood Gardens, where in retirement I spend every afternoon and some late mornings doing watercolors in the gardens. One Sunday, as I approached the corner where the Meetinghouse sits, I felt a tugging at my sleeve. I followed, and found myself parked at Centre Meeting. Without questioning I entered, sat and, as worship began and progressed, I experienced a profound peace. I felt as if I had entered a warm, golden stream of light. I came to learn in Quaker language that I had experienced a gathered meeting.
I was home! I was very familiar with quiet expectant waiting in prayer, and no adjustment was needed. As I’ve read the works of George Fox, Isaac Penington, John Woolman, and Ben Pink Dandelion, I have received confirmation of my spiritual journey.
Every Sunday since has been a wonderful experience, and I have discovered a truth: You never dip your foot in the same river twice. Each week I have found a peace which passes all understanding.
Shared by Linda Pastor (Centre Friends Meeting)
A year ago, I came to worship at Chestnut Hill for the first time. This is when we were still at the old Meeting House. At some point during my first worship experience, I was overwhelmed by strong feelings of joy and warmth in my heart, which tightened my chest and shook me inside. I was compelled to stand up. With tears in my eyes, I said, “I am Vera. Thank you for having me.” With settling peace in my heart and a smile on my face, I lowered myself on the bench. I knew that I had found a right place for my soul and spirit.
Before coming to the Meetinghouse, I felt like a lone traveler on the arduous road of life, and I knew that I can’t do it by myself anymore. So I found the Friends. Since attending worship I have noticed an increased connectedness to the Divine and the Light. I feel the need to commit to this journey, and I have decided to become a member. I recently met with a clearness committee.
Why do I want to be a Quaker? Each of us has gifts, which are as special and unique as each of us. I have my gifts. By being on the journey of continuous revelation, my Inner Light yearns to connect with the Divine. The Light gives me strength to understand and accept my gifts. And it is my duty to use them, to do right things and to give back to people.
Shared by Vera P. Krymskaya (Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting)