Worship is the heart of our life as a community. Gathering together in God’s presence is the reason we exist as a church.
A person from another Christian fellowship who joins us on a Sunday morning would experience a number of familiar things, including hymn singing, vocal prayer, and a prepared message or sermon. One aspect that might not be familiar would be our practice of expectant corporate silence; this practice is known by a variety of names, including “unprogrammed,” “open,” or “waiting” worship. This is the traditional manner of worship for Friends. Some Quakers practice this style exclusively. Friends Churches like ours are often called “programmed” meetings because we program the more conventional elements like music and sermons alongside the unprogrammed time.
On most Sundays, worship at BFC includes all of these elements, including twenty minutes to a half hour of unprogrammed time. Depending on where we are in the month, though, sometimes we change the balance between the programmed and unprogrammed elements–so once or twice a month, we omit the prepared sermon and have an extended period of open worship. Usually this happens on the third Sunday of the month.
If you would like to explore Quaker waiting worship in more depth, you would be most welcome to join us on any Sunday at 11:00 AM.