April 20, 2009

Church Experiment #16: Quaker Community

I knew almost nothing about Quakers until I met one in early 2009. Maybe I assumed Quakers were a lot like Mormons (and maybe some are), but her explanation of the religion was way off from my expectations. So, it seemed like a good stop for the Church Experiment.

Plus, I love their oats. (Oh, thank God … I have been dying to write that joke all week. It felt sooo good! That is comedy, my friends. That’s the good stuff.)

After visiting several churches way outside of my comfort zone, I no longer experience much nervousness on my way to each week’s destination. But Sunday, when I pulled up to the Quaker Community Friends (www.communityfriendsmeeting.org) building, I realized it was just a big house in the middle of a neighborhood. That had me worried. I have realized over the past sixteen weeks that the smaller the venue, the more nerve-racking the experience is for newcomers.

I was greeted at the door by a couple of nice gentlemen and then walked inside their “living room” to find my seat. Yes, it was literally a living room with about fifty chairs; thirty of them were filled. Everyone was white, and I was clearly the youngest person in the room [I was 32 at the time]. Most were over fifty years old, and a large percentage seemed to be hippie-types. There was a palpable “free love” vibe in the air.

To finish reading about this experience or any of the reflections from my 52 visits, please purchase the full book here.