Who Are We?
Who Are We?
From our beliefs come a peace testimony that wishes to end the cause of all wars, a sense of stewardship for our world, and a deep feeling of spiritual equality with all people. We call each other ‘Friends’ as members of The Religious Society of Friends, a name we adopted more than 350 years ago.
Meeting for Worship is the corporate collective act by which we share a communion with each other, centered most deeply in silence. This carries over into our business practice of expectant waiting to be Spirit-led in our decision making.
The 17th century founding Quakers realized that God, who they often referred to as the Light of Christ, was reachable within each of us, and that no clergy or trained minister was necessary as we are all ministers. Acting on this knowledge shows us the way opening before us.
Following silent worship, Friends are invited to share joys and concerns for members of our community, both local and global. After announcements, we greet Friends seated near us with a handshake or other greeting. Many will then extend this sense of community by gathering in the social hall following worship to enjoy refreshments and fellowship. We welcome you to experience the warmth and joy of worshiping with us.
As a community, we willingly share our talents and our skills. We are encouraged to question and wonder aloud and in our own quiet thoughts. We bond in worship, form friendships during coffee hour, and find purpose in serving the greater community. Each of us ministers to one another. We practice our faith by bearing witness to injustice and share our love in the tender moments of visitations with people in their homes. Our community grew during the pandemic with the increasing use of videoconferencing tools. Several Friends have been pleased by their ability to connect with their faith and our meeting regularly, even though they are joining from afar.
“Our life is love and peace and tenderness; and bearing one with another and forgiving on another and not laying accusations one against another; but praying for one another and helping one another up with a tender hand.”
—Isaac Penington, 1667
These were hard and stern times, and stringent laws were made by the Plymouth Colony, as to the worship of God and the general conduct of the colonists. Gradually, a certain group rebelling against the orthodox religion of the colony, swelled by the ranks of the members of the Society of Friends, commonly called ‘the Quakers’, settled in the present town of Dartmouth.
Many of the men and women who settled here were substantial people; some came to make iron from the bog ores nearby, and others came to till the land on the banks of the peaceful Paskamansett River. All of them came to leave the impression of their character and enterprise on the new and rapidly developing religious sect which brought our meeting place, and Dartmouth Monthly Meeting into being.