Meeting for Worship
Weekly Quaker Meeting for Worship is an essential part of the educational experience for all students. “Meeting,” as it is often known, is a deceptively simple experience. Community members are welcomed into the Meeting House — a building with no religious symbols or decoration — in silence. As people settle into quiet reflection, they discover an oasis away from the noise and motion of life. There is no pastor nor sermon, as Quakers believe that individuals do not need an intermediary between themselves and the Divine, and that all have direct access to God and to Truth. Sometimes a person gains insight from the silence and is moved to share it with the group by rising and speaking. It is through this silence, even because of it, that those of any faith or belief system can worship and reflect in this setting.
Upper School boarding students of different faiths are supported by the Spiritual Life Coordinator who organizes transportation students to attend Catholic Mass on a weekly basis, visit a Sikh gurdwara, and attend services at a Theravada Buddhist Temple. Muslim students are supported through the month of Ramadan by providing space in the Meeting House for prayers, special meals at the end of sundown to break their fast, and transportation to a local masjid. A broader range of religious expression has been incorporated in Meeting for Worship as well, including music, ceremonies, and education about a wide variety of faith traditions.
In keeping with Quaker tradition, the Upper School also periodically conducts a Meeting for Business. Discussions about issues that impact the community and collective decision-making by consensus comprise Meetings for Business. Meetings for business are organized and clerked by student leaders.