There will be an “Open House” on Saturday the 18th of January from 1-5pm, at St. Nicholas Parochial School, Waterside, Galway. The purpose of this Open House is to give people in Galway a chance to learn about Quakers.
Quakers, also know as the Religious Society of Friends is one of the smallest Christian denominations in Ireland today. Quakerism developed in the early 1650s at a time when there was a tremendous amount of religious and political upheaval. Some people, who called themselves Friends of Truth, started to practice a simpler form of worship, based on silent waiting before God.
They emphasised the importance of a direct relationship between God and individuals, with an inner experience of Christ leading to outward action. Then – and now – Friends believed that there is something of God in everyone and that colour, class or gender should not be a barrier to our discovering this in each other.
Meetings for worship involve all those gathered praying together in quiet dependence on God, the silence is only broken when someone feels moved by the Holy Spirit to speak – either by reading from the Bible, or by sharing an insight, or an experience. Quakerism is an experiential way of life, with each person undertaking his or her own spiritual journey in search of truth and God.
Known for their commitment to pacifism and social justice Quakers can be found working with others on a myriad of concerns, trying to “remove the causes of all war and strife and to alleviate poverty. One old story is told of a person attending a Quaker Meeting for Worship for the first time. While sitting quietly through a silent meeting the visitor whispered to the person beside them, “when does the service start? The reply they received was, “when the meeting is over…”
The “Open House” will give people an opportunity to find out something about this distinctive branch of Christianity. So if one of your New Year’s resolutions was to try to achieve a more spiritual balance in your life, or if you are just curious about Quakers feel free to stop by for a chat.