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PLAN YOUR VISIT

If you have any questions, or would like to arrange for someone to meet you at your car when you arrive, please contact info@Downingtownfriendsmeeting.org and we will do our best to accommodate you.

9:55 AM | Arrival


To prepare, dress however you are comfortable! There is no dress code. We have two parking areas and one unofficial parking lot. Our side lot is a small gravel lot off of Lancaster Avenue, and it is typically used by those who need to park closer to the Schoolhouse. Our main lot is accessed via the gravel drive marked “One Way” at the traffic light located on Plaza Drive. We recommend you use this lot. When you pull in, note that there are two handicapped spots available directly in front of the Schoolhouse, where you’ll find a ramp. If you do not need to park in these spots, continue following the gravel drive to the main parking lot, which is behind the Meetinghouse (pictured above). If this lot is full, you are permitted to park at the Terry Funeral Home lot, which is our unofficial lot that connects to our main lot.




10 AM | Opening Exercises


From September to June, we like to gather before Meeting for Worship at the Schoolhouse for Opening Exercises, where someone leads us in an interesting presentation of their choosing. We often sing hymns during this time; and coffee, tea, and some sweet breakfast items are available! The Nursery is also open, should you need to drop off small children.




10:30 AM | First Day School for Children


If you are attending with any children, aged preschool through high school, they are welcome to join our First Day School (our Sunday School) program. Our coordinator (DFMFirstDay@GoogleGroups.com) will find you and introduce you and your child to their classroom in the Schoolhouse, and then you are free to attend Meeting for Worship next door. If your child would prefer to stay with you at Meeting for Worship, that is not a problem.




10:30 AM | Meeting for Worship


Meeting for Worship begins at 10:30AM, so we recommend you make your way to the Meetinghouse early or right on time to avoid disrupting the silence. You can enter silently through the main entrance, located directly across from the Schoolhouse, where we have a greeter who will welcome you. If you find that you are running late, you will have to enter the Meetinghouse from the back doors, which face Lancaster Avenue. Settling into Silence: Once you find your seat on one of the benches (know that all seats are open to visitors!), you will be met with silence, and you’ll want to get cozy by removing your jacket and turning off your cell phone. Communal silence can be a strange phenomenon, because we often don’t experience such a thing in day-to-day life. If you are new to such silence and want to prepare, consider trying a meditation app before joining us. Speaking in Meeting: During our silent worship, individuals may be moved to rise and share their spiritual insights aloud. We welcome this from anyone present, but do not feel obligated to speak.




11:15 AM | Children Join Our Worship


For the last 15 minutes of Meeting for Worship, the children from First Day School (our Sunday School) will join us. You may notice an increase in volume as the children enter, but we welcome such liveliness — if your child isn’t always quiet or has trouble sitting still, know that that is okay! If you feel your child is being too distracting, feel free to walk outside with them for some privacy.




11:25 AM | Announcements and Visitors


Someone on the facing bench will stand and ask for any announcements, at which point, anyone in Meeting can share an event, activity or important life update. Visitors will also be invited to introduce themselves, and we welcome you to stand and do so! Share your name, where you are from and what brought you here if you feel comfortable.




11:30 AM | End of Meeting for Worship


Two members of Meeting seated on the facing benches will break the silence by shaking hands and saying “Good morning” to one another. This is the signal that Meeting for Worship is over, and you are invited to shake hands with your neighbors, who will be happy to welcome you. After Meeting, you are also invited to meet a representative from our Outreach Committee, who can answer any questions you may have.




11:35 AM | Gathering Post-Meeting


We like to linger and socialize with one another in the Meetinghouse, Schoolhouse, and parking lot following Meeting for Worship. You are welcome to stay and chat! On occasion, we also have special potlucks called Eating Meetings or smaller gatherings following Meeting for Worship at "the rise of Meeting."





TESTIMONIES FROM OUR MEMBERS
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THE LIGHT OF GOD

The spirit and the vitality of this group at Downingtown Friends makes me feel right at home, as well as the fact that Quakers, at least this group, can laugh at themselves.

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SPIRITUALITY

I am glad to have found a home among Friends. It is a whole new spiritual journey for me, and it feels right on so many levels.

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SHARING

I've been interested in Quaker beliefs, and particularly the focus on inclusion, equality, simplicity, and peace, for years and occasionally attended Meeting for Worship at different places in the Philadelphia area. I loved the silent worship and the sharing by members.