Simply put...West Hills Friends is a Quaker meeting in southwest Portland.
We desire to be welcoming community that wants to follow Christ, the Inward Teacher, shining a light in our complex world. It’s not easy to do this alone, so we help each other. We hold diverse faiths and spiritual paths. We make Quaker practice a priority, and are committed to using Quaker process in our life together. We also look to Scripture as a touchstone in our collective life.
We want to listen to each other, laugh together, and reflect God’s love. Our fellowship works to continually grow and transform. We put energy toward art, music, and issues like peace, hunger, equality for all, and good stewardship of the Earth. However it is expressed, each example of vital faith is a gift to the whole community. We strive to recognize that of God in everyone. We know that God is at work within us and through us, and we can see lives change. We want to be people who live abundantly yet simply, giving gently and freely.
We love to extend our hospitality to those who might wander in, maybe not knowing much about us, or maybe having heard a little about Quakers. There is warmth and acceptance here, which encourages authenticity. We want to hear your questions, your insights and your experience of God. We value the ability to hold differences and look for the Light, embracing the mystery of the unknown. You are welcome here!
You know what? You can also just listen to this first hand account of a newcomer at West Hills:
So...Quaker? What is that?
Quakers emphasize the presence of an Inward Light, whom we recognize as Christ our Present Teacher, and the direct and active experience of the Light in our lives. We tend to be leery of creeds and hierarchy. We also know that there is but one Way, though our perceptions of it may differ; we this meet in worship together, collectively awaiting the Light's revelations, as well as having individual devotional practices. God is at work for good in everyone, and we try to get behind outward appearances to respond to that goodness.
West Hills Friends' meetings for worship are "programmed," routinely including ministries of music, Bible reading, and a prepared message, as well as a period of open worship. During open worship, we seek the Light, ministering to one another as the Spirit moves. The form of the worship has changed as we have grown and changed.
We also find other modes of worship helpful and we meet regularly in a variety of small groups. The structure and purpose of these small groups change as a reflection of our calling. Groups have included gatherings for longer periods of silent worship, for worship sharing, for informal singing, to plan social action, and to play together.
We are an open and affirming congregation!
The quality of our worship is enhanced when everyone is authentic about who they are. We welcome LGBTQ people to participate fully in the life of our meeting.
West Hills is a member of the Community of Welcoming Congregations.
What you can expect on a Sunday morning
We meet for worship on Sunday mornings from 10:00-11:30am. Expect casual dress and the occasional giggle.
Nursery care is available at 9:50. At about 10:30, children from preschool through 5th grade are invited to separate activities. If you prefer, a child of any age may stay with you during meeting for worship
West Hills Friends considers its style of worship, "semi-programmed." Although we have at least 20 minutes of unprogrammed worship each week, we also invite people to prepare songs and spoken messages. We believe these preparations arise from the practice of listening and contribute to our overall awareness of God's presence.
Our meetings for worship typically include the following components. Links are provided for those who would like to read more.
During this time, Friends take 3-5 minutes to reflect on some aspect of their spiritual journeys.
From week to week, we enjoy different music leaders. As leaders change, so does the style of music.
Someone reads a passage of Scripture and a prepared message.
In the silence, we open ourselves to God's guidance. As we listen together, the Spirit may direct one of us to sing, speak or pray aloud.
We believe God has called us to live in authentic community. Each week, we take time to share our lives with one another.