Quaker services are called "meetings," and our meeting is what is known as an "unprogrammed meeting" which means that on Sunday morning at 9:30 A.M., we do not have a minister leading a service. Rather, because we recognize that all people have access to divine wisdom, we have no identified clergy or schedule of sermons, readings or music. Instead, we gather to wait in expectant silence for ministry arising from the “still small voice” (I Kings 19:12) within and from any who may be prayerfully led to speak.
We continue to have deep silence and meaningful vocal ministry in First Day (Sunday) worship. Our numbers are growing, and our First Day School is growing along with it. We continue to deepen the practice and understanding of Quaker business procedure and knowledge of our faith and practice.
If you wish to know more about Quakers and Quakerism, their history, theology, structure, methods of conducting business, etc., here is a link to a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) and their answers.
Swannanoa Valley Friends Meeting originated as a mid-week worship group at Highland Farms Retirement Center in November 1994. It began meeting on First Days at the Black Mountain Public Library, and later at 137 Center Avenue, Black Mountain, in 1996, where its first monthly meetings with attention to business initiated in April of that year. While the small, nascent religious community would change worship and business locations a few more times, the SVFM settled at its current location, 137 Center Avenue, in the autumn of 2003.
The faith and practice of the Religious Society of Friends, or Quakers, have evolved over 365 years of experience and testing. It is not a faith of creeds or set doctrines, and is not governed by a hierarchy of ordained priests or bishops. Since Friends believe that the Spirit is actively present among them as teacher, they have trusted in that Inner Teacher, or Christ Within, to reveal the truth to individuals open to receive it.
While Friends do strive to uphold certain time-tested principles, called testimonies, they do not require strict adherence to a set of rules as a condition of membership. Friends’ faith and practice have traditionally been grounded in religious experience rather than doctrine. Friends speak of the “Inner Light” and “That of God in every person” to identify the Spirit that leads them. Friends hold to the testimonies of simplicity, peace, and integrity, and believe in the power of love to call out the inherent worth of others. Loving care of our Earth sprouts from our testimony of simplicity. A sense of supportive community springs from our vision of the Divine nested within all people.
On adjoining pages, you can find more information about Quaker history and practices in conducting worship, business, and accepting new members. You can also explore an archive of some of the Meeting’s public minutes on deep social concerns
QuakerSpeak is a Quaker YouTube channel. Friends of all different backgrounds are asked core questions about Quakerism and the resulting interviews are brief, personal and intimate. QuakerSpeak is a project of the periodical Friends Journal and seeks to provide information that is entertaining, informative, inspiring, challenging, inviting, unifying and collaborative.
New videos come out every Thursday.