Newtown Quaker Meeting will be sending greetings and love to people throughout the world on October 3 in celebration of World Quaker Day as they gather virtually via Zoom for worship in Newtown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania (www.newtownfriendsmeeting.org).
There are approximately 400,000 Quakers worldwide in North, Central and South America, Europe, the UK, East Europe, Russia, Africa,Southeast Asia, The Far East, Australia and New Zealand.
The goal of World Quaker Day is for Quaker Meetings and organizations around the world to share something about Quakers with the public via some event — a talk of “Why I am a Quaker,” or “My Spiritual Journey” by a member, the founding of their Quaker Meeting, or maybe “Things about Quakers You Didn’t Know.” During Covid-19, most events are of necessity virtual and online.
Sometimes talks are about well-known Quakers like George Fox, Margaret Fell, John Woolman, Judi Dench, William Penn, Lucretia Mott, Alice Paul, John Greenleaf Whittier, the Barclays of Barclays Bank, Joan Baez, Susan B. Anthony, the Cadburys of Cadbury Chocolates, the Clarks of Clark’s shoes, Bethlehem Steel founder Joseph Wharton for whom the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania is named, Johns Hopkins, Ezra Cornell of Cornell university, or Bonnie Raitt, and others.
Talks sometimes focus on people raised as Quakers like James Michener, Daniel Boone, and James Dean.
Sometimes, the public is just invited in for a cup of coffee. A wonderful Quaker Day in Glasgow, Scotland, a few years ago was featured in the local paper which said Glasgow Friends Meeting was promoting ” the Glasgow Library scheme where there was a ‘human library’ at the meeting house on Saturday when visitors could ‘borrow a Quaker’ for 40 minutes for a chat and cup of coffee.”
Newtown Quaker Meetinghouse is currently closed for all events due to the coronavirus pandemic but activities of the Meeting and the Meeting’s 345 members continue online and outdoors (such as the biweekly vigils on Newtown’s State Street in support of racial justice). When the Meetinghouse at 219 Court Street, Newtown, does re-open, all events will continue to be open to the public as usual.