Newtown Friends Meeting sent greetings and love to people throughout the world on October 2 in celebration of World Quaker Day as they gathered in person and virtually via Zoom for worship in Newtown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
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, the 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, Annie Oakley, and James Dean.
Sometimes, the public is just invited in for a cup of coffee and a chat. A story in a Glasgow, Scotland newspaper a few years ago 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 Friends Meeting co-founded by “Peaceable Kingdom” painter and Quaker minister, Edward Hicks, in 1815, is open to all who wish to attend. Regular First Day Education classes (Sunday School) for all ages begin at 9:45 a.m. and Meeting for Worship begins at 11 a.m. Childcare is available.