Welcome to Richmond! As you settle into life and work at ESR/Bethany, you'll hear a lot about Quakers or Friends. West Richmond Friends is one of the three Quaker congregations or meetings in town. The others are Clear Creek Meeting and First Friends. We welcome you to worship, study, and fellowship with us – as well as to support you on your path of exploration of spirit and faith.
(All photos courtesy of Josh Brown at West Richmond Friends)
Many of the Quaker faculty, staff and students at Earlham and ESR worship with at West Richmond Friends. Our meetinghouse is located just two blocks north of ESR/Bethany (click here for map). Cross National Road, then turn onto SW 7th Street. Two blocks ahead you'll find our meetinghouse at the corner of SW 7th and West Main Streets. Come in any door – most of us actually treat the side door on SW 7th Street door as the “front” of our meetinghouse.
Please visit our meeting web site, www.westrichmondfriends.org. You can read recent messages from our meeting for worship, find out more about our meeting, download resource materials, and link to Quakers around the world.
Our worship is at 9:30 a.m. on Sundays. West Richmond is a "semi-programmed" meeting. Our worship typically includes a Bible reading, hymns, a short prepared message, and 15-20 minutes of quiet open worship. (When there are five Sundays in a month, the fifth one is reserved for completely unprogrammed worship.) Child care is available in the nursery. Following worship we have coffee and light snacks until 11:00, when our second hour for education begins. Classes start on September 9th.
There’s a lot of diversity of voices in the messages at our worship, including messages from the pastoral minister, professors and students from Earlham and ESR, special guest speakers, and members of the Meeting who have messages to share. We have a great choir which sings at worship about twice each month – singers of all levels of experience are welcome!
Many ESRniks enjoy coming here on Friday evenings at 7:00 for Common Grounds Coffeehouse which offers a varied program of live music, game nights and monthly contra dances. We will be starting our 9th season on Friday, September 7th with a contra dance with caller Jim Sizelove and live music.
Joshua Brown (ESR '84) serves as pastoral minister at West Richmond Friends. He will leading a workshop at ESR October 1 on "Pastoral Leadership Among Friends" as part of the 2012 Pastor's Conference. He was an adjunct faculty member from 1997-1999, and has also served for many years as a supervisor for field education.
Several years ago, West Richmond Friends openly declared ourselves as a welcoming and affirming congregation to all people, including gays and lesbians. Our meeting's positive stand on this issue has unfortunately caused a great deal of controversy and conflict in some parts of the Quaker world here in the Midwest.
Besides our worship, we have a large and active education program on Sundays at 11:00. In addition to classes for different age groups of children, this year we’re offering several adult classes:
• Marcelle Martin will lead The Quaker Spiritual Journal: Early Friends and Today. A former teacher at Pendle Hill, Marcelle is the author of Invitation to a Deeper Communion and Holding One Another in the Light.
• Welling Hall is leading a group about consumerism, based on Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping by Judith Levine.
• Josh Brown will lead The Bible for Dummies, a lively class with lots of free-ranging discussion.
Our meeting is also home to Richmond Friends School, a small but vibrant K-5 school located next door to our meetinghouse.
Don’t see what you want? Start a new group – we want our space and equipment to be used! Our meetinghouse has been used for exercise and dance classes, meditation and yoga groups, retreats and overnights, club and department meals, and much more.
Again, welcome to Richmond. Best wishes, and see you soon!
West Richmond Friends Meeting
609 West Main Street
Richmond, IN 47374
Sunday worship 9:30 am
Sunday school 11:00 am
Office hours Tuesday – Friday mornings 9:30-12:30