Twin Cities Friends Meeting (TCFM) belongs to the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), with affiliations to Northern Yearly Meeting and Friends General Conference. We are located at 1725 Grand Ave. in St. Paul, Minnesota, a block east of Fairview (view map/directions), telephone 651/699-6995. Sunday parking is available at the Ramsey Junior High School lots; enter either at Grand and Cambridge, or from the frontage road on the south side of Summit between Wheeler and Cambridge.
Meeting for worship is held:
- Sundays at 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.
- Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m.
The 11 a.m. meeting has First Day School (Quakerese for Sunday School) and nursery care throughout the school year, and informal child care during the summer months. First and fifth Sundays are exceptions. On first Sundays we hold “family meeting” where adults and children gather together for songs, games and spiritual exploration in a separate room from meeting for worship. When there is a fifth Sunday we have a 30-minute worship session where parents are specifically encouraged to bring their children. Adult education is held Sundays from 9:45-10:45 a.m. September through May.
How we worship
Twin Cities Friends Meeting (TCFM) practices unprogrammed silent worship, without ministers or prepared ministry of any kind. We wait together silently in faith that divine spirit, or an irresistible sense that we have a message to share with our fellow worshippers, may visit us at any time. Visitors are encouraged to attend at least several meetings for worship to get a sense of our manner of worship and spoken ministry.
Major decisions of TCFM are made in monthly Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business (MWB), through a process of Quaker clearness, or discovering “the sense of the meeting.” The process is sometimes described as consensus, and in fact Quaker clearness and consensus have similarities, but they are not the same thing. MWB is in fact a meeting for worship, and many of us think of the process as a communal seeking after the divine will. We are not merely seeking a compromise that all parties are willing to live with (that would be consensus), but a better third way that we will clearly recognize as the direction our meeting should follow. If only one out of a hundred Friends expresses a concern over a decision, we are committed to hearing that Friend fully, with open hearts and minds–a needed spark of that divine will might be found in that person’s words. On the other hand, a Friend with a concern may sometimes choose to “stand aside” from a decision, if they feel the community is better served going ahead with the decision despite their concerns.
TCFM currently holds Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business at 7 p.m. on the second Friday of the month.
Other decisions of TCFM are made by various volunteer committees, which also strive to make decisions according to the process of Quaker clearness.
Ours is a faith without a creed, but it is nonetheless a faith. At the core of our faith is a commitment to seeking and responding to that of God in ourselves and everyone. The oft-cited Quaker testimonies of: peace, simplicity, equality, and community, are not external rules to live by, but rather the natural outcome of seeking and responding to spirit in ourselves and others.
The roots of the Religious Society of Friends are clearly and powerfully Christian, and many of us in TCFM consider ourselves Christians. Others among us would not describe ourselves as Christians, but nonetheless may find ourselves drawn to Jesus’s message of love.
Perhaps our faith is best discerned through our practice. As a religious community without designated ministers, we are called on to minister to each other, in everyday life and through committees of care, clearness and support that any Friend or attender can request from Ministry and Counsel Committee. Requests for membership and marriage under the care of the meeting are always processed by clearness committees, and committees can also be requested for support or clearness during times of transition, suffering, or ripeness for spiritual growth.
Beyond the borders of the TCFM community, many Friends are deeply involved in peace, social justice and environmental activities on a local, national and international level. In addition to TCFM Friends doing such work individually, our meeting is involved with organizations such as Friends for a Non-Violent World (FNVW) and Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL).