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Quakers believe that God speaks to the heart and mind of every person. Equality is centrally important to Friends, who strive to address "that of God" in each person. Quaker worship and decision-making are both shaped by a common search for the Truth as revealed by the prompting of the Spirit. In practical terms, one result is that Quaker organizations make many of their decisions by a process of gradually discerning, as a community, what is the best decision for the entire group -- in other words, by building consensus.
Another result of the Quaker belief in equality is that many Friends are active in social justice concerns, sharing the conviction that each of us is called to work for peace and understanding, treat all persons with respect regardless of differences, and discern the active presence of the Spirit at work in the world among us.
Some Quaker meetings worship in silence, with attenders providing "vocal ministry" as they are led by the Spirit. Others have pastors, and follow a programmed tradition similar to many Protestant Christian denominations. In either case, Friends believe that each person is called to be a minister to others.
From pioneer days to the present, the Richmond and Wayne County, Indiana area has been an important national and international center for Quaker activities and institutions. Most of the early settlers in the area were Friends, who began arriving in the early 1800s, drawn west by the prospect of inexpensive, fertile farmland and the opportunity to escape the slave-owning culture of the South. Among Friends' first contributions to the area was a boarding school for high-school aged children that would later become a nationally ranked liberal arts institution, Earlham College.
Prior to and during the Civil War, local Quakers expressed their opposition to slavery in various ways, with many becoming actively involved in the Underground Railroad that helped escaped slaves travel to freedom. Differences over how to express opposition to slavery, over theology, and over how to respond to revival movements sweeping the Midwest in the 1800s challenged the unity of Friends and led to some organizational divisions still reflected in the diversity of Quaker worship practices today.
In 1887, an important conference was held in Richmond: Quakers from North America and England gathered to create a statement of faith and practice as a basis for unity. The document they created, "The Richmond Declaration," is still in use today by many Friends groups. Later conferences led to the creation in 1902 of a national and international association of Quakers which is known today as Friends United Meeting (FUM). FUM offices are presently located at Quaker Hill in Richmond.
Quaker Hill was also the site of a national meeting of Friends in 1943 when it was decided to create the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), the first registered religious lobbying organization in Washington, DC and a continuing focal point for many Quakers striving to bring Friends testimonies including peace, equality, justice, and concern for community to bear on national legislation. Friends today are still making history in Richmond and Wayne County through their centers of worship and social outreach, their educational institutions, and their individual and collective participation in community life.
Levi Coffin House113 US 27 N, Fountain City(765) 847-2432June-Aug, Tues-Sat 1-4; Sept-Oct, Sat only 1-4Former home of Quaker Levi Coffin. Was an important stop on the Underground Railroad. Now operated as a State Historic Site.
Friends Collection — Lilly Library, Earlham College(765) 983-1511Mon-Thur 9-12, 1-4, 7-9; Fri 9-12, 1-4; Sat-Sun 1-4;reduced hours during summer and college breaksContains books, documents, art and artifacts related to Friends history, and an extensive genealogical collection.
Richmond Friends School 607 West Main St., Richmond (765) 966-5767 Celebrates the spirit of every child and values their uniqueness. Community talks openly about peace, fairness, racial harmony, cultural understanding and social outreach.
Earlham College801 National Road West, Richmond(765) 983-1200Nationally ranked liberal arts college deeply rooted in Quaker testimoniesincluding simplicity, peace, justice, respect for persons, community building, and equality.
Earlham School of Religion228 College Avenue, Richmond(765) 983-1423Oldest and first accredited Friends seminary. Serves as an intersection for Friends and students of other traditions who desire high quality theological education and ministry preparation within a formal context.
Quakers in Richmond and Wayne County use a variety of worship styles reflecting both historical practices and contemporary Christianity. Visitors are always welcome. Some congregations worship out of silence with members and attenders speaking as they are led by the Spirit, while others, known as "programmed Friends," choose to worship with hymns, scripture readings, a prepared message from a pastor, and other elements familiar to many contemporary Christians. Many worship services combine elements of both traditions.
First Friends Meeting2010 Chester Boulevard, Richmond(765) 962-76669:30 a.m. worship; 11:00 a.m. Sunday SchoolChild-centered meeting with a day care center and youth program opportunities. Center for Spirituality offers a wide range of adult experiences in learning and spiritual growth.E-Mail: email@example.comWebsite: http://firstfriendsrichmondindiana.com/
West Richmond Friends Meeting609 West Main Street, Richmond(765) 962-44859:30 a.m. worship; 11:00 a.m. Sunday School"Semi-programmed" worship combines the best of both the silent and pastoral Quaker traditions.E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.orgWebsite: www.westrichmondfriends.org
Clear Creek MeetingStout Memorial Meeting House, Earlham CollegeNational Road West (US 40), Richmond(765) 966-375210:00 a.m. worship and First Day SchoolSilent worship in the unprogrammed tradition.E-Mail: email@example.com
College Meeting for WorshipStout Memorial Meeting House, Earlham CollegeNational Road West (US 40), Richmond(765) 983-15011:00 p.m. worship when college is in sessionUses format of programmed Quaker meeting. Opportunity to worship God and explore Christian faith from diverse viewpoints. Speakers include faculty, staff, senior students and visitors. E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dublin Friends Meeting1 block south of US 40, Dublin(765) 478-40749:30 a.m. worship; 10:30 a.m. Sunday School E-Mail: email@example.com
Fountain City Friends Church303 US 27 North, Fountain City(765) 847-227010:30 a.m. worship;9:30 a.m. Sunday SchoolSaturday 6:00 p.m. worship
New Garden Friends MeetingClosed
Nettle Creek Monthly MeetingClosed
West River Friends Meeting5 miles west of Economy on US 35(765) 489-551210:30 a.m. worship; 9:30 a.m. Sunday SchoolE-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Williamsburg Friends ChurchUS 35, Williamsburg(765) 886-542610:30 a.m. worship; 9:30 a.m. Sunday SchoolE-Mail: email@example.com
Quaker Hill Conference Center10 Quaker Hill Drive, Richmond(765) 962-5741Provides facilities to religious and nonprofit groups for retreats, workshops and other events.Website: www.qhcc.org
Friends United Meeting101 Quaker Hill Drive, Richmond(765) 962-7573Central offices for the largest of the world's Quaker denominations. Home to Quaker Life magazine and Friends United Press.Website: www.fum.org
Ichthys House215 College Avenue, Richmond(765) 962-9352Hospitality center for meetings, worship, meditation, meals and Christian fellowship.E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Friends Fellowship Community2030 Chester Boulevard, Richmond(765) 962-6546
Offers a continuum of residential and health careaccommodations for older adults.
The Lauramoore Friends Home504 NW 5th Street, Richmond(765) 962-2984
Small, family-style retirement home in historic building. Moderately priced, providing meals and 24-hour staffing.