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The Gathered Meeting and Embodied Quaker Voices

Apr 5, 2021

An evening with Stanford Searl, Carroll Research Scholar at Pendle Hill, Spring 2020
7:30pm - 9pm Eastern Time (US & Canada) via Zoom.

Free to the public! Registration required.

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610-566-4507, ext. 137

This lecture presents a 17th century perspective about the gathered Quaker experience from Francis Howgill and then explores the three themes about the centrality of knowing through an integrated embodiment, the place of Jesus in the gathered meeting and the presence of the Spirit and the Light.

There will examples from the research conversations about all of these themes, including this one from an Upstate New York Friend: “So what I experience in a gathered meeting is a form of communion of hearts and minds and spirits in the room. And a communion, not just with each other, but also with the Divine.”


During the spring of 2020, Stanford Searl worked as the Carroll Research Scholar at Pendle Hill, completing fifty-five interviews (mostly virtual because of the pandemic) with both Pastoral and non-Pastoral Friends, asking them about the meanings of the Quaker gathered meeting. In 2019, the Poetry Box published his poetry chapbook, Mary Dyer’s Hymn and other Quaker Poems. These poems explore the meanings of the four Quaker prophets and martyrs, hanged by the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the Seventeenth-Century. Also in 2019, a small press published Songs for Diana, a poetry chapbook about the life, death, and meaning of our severely handicapped child, Diana Margaret. In 2005, Searl completed two books about research into the meanings of silence in Quaker worship, including Voices from the Silence and The Meanings of Silence in Quaker Worship.

For nearly twenty-five years, Searl worked as a Core Professor in an interdisciplinary doctoral program at Union Institute & University, a dissertation advisor for more than eighty doctoral dissertations in the humanities and social sciences.

Searl lives in Culver City, California with his wife, Rebecca, a birthright Friend from Whittier, California and is a member of the Santa Monica Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends. He joined the Quakers as part of the Buffalo, New York, Monthly Meeting in 1970 and helped to start the Peconic Bay Monthly Meeting on eastern Long Island.

Travel directions to Pendle Hill.