This essay describes four doors as thresholds into the heart of worship, understood as communion with the invisible – but eternal – stream of reality in which the eternal Christ lives.
About the Author(s)
William Taber (1927-2005) grew up in Ohio Yearly Meeting (Conservative), which remained his spiritual home throughout his life. Bill taught at Olney Friends School for twenty years, and at the Penington Boys and Moses Brown Schools. He later taught Quaker history, practice and spirituality at Pendle Hill. During the 1980s, while he was at Pendle Hill, he served as a teacher in Philadelphia Yearly Meeting’s Quaker Studies Program. With his wife, Frances Taber, and individually, he led retreats on aspects of Quakerism, prayer, and the spiritual journey. In “retirement,” he and Fran coordinated the Friends Center, a Quaker retreat center under the care of Ohio Yearly Meeting.
Ohio Yearly Meeting recognized Bill Taber’s gifts in the ministry in 1966. These gifts centered on his ability to translate spiritual experience into plain language. The gifts were widely recognized by Friends throughout the world, and Bill’s Pendle Hill pamphlets remain among the most popular ever published. He wrote the pamphlets Four Doors to Meeting for Worship and The Prophetic Stream, as well as the books Be Gentle, Be Plain, a History of Olney and The Eye of Faith, the History of Ohio Yearly Meeting. Bill’s Pendle Hill pamphlets grew out of his awareness of a need for a more contemporary explanation of “what happens” in a Quaker meeting. He felt that this lack of instruction in method had become an increasing problem as modern Friends moved farther and farther away from the more pervasive Quaker culture, which in earlier generations played such a powerful teaching role, allowing Friends to learn the nuances and spiritual methods of Quakerism through osmosis. Bill’s writing was part of his effort to help nurture a traveling, teaching, and prophetic ministry among Friends.
Pendle Hill Pamphlet #306