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We believe that each and every person has an Inner Light
Greene Street Friends School has a deep commitment to the Society of Friends belief in “that of God in everyone.” Each of us brings to the community an Inner Light, an individual guide to acting truthfully, responsibly, and kindly. This Light helps us relate to each other, seek truth, and find good in others. We help our students recognize and share their own Inner Light as well as appreciate it in all people.
Meeting for Worship, moments of silent reflection, and service to the community provide our students opportunities to cultivate their Light as well as connect to the Quaker testimonies of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, and equality. We show each of our students the meaning of these values and how living them can positively impact the way we walk over the earth.
Meeting for Worship
The spiritual center of the school is Meeting for Worship, held every Wednesday from 8:30-9:00 am.
Quakers believe that each person has access to divine wisdom, but we need to take time away from our busy schedules in order to hear it. At our school, children and adults gather for thirty minutes of quiet reflection at the beginning of each Wednesday. The children are encouraged to sit quietly, clear their minds, and open their hearts. If a child or adult feels moved to stand and speak to the whole meeting, everyone listens respectfully and settles back into silence when the speaker is finished. Children often offer very thoughtful messages. At the end of the half-hour, everyone shakes hands with their neighbors and heads back to their classrooms.
Students and teachers sit by class. The Greene Street Friends community welcomes those who are interested to join us.
Because we believe that every person has an inner light, we see Meeting for Worship as a time for the light of any and all, especially students, to shine. The most powerful and extraordinary meetings have been driven by students, and we seek to create an atmosphere where students feel safe in sharing their messages.
Frequently Asked Questions
How are people from different religious traditions treated at Greene Street Friends School?
Quakers have a long history of respecting different religious traditions. At Greene Street, students are encouraged to learn about the variety of practices reflected in our diverse community through guest speakers on multiculturalism, as well as classroom activities. For example, they may fry latkes in class for Hanukkah, read a story about a shepherd for Christmas, and learn a song about Ramadan in music. Parents who would like to come into class and share an aspect of their own faith tradition are welcome.
How is Quakerism taught at GSFS?
In addition to Meeting for Worship, students are exposed to Quaker practices and the values of peace, equality, and simplicity. For example, starting in Pre-K, children learn to resolve disputes with each other peacefully by speaking their own truths and listening to each other. They learn the Quaker tradition of service through events like our Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. In the third grade and fourth grades, they have units on Quaker history, though this explicit instruction on Quakerism is less central than the fact that we strive to treat all children and adults with respect based on the Quaker belief that “There is that of God in every person.”
Quaker Beliefs at a Glance:
• Integrity (truth-seeking)