Ann Arbor Friends Meeting
1420 Hill Street Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104
Office: M-Th, 9am - Noon • (734) 761-7435 •
Clerks: • 734 996-0825 (c/o Lynn Drickamer)

Meeting for Worship
Sundays 9am, 11am | Thursdays 7:30pm
   3rd Sundays 7:45am instead of 9am
   5th Sundays 10am only
Meeting for Worship for Business
3rd Sundays, 9am


Make a Donation

New to Friends?
   Who are Friends/Quakers?
   What is Unprogrammed
   What is Meeting for
     Worship for Business?

Ann Arbor Friends
   About AAFM
   Meeting Committees
   LGBTQI Welcome
   Map and Directions

AAFM Activities
   Activities for Children/
     First Day School
     Teacher Job Descriptions
     Policy for Protection and
       Safety of Children and

   Financial Handbook (PDF)
   Financial Assistance (PDF)
   Middle East Travel Fund (PDF)
   Potluck Ingredients Form (PDF)
   Final Affairs Plan (PDF)

Quaker House Residential Community (QHRC)
   FAQs (PDF)
   Application for QHRC (Google form)

   Past Readings for Reflection
   Query for this month
   Environment & Social Concerns

Links Outside of AAFM
   Friends General Conference
   Lake Erie Yearly Meeting
   American Friends Service
   AFSC Michigan Area Office
     Prisoner Advocacy Program
   Michigan Friends Center
   Friends Lake Cooperative
   Friends Committee on
     National Legislation
   Pendle Hill
   Detroit Friends Meeting
   Friends for Lesbian, Gay,
     Bisexual, Transgender and
     Queer Concerns
      (Welcoming Church Directory)

Readings for Reflection: July 2003
from the Committee on Ministry and Counsel

On a Small Planet, Awaiting a Distant Signal

Recently I was talking with a neighbor and friend who had asked me about Quaker practices. He was particularly interested in why we sit down together in silence. I was doing my best to explain ideas like “centering down,” “listening worship,” and waiting for the “still, small Voice,” not at all sure that I was communicating the practice and intention of our silence.

I knew that I had met with some success, however, when he said, “Oh, is it like turning on your satellite dish, adjusting it toward the heavens, and waiting for a signal?”

Exactly! What a terrific image. It occurred to me as I thought more about that image of the receiver turned skyward, that it was also helpful to me in my struggles to define and understand faith.

Often, I feel envious of people who appear to have confident beliefs or have found comfortable homes within religious traditions and dogmas. I am also sometimes envious of those who have approached the practice of silence experimentally and have had profound personal or mystical experiences that have brought them to deep levels of convincement. Although I know that simply deciding to conduct the “experiment” is in itself an act of faith, the image of turning on and adjusting the dish to an inward setting may make that daily act of faith more tangible and perhaps also a little more light-hearted.

It certainly seems that waiting on the Light should be a joyful experience, filled with hope rather than striving and anxiety.

Ann Sprague, Detroit Friends Meeting

[republished with permission of the author, from the Detroit Monthly Meeting newsletter, April 2003]

All Readings for Reflection

All content, including pictures, images, text and quotations are
© 2018 Ann Arbor Friends Meeting unless otherwise stated.