• Spiritual Life

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Student Life

Spiritual Life

While Quaker values of Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality, and Stewardship are woven into the day-to-day life and activities of Tandem Friends, Meeting for Worship is the center of organized spiritual activity. Each Wednesday, the school community gathers for forty minutes of shared silence. We sit in silence, listening inwardly, together. Sometimes someone shares a thought. Sometimes a "query" is presented for reflection at the beginning of the Meeting. Always, we go to Meeting with the belief that each member of the community carries an Inner Light which can be gleaned and expressed when one listens deeply to oneself and others.

Meeting offers a period of quiet meditation, a time for all to sit together in thoughtful and deliberate silence. Meeting is a process of sharing, searching and listening for meaning and understanding in a safe and calm space.

As has been the Friends' practice for over 350 years, the community gathers together in quiet reflection to listen for the Inner Voice. Out of this calm center, and after an initial period of settling-in, members may become more sensitive to all that is sacred around us. When moved to speak from a calm center, teacher and student alike may provide vocal ministry to the community. Every Meeting for Worship is different, in part because there is no official liturgy, and also because thoughts and concerns that may weigh heavily on members change from week to week. Meeting for Worship punctuates what can otherwise be a fast-paced week of learning with a quiet, meditative period of calm reflection.

The Meeting for Worship and query schedule is planned by the Friends Council, which also guides the spiritual culture and atmosphere here. The committee meets biweekly at lunch, includes faculty and staff members and members of the Charlottesville Friends Meeting community, and is open to interested students. The committee talks about issues in the school community and student life, local concerns that might have a spiritual impact, and any upcoming Quaker-affiliated activities. It serves as the primary link between the school and the Charlottesville Friends Meeting.
Contact our Assistant Head of School for Mission & Values, Peter Gaines, if you have questions about spiritual life at Tandem Friends.