Here's what one Friend said as a survey response to the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting spiritual evaluation of his meeting (printed with permission):
For me the meaning of the word "God" is found in the idea of a group which becomes more than the sum of its parts. "God" is not supernatural, not magical, not "up there" pointing toward the sky. God is the community's spirit expressed in the grand German word Gemeinschaft. So at the heart of the God experience is being part of a community of like thinkers who understand that they are located in the ongoing flow of time, not locked into a given past. The Inner Light is what illumines all investigation into who and how I am from moment to moment within the ongoing God conversation.
This, for me, is best supported within the Friends. No matter what meetings I've attended or belonged to, the same sense of purpose and openness to spoken witness or intense silence has surrounded me.
I personally came to the Society during High School in 1959 when a professor at Drew Seminary in Madison told me I should visit Plainfield, NJ, Meeting. I attended the next First Day, and it was like coming home. I continued at Ithaca, NY, Meeting while attending Ithaca College and my subsequent employment at Cornell University during the Vietnam years. This was my conscientious objector Alternative Service working as a German language specialist in Olin Library. Upon returning to New Jersey I went to Chatham Meeting, which I believe was then still called Summit Meeting. Now in retirement, I am a Member of Greenwich Meeting and currently serve as clerk of the Salem Quarter Steering Committee.
Several years ago, I determined to join Greenwich Meeting after attending a Meeting for Business. I saw how committed this small meeting is to service to the larger community, and I wanted to be a part of that.
Greenwich Meeting is generally a silent Meeting. While I give vocal ministry more often than others, I'm just as often silent. But my silence is not in-grown "meditation" looking for an "empty mind". I come to Meeting with the purpose of working on an issue, holding something important In the Light, working at discernment around issues within me often prompted by the outside world, though frequently also dealing with my own theological concerns.