Welcome to Friends of Silence
Friends of Silence is a non-profit endeavor to facilitate others in reverencing silence, prayer, contemplation, the Divine Guest, and the Oneness of all creation as well as to encourage the life-giving empowerment that derives from the Silence.
"Is there enough Silence for the Word to be heard?" questioned T.S. Eliot in his beautiful "Ash Wednesday" poem.
All too often the answer is NO! And where a need is not being met, small groups of individuals rise up to answer the Cry.
Nan Merrill, a woman of wisdom and compassion, began Friends of Silence in Detroit in 1987 as an urban contemplative community welcoming individuals of all faiths and cultures. We have grown from 40 to an international community at large of over 6,000 pray-ers. We are linked in the Silence, in heart-prayer, and in friendship to many religious and spiritual communities as well as the various F.O.S. groups that are emerging in prisons, businesses, and community centers throughout the United States and around the world. Recognizing the efficacy of silence, we meet together or in the solitude of our homes to hold our family and neighbors, our cities and country, our world and planet in silence and prayer.
Friends of Silence take time to offer the gift of themselves in silence, prayer, and sharing. Opening one’s heart with the desire to radiate Love and Light is a response to the noise, speed, distractions, the violence, injustice, and oppression so rampant today. The outward, visible results of silence are difficult to discern or to define. Yet, by faith, we continue to spend time in silent prayer, often being blessed with the inward fruits of the Silence: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and gratitude.
For those who would be in solidarity with Friends of Silence through shared times in the Silence at home or within gathered groups, the following guidelines are offered:
- A commitment to meet regularly for an hour or so in a space conducive to silence;
- Let there be mostly silence starting, if it is helpful, with an appropriate short reading offered prior to the time of silence;
- Let there be an expectant attitude that the Silence of each individual will be transformative somewhere in the world through the mystery of Love;
- Honor the time spent in silence by ending with a time of journaling and/or sharing, if two or more are gathered, and for intercessory prayer for the world.
We would like to know who you are that you may be held in heart-prayer. We ask only that you, in turn, hold us and the growing community of Friends of Silence in your prayers.
We welcome any feedback, suggestions, and/or tidbits for the monthly letter. There are no fees or dues. Since the letter is made possible through tax-deductible donations, any amount to help sustain this endeavor and to defray the costs of publication are, of course, accepted and very much appreciated, with our heartfelt gratitude!
Aware or not, everyone needs and hungers for simplicity and time for solitude and silence. May your Silence help to balance the noise of today’s world! And may you come to know the strength and power of the Beloved . . . the peace and joy of Divine Love . . . and the gentleness and guidance of the Divine Light in the goings and comings of your everyday life!