Our Quaker Heritage and Traditions
Lincoln was not founded as a Quaker School, the School came under the
jurisdiction of the New England Yearly Meeting and Society of Friends in 1924
to secure the School's financial position and, more importantly, to provide a
Quaker education for girls in Providence. While Lincoln School is no longer
responsible to the Yearly Meeting School Committee or the New England Yearly
meeting, we remain connected to our valued Quaker roots by maintaining our
membership with the Friends Council on Education and working continually to
incorporate the Quaker testimonies of Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community,
Equality, Service, and Stewardship of the Earth into our lives on a daily
Silent Meeting at Lincoln School provides a weekly forum for reflection on the Quaker
values of respect for the individual and the inner light, which reflects the
goodness in each one of us. Silent
Meeting begins when the first person sits down in the agreed-upon gathering
space and continues while everyone is seated and beginning to, what Friends
speak of as "centering down." Centering down is when our focus turns from
external distractions to our quiet, centered place. During that time, students
or faculty may choose to share thoughts and reflections with the community. At
the end of our silence, a designated member of the meeting will shakes hands
with another person and each one present shakes hands with those sitting
Lincoln, Silent Meeting takes on a different set of characteristics throughout
our different programs and divisions.
In the early childhood program, a short silence is followed by the celebration
of community and of individual worth.
In the Lower School, a longer silence is followed by a student led discussion
on community values and issues.
In the Middle School, the concept of a "query," or essential question is
introduced, and a more extended silence comes before a time to share
announcements and sentiments about the community.
In the Upper School, the silent meeting is just that - silence that we hope
secures a sense of inner peace and tranquility, providing an opportunity for
everyone to learn how to listen inwardly and to perhaps share a piece of ones
inner-life. Announcements take place in another space making a distinction
between the peaceful effect of Silent Meeting and the lively tone of Upper
variety of projects and committees are in place to continually reflect on our
Quaker values. The Community and Spiritual Life Committee in the Upper School
is involved with the Quaker Youth Leadership Conference.
Religious and Spiritual Life Committee (made up of students, faculty, staff and
three trustees) meets regularly to review our continuing work and to explore
new opportunities for outreach and strategies for keeping our Quaker traditions
and values vital and accessible within our community. The critical role of this
committee remains to share and inform across the community and to the Board of
Trustees about the spiritual work and activities that are taking place across
the Lincoln community.
newly created Center for Peace, Equity and Justice through Service promotes the
visionary leadership of individuals who embrace the values of Lincoln School
and strive to construct new models for inclusion.
Lincoln, one of our traditional songs, "Simple Gifts," speaks of the calming
down into ourselves and discovering our humility, or - from our motto - our lowliness. Lowliness is a quality of
self-confidence, which allows one to encourage the strengths (and voices) of
others. It is important that we maintain perspective and remain grateful for
simple gifts. In the third verse
of the traditional song, it reminds us: "'Tis the gift to think of others not
to only think of 'me.'" We are indeed fortunate to be part of a community based
upon Quaker values that expect each of us to act with social responsibility and
compassion - that it is truly the simplest of gifts.