Who We Are
As Quakers, we emphasize the inward experience of Christ. God speaks to all those who will learn to listen.
As Christians, we have a deep respect for scripture, and we emphasize the message of a saving and life-transforming relationship with the Living Christ to whom the Bible points. Responding obediently to the Light of Christ Within leads to a new life, one that is being restored to the goodness and wholeness that God intends for each of us.
When a person worships God in spirit and in truth, no outward element is required. What is essential is the inward experience of communion with God and immersion in God’s life-giving Spirit. We believe the Christian spiritual life is reflected in a changed heart and life, rather than the mere performance of rituals.
Traditionally, Quakers have gathered to worship in silent waiting, listening for a message from Christ. When worshippers are led to speak, they rise and simply share what has been laid upon their hearts.
Being part of the “programmed” tradition of Friends worship, we also employ music, the reading of scripture, vocal prayer and preaching. These outward acts can serve to direct us toward God in spirit and truth. But the heart of the meeting for worship, our “communion,” is the period of silent waiting that we share together.
We also are known for the ways we emphasize our historic social “testimonies.” People who listen to and allow themselves to be shaped by Christ will live in ways that bear witness to him. And so we continue to emphasize simplicity, peacemaking, integrity, community, and equality. Friends are still very much involved in making lifestyle choices that reflect these qualities, as well as speaking and acting in ways that confront the larger culture.
While all of these testimonies are highly valued among Friends, we are perhaps best known for our commitment to finding non-violent solutions to conflict. The Quaker movement has a storied history of leadership in many efforts for peace and social justice. Friends were instrumental in the Underground Railroad, the abolition of slavery, women’s rights, the humane treatment of those suffering from mental illness, and prison reform, to name a few.
We are a forward-looking movement. We want to let our past serve as inspiration for our efforts today to make this world more compassionate, peaceful and just. Being followers of Christ means transformation, not only in our personal lives, but in the larger world.
Quaker faith is a relationship with the living Christ!