Friends General Conference

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Quakerism 101

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Announcing a short course for interested members and attenders Introducing the history and principal elements of Quakerism.

"Quakerism 101" is held on 4 weekday evenings 7:00-9:15 during January and February each year at the meetinghouse.  For 2020, Session 1 is Thursday evening, January 23rd followed by the next 3 Thursdays: January 30th, February 6th & 13th. 


There has always been a need in a Quaker meeting for attenders and members to come to an adequate understanding of Quakerism.  Unprogrammed (“silent” worship) meetings do not provide a very good setting for explaining the principles of Quakerism and so the attender naturally is left with some basic questions. What sort of a religion is this in which I find myself involved?  What is its history? What does it stand for?  How is it practiced and what are the principal theological tenets?  How is it organized and what are the expectations of membership?  Durham Meeting is making this course available to all adults and teens in Meeting who wish learn more about Quakerism or to refresh their knowledge.

It should be pointed out that the intention of this course is only to provide a brief introduction to the basic historical, theological, and structural facts of Quakerism.  A deeper and more broad education regarding Quakerism is available in many other venues and, most importantly, the experiential basis of Quakerism must be apprehended through ongoing worship and work.

Durham Meeting’s “Quakerism 101” will be offered in four 2-hour evening classes.  The four evening classes are held on Thursday evenings with dates as specified in the Meeting newsletter and email announcements.  Participants are invited to prepare for each class by reading approximately 10 – 15 pages of study material found by clicking on the appropriate class link below. These downloads also reference other resource materials for more extensive study, if desired.

The four units of study are:

1.  The Quaker Explosion:  The Experience of Early Friends and The Light Within 

     [Click here for the study materials for Unit 1]

2.  Quaker History – Proud and Painful

     [Click here for the study materials for Unit 2]

3.  Quaker Practice – How and Why Worship, Ministry, Business, and Membership

     [Click here for the study materials for Unit 3]

4.  Living our Light: Quaker Witness – A Powerful Legacy, A Challenging Present

     [Click here for the study materials for Unit 4]
There should be ample time for questions and discussion at these classes.