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Quaker 101

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Peace Pole

So just who are the Quakers?
The Quakers have developed from strong Christian roots. However, personal experience and action have always been more important than dogma. Therefore we do not have a creed, and are open to a wide variety of beliefs.

Some central beliefs that hold us together as a religious community are:

  • The light of God is in everyone. This is sometimes translated as there is that of God in everyone.
  • Each person can have a direct, personal relationship with God — there is no need for a priest or a minister as an intermediary.
  • Our relationship with God is nurtured by worship based on silent waiting.
  • The nature of God is love.

These beliefs lead us to strive for:

  • the equality of all human beings,
  • simplicity in our worship and in our way of life,
  • peace,
  • social justice,
  • the right to freedom of conscience,
  • a sense of shared responsibility for the life of our communities and the integrity of creation.

Want to know more? Visit the Web page for the New England Yearly Meeting (of which we are a member).

Additional sources of information are a BBC page on Quakerism and a BBC discussion of the origins of Quakerism which are linked below.

An excellent source of information about the current status of Qiakers is the Swarthmore Lecture given by Ben Pink Dandelion at the annual meeting of British Quakers.

Another excellent resource is the recent issue of Christian History which is fully devoted to Quaker History. It is titled The Surprising Quakers: Heralds of Peace in a world of conflict. It contains 10 articles by a number of prominent US Quakers representing various strands of Quakerism in the US. It can be downloaded in full at https://www.christianhistoryinstitute.org/uploaded/56bd05145e68d1.44619788.pdf. Unfortunately I am unable to upload it onto our web site.

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