Friends General Conference

Together we nurture the spiritual vitality of Friends

Quaker Spirituality

Quakers practice a religion of experience, a contemporary, simple, and radical faith.  Quakers are also called Friends.

Quakers believe . . .

  • Every person is known by God and can know God in a direct relationship.

  • The Quaker faith has deep Christian roots. Many Quakers consider themselves Christians, and some do not. Many Quakers find meaning and value in the teachings of many faiths.

  • Quakers strive to live lives that are guided by a direct encounter with the Divine, more than by teachings about the Divine.  Quaker terms for the Holy include God, the Seed, the Light Within, and the Inward Teacher, among others.

  • Testimonies are ways that Quakers have found to express our experience of the Divine in our lives.  Some of the best recognized testimonies include simplicity, integrity, equality, community, and peace.

Quaker worship . . .

Quakers gather in the silence and wait expectantly to come into the presence of the Divine and to be guided by the still, small voice by which God speaks to us from within. During the silence anyone—child, woman, or man—may feel moved to offer a simple spoken message (vocal ministry) that is inspired by this holy encounter.  Following the message, the silence resumes.  A period of worship may include several messages or none.

Quakers include . . .

There are Quakers of all ages, religious backgrounds, races and ethnicities, education, sexual orientations, gender identities, abilities, and classes.  You can find Quakers on all of the world’s continents. Approximately one-third live in the United States and Canada.

This page best describes the branch of Quakers associated with Friends General Conference. Other North American Quaker branches, represented by Friends United Meeting, Evangelical Friends Church International and Conservatives from Ohio, Iowa and North Carolina Yearly Meetings, have variations of Quaker practice and faith that are best explored on their websites.