For Quakers, faith is about our direct and inward experience of what is most real and true for each of us. And about how this experience transforms the way we each live. We believe that deep experience can be found through stillness and waiting rather than liturgy or ceremony, something to be lived out rather than described or defined by creeds.
Quakers try to be open to new opportunities and possibilities, and open to insights and understandings of others. People come to Quakers from many faith traditions, or from none. This enriches our community.
Worship is the root of being a Quaker, the strength and inspiration for all we do. Our shared worship is is unlike any other experience. We gather together to open ourselves to the strength and guidance we need to live in the world, to seek connection with our inner selves, each other, and the deepest truth. We seek a place beyond words where hearts may be open, challenged and inspired. Though we do attempt, as well, to describe our own experience in the words that are most helpful and meaningful to us and others.
Faith is about the whole of our lives; to be lived out. We seek, in our own lives and with others, to work towards a fairer, more truthful and more peaceful world. We try to foster peace within hearts and lives, within families and communities, and between groups and nations. We recognise the preciousness of every life.
The Society of Friends
In the Society of Friends (Quakers) we share responsibilities, care for each other and for our shared spiritual life. There is no formal hierarchy, and each voice has equal weight and value. Our worshipping communities have no-one paid to look after us in any way. We have our own business methods, which like our worship, spring from silence. We seek to discern the right way forward to which we can all agree.
Seeking, listening, sharing
Quakers are enjoined to:
Take heed, dear Friends, to the promptings of love and truth in our hearts.
and: Be patterns, be examples in all countries, places, islands, nations, wherever we come, that our carriage and life may preach among all sorts of people and to them; then we will come to walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in everyone (George Fox 1656).
(First 4 sections based on enquirers’ leaflets from:www.quaker.org.uk/resources/free-resources/outreach-materials; 5th section quoted from Advices and Queries of the Religious Society of Friends.
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