Quakers concept of Inner Light, inner voice = Holy Spirit within individuals heart
of simplicity, justice & peace. with Friends about Quaker faith
and practice. What does it means to be Quaker on a daily basis? Can tech help a quiet faith
find a bigger voice? And in a world of constant connection, could the rest of us use a little peace?Quakers have always expressed their faith in action, particularly social action and peace making.
nothing could possibly be as important to Quaker faith as the concept of Inner Light. Friends believe that the answers to their most pressing issues are ultimately found uniquely in their own hearts. – Mitch Gould
That every man, woman, and child on this planet has direct access to divine love, presence, and guidance – and if we listen closely to this still small voice we can heal ourselves, our families, our communities, and our world. – Steve Chase
God is with us, helps, leads, and comforts us, if we are willing to stay in touch. – Margaret Kataranides
Truth and integrity (truth to self) are what we seek. When truth within matches truth without we are expressing that which is whole within us. It is then that we are most free: willing to be and do what God [Logos, The Way] wills us to be and do, rather than reacting out of habit, past wounds, and unexamined cultural norms. – La Verne Shelton
Metaphorically, the overlapping of circles (like those from raindrops falling on a calm pond) between us and God… we are a little in God and God a little in us and where the twain meets, light blossoms. – Bill Powell
For me it’s the silence and the waiting and the discerning what the Spirit is saying and then acting on it. - Edy Nolan
Openness to the Spirit and to love. Keeping the testimonies growing in our hearts and not reaching for the shorthand. Openness to the possibility that, despite believing in divine guidance, we make mistakes and are not always right. – Ruth Seeley
To me such an exercise is powerfully expressive of Quaker faith, which is not doctrinal but expressed in the individual experiences of those who practice. I think these answers together create a lovely poem expressive of the multitude of ways that Quakers understand and experience Quaker faith. If you'd like to view the whole conversation, go to the original Facebook post. - Lucy
The Religious Society of Friends is commonly referred to as Quakers. It consists of the members of the Society and many others who worship with us and are involved with us.
- Quakers believe that everyone has a direct connection with God, which some call the 'inner light' or ‘Spirit'.
- Each Quaker seeks their own path with the support of the group. We try to clarify our beliefs by careful consideration, listening to the Spirit within us, listening to others and reading the wisdom of others.
- Although our origins are Christian we are open to many ideas. We are committed to working for equality and peace and believe firmly in religious tolerance.
- All are welcome to join us.
Pacifism - https://www.quakersaustralia.org.au/
Quakers believe that there is a spirit within each of us that joins us all together – some call it 'that of God'. It follows that we cannot deliberately harm or kill another person without damaging that spirit. That was as obvious to 17th Century Quakers as it is to us today.
But pacifism is not just ‘thou shalt not kill’. It is an active process of removing situations where violence and war may occur. It is also a complex process of understanding how different forms of violence are related and of accepting that peace does not come overnight.
If one person tries to dominate, control ordamage another person it is no different from a country trying to dominate, control and damage another country. So stopping domestic violence is as important as stopping wars.
How I treat my family, friends, colleagues and the people I meet in the street or on the bus can help the world become a peaceful and safe place.
The food, clothing and other things I buy affect other people’s lives – particularly those who have made those products.
My purchases also have environmental consequences and can result in a lack of resources available in other parts of the world. This in turn can lead to competition for resources and on a global scale can lead to war.
Violence also comes from individuals who are afraid, lack confidence or feel their lives are not under their own control. Hence, social justice systems where people know their concerns are being heard and taken into account are essential.
Even without environmental change there are millions of people in the world who do not have fresh water and/or adequate food and shelter. Inadequate sharing of the world’s limited resources leads to mass movements of people desperate to find their basic needs. Hence the refugee crises affecting millions in many countries.
So for Quakers pacifism is working at all levels of society - personal, national and global. Some individuals are involved in their local or national communities; others work internationally at the Quaker United Nations offices in New York and Geneva.
But there is also a danger in being pacifist. The scale and complexity of the problems can become overwhelming. So we concentrate on our own skills and abilities and our own world. If we are each doing even small things to make the world a more peaceful and safe place, then we are moving in the right direction.
If you would like to explore our peace activities and attitudes further you could look at our recent public statements, some of the investigations by our Peace and Legislation Committee, our World War I Exhibition and other groups and organisations we are in contact with.
In many respects, simplicity is at the heart of all Quaker aspirations.
Early Quakers felt they should live simply, tending to real needs and avoiding luxuries. They were aware of the poverty around them and that resources needed to be shared.
For Quakers in the affluent West today, simplicity of lifestyle is challenging. Quakers value the spirit over material objects. This is demonstrated in the way Quakers worship in a simple room undecorated with symbols. Our worship is based on silence in which any may speak which invites a direct, uncluttered experience of the spirit.
The earliest Quakers demonstrated visible forms of simplicity through what was known as Plain Dress; the clothes they wore were plain, unadorned, usually grey or black, and without showing expensive jewellery or other ostentatious displays of wealth. Later on, when many Quakers entered the milling and weaving trades it was noticed that their clothes tended to be of the best quality! So the practice of Plain Dress was dropped, but the spirit carried on.
Today, Quakers will often buy cheaper, fairly traded clothing or support charity shops rather than buy expensive designer labels. Many Quakers still don’t wear jewellery at all, but of those who do, the jewellery is chosen for its sentimental meaning or its aesthetic value rather than how much might be paid for it in the shop. We try to follow Mahatma Gandhi's call to ‘live simply, that others may simply live’.
It is not true that Quakers don’t usecomputers, mobile phones, cars, or other forms of technology; what is true is that they always try to consider the impact that lifestyles and other choices might have on themselves, on other people, and on the Earth itself. Quakers consider whether the benefits of these choices might be outweighed by the harm of them.
You may also be interested in an article by Jenny Spinks.
Integrity starts at the personal level, seeking to be honest with ourselves and others. Integrity in our thoughts and actions arises from accepting that each person is of equal value.
Integrity links our beliefs to our words and our actions. It requires us to find the places where we do not live according to our principles and to review our behaviour.
Usually there are no simple answers to how we might act. Quakers do not have a book of rules about these things. But there are Quaker Queries that help us focus our consideration of how we act.
John Woolman (a Quaker born in New Jersey in 1720) came to realise that to own a slave was inconsistent with Christian understanding and his conscience. Tricky, because America’s main industry depended on the toil of slaves. Woolman’s campaigning was mostly gentle. When visiting, he would insist on paying the slave who had looked after him. He and others who felt this way also preached and spoke persuasively. It took him and others 12 years to convince Quaker Meetings to ban slavery.
We may become aware of corrupt business practices, deliberate deception by lying, secret deals and bribes, coercion and unfair work practices. Integrity may suggest that we should withdraw from many institutions. Yet integrity also requires that we become involved to work for change.
Perhaps we become aware of enslaved workers who make our favorite products. How should we act on this knowledge? Finding the path that allows us to act with integrity can also resolve our internal contradictions, and reduce stress.
The Quaker approach to integrity gives principles, and asks questions. Each person responds in the way they feel appropriate for them and applies the amount of energy that is realistic toward bringing about change. But we must apply the integrity test to how we pursue change - so Quakers are unlikely join in violent actions because violence always promotes more violence.
Integrity is one of several Testimonies developed by Quakers over the years, which can be seen here.
What do Quakers need to make decisions about? Matters of governance, campaigns and actions they will get involved in - and more.
How do Quakers make decisions? A little differently. Quakers extend their worship into listening for the guidance of the Spirit. Each person in a business meeting has a glimpse of that guidance. So it’s important to listen carefully to each person who wants to contribute. Some silence surrounds each spoken contribution.
Decisions are made without voting. The clerk of the meeting, after listening, proposes a minute that summarises the sense of the meeting. Anyone may suggest a change to the minute. If the minute is agreed it becomes the completed minute of that topic - confirmed by those present.
Often, the decision is a lot different from the direction at the start. Because everyone could contribute to the minute there is usually a high level of commitment to the action that’s been agreed.
If we cannot agree we may defer the matter to a later meeting to discuss it and perhaps come up with fresh insights. Or we may ask a small committee to come back with a recommendation.
If there is not agreement the clerk will minute that there is not agreement. The decision does not go forward into action.
When this process works well, there is a strong sense that the Spirit has guided the meeting. It is uniquely Quaker and yet the method can be used in other organisations. It may be slow - sometimes the process calls for a lot of patience. Sometimes it is remarkably quick. It takes individual discipline and commitment.
Continuing revelation. Humility. Truth. – Emma Churchman
Unmediated access to the Divine. – T. Harrison
I would add: fearless direct nonviolent action when necessary, consensual process. – Laura Roxanne Seagraves
There is That of God in everyone. That belief is the primary reason that I became a Quaker, and the reason I remain a Quaker. – Marilyn Gilmore
Quaker silence is an invitation to experience that of God within ourselves, and indeed within ...
The Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends in Britain has recently released the fifth edition of its Quaker Faith and Practice book.
https://www.thinkingfaith.org/articles/book_20101201_1.htmDec 1, 2010 - 'Who are the Quakers, what do they believe and what do they practise? At the heart of their faith lies the conviction that everyone can have a
https://www.quakersaustralia.org.au/Quakers believe that faith is lived through action. Meet three Quakers who express their faith in different ways - Susan Hill, Roger Sawkins and David Carline.
List of Quakers
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This is a list of notable people associated with the Religious Society of Friends, also known as Quakers, who have a Wikipedia article. The first part consists of individuals who are known to be or to have been Quakers continually from some point in their lives onward.
The second part consists of individuals whose parents were Quakers or who were Quakers themselves at one time in their lives but then converted to another religion, formally or informally distanced themselves from the Society of Friends, or were disowned by their Friends Meeting.