Friends General Conference

Nurturing faith and Quaker practice
A Quaker community in Frederick, Maryland

Quakers

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Quakers are members of the Religious Society of Friends, a Christian group that began in England in the mid-1600s. To us, the words "Quaker" and "Friend" mean the same thing. Friends believe that all human beings have that of God within them. This Divine Spirit and Inner Light have been available to people in all ages.

Our focus is on our experience rather than written statements of belief. Our community is based on sharing a powerful form of silent worship and on our shared set of deeply held and historically rooted attitudes and modes of living in the world. These core values, or “testimonies,” are a concern for simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, and stewardship. These lead us to translate our faith into action by working for social justice, supporting peacemakers and caring for the environment. We also hold a strong conviction that revelations are not a thing of the past.

"The Quaker conviction that revelations are not a thing of the past—that the word of God continues to be heard throughout the world—forms the basis of our worship, our practice, and our testimonies. Just as we worship with attention to the word of God, the Light, expecting new revelations, so those new revelations, once tested by the gathered Meeting of Friends, can lead us to testify to the world about these new truths. Over time the visible testimonies of Quakers have evolved. So, with attention to the word of God, will new Quaker testimonies arise."

—From Baltimore Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice, 2013 Draft.

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