(FCNCL gratefully acknowledges Piedmont Friends Yearly Meeting for crafting much of the eloquent description of Quaker faith and practice presented here. More information on Quakers can also be found on the Quaker Speak website)
To hear Quakers of Color speaking out on race, visit this special compilation at the Quaker Speak website.
Quakerism began in the 17th century as a Christian movement; Friends often referred to spirit as “Christ within” or “the inward light.” While Christian expressions of spirit continue to be central for many Friends, in the 21st century other Friends feel led to describe their experiences in a variety of ways.
Being led by the spirit means that we strive to cultivate that sense that moves us to interact with each other in a loving way, that guides our decisions with openness to change and seeking a larger truth. We worship with an expectation of being “in the spirit,” which allows us personally and corporately to recognize both higher truths and connectedness. Cultivation of spirit compels us to work in the world with compassion and care for all of creation.
Continuing Revelation and Discernment. A long-standing tenet of the Quaker faith is that the revelation of truth has not been completed in the past and that new understandings arise. Our decision-making practice is characterized by discernment through listening, waiting for way to open, openness to multiple solutions, and fearless attention to truth as revealed in the present in order to arrive at a sense of the meeting.
Quaker Values. Rather than prescribing any creed, individuals are encouraged to become part of the corporate experience of Quaker faith and practice. The authenticity of the experience is based on inclusiveness, which in the 21st century, welcomes individuals and families from a wide range of religious traditions and practices and is affirming of diverse genders, ethnicities, racial identification, sexual orientations, ages, and beliefs.