If your new to the Religious Society of Friends, the Quakers
"I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness or abilities that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again."
Quakerism can be both the simplest, and yet the most difficult of religions. With no creed or prayers to memorize or recite, or even hymns to sing, what could be easier? Yet without higher earthly authorities to provide their answers, we mush search for them ourselves, as they apply to us individually, and then live by them. At times that can be very challenging.
Quakers believe that there is something of God in everybody and that each human being is of unique worth. This is why Quakers value all people equally, and oppose anything that may harm or threaten them. Quakers seek religious truth in individual inner experience, and place great reliance on conscience as the basis of morality.
You do not have to be a Quaker to attend a Quaker Meeting for worship. Meetings are open to all, children included, and you may come as you are. The heart of the Quaker way is the silent Meeting for Worship, which generally lasts for one hour.
We are people of differing backgrounds, with the common understanding that all people are on a spiritual journey. Friends have no single creed or outward sacraments or symbols. We believe that within each person there is a divine spark, or "that of God," leading us to oppose everything that diminishes life: war, violence, oppression, injustice, and excesses of all kinds. We hold that killing another human being would be an act against that of God in him or her.
Despite our diversity, Friends find that we can live in accordance with our common values. When we do, our values become our testimonies, or witness, to the world.
Friends testimonies on Simplicity,Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality, Truth, and Diversity have evolved over time and are the outward expressions of Friends' attempts to turn our idealism into action. These Testamonies are to be lived, not memborized or cited, but there are a number of groups who have addressed them, just two examples being from the American Friends Service Committee and Woodbrooke, an international Quaker learning and research organisation based in Britain
We accept all who come into our midst as spiritual seekers.
Will I be welcome at a Quaker meeting?
Try this link: quaker.org/legacy/langleyhill/values.html
If you're new to Unprogrammed Quaker Meetings (meetings not lead by a Minister)
We worship in silence, speaking (or not) as we feel moved. We seek spiritual direction in quietness.
We do not pass a collection plate, nor do we require participants to wear formal clothing.
We are all on a first-name basis, irrespective of age, experience, or position.
We do not insist that all agree on what faith means because we cannot fully describe it.
We believe there are many ways to meet and experience God, and to live justly and compassionately.
We emphasize what we call "Testimonies'" of Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community and Equality with faith that endeavoring to live by these testimonies will lead to a better world of peaceful coexistence among all individuals, groups, and nations.
We respect and cherish the environment
We often call each other "Friend" but do not use Quaker Plain Speech (Although you're welcome to do so if you like, here's some background: https://quakerspeak.com/video/history-quaker-plain-speech/
Queries and Advices are used by individual Friends and by the Meeting community for inspiration and reflection, as an invitation to live life more fully in the spirit. SouthEastern Yearly Meeting publishes the Queries and Advices we use, which can be found at https://seymquakers.org/resources/queries-advices/ pages 95 - 110
SEYM also publishes, online, our "Faith and Practice" what is basically our procedures manual. which contains the Queries and Advices.
Silent Worship and Quaker Values: An Introduction by Marsha Holliday: an excellent overview, is available at
What to expect at Quaker Meeting, A Quaker Speak Video is linked below: