The Religious Society of Friends grew out of the movement of English Christian seekers during the mid-seventeenth century. The Religious Society’s founder, George Fox, spoke of the focus of Friends on inward transformation and emphasized our seeing that of God in all.
Be patterns, be examples in all countries, places, islands, nations wherever you come; that your carriage and life may preach among all sorts of people, and to them; then you will come to walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in everyone.
As Friends, we believe our lives should be a testament to our faith. We endeavor to “let our lives speak” the lived experience of our faith and to witness to the testimonies of Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality, and Sustainability.
Quaker historian and theologian Howard Brinton stated, “For Friends the most important consideration is not the right action in itself but a right inward state out of which right action will arise.” Therefore, all Quaker activity arises out of discernment in silent worship. Likewise, the business of the meeting is addressed monthly in a separate period of worship. Since voting would dishonor the voice of the minority, decisions are determined when there’s a sense that the Meeting has reached unity.
As Quakers, we are known for our commitment to non-violence and our determined struggle for peace and social justice in the world. For over 350 years, we have been active in opposing war, abolishing slavery, securing women’s rights, ending military conscription, eliminating the death penalty, establishing economic justice, and in achieving the full rights and protection for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people.
Contemporary Quakers come from diverse religious backgrounds and range from being Christo-centric to universalist to non-theistic.