Listen with an open mind to what is said. Members are referred to as Friends or Quakers. This realization is central to Quakerism. Even though his views were viewed by some as a threat to society and he was jailed for blasphemy in 1650, Fox and other early Quakers continued to share their beliefs. The worst thing about Zoom is when people don’t mute themselves and you can hear their kids yelling in the background, or their dogs barking, or their television blaring. What they see in my Zoom background is a table piled with stuff I need to sort through and throw away some day when I have time, a space heater that no longer works, and my fishing pole. For Friends, unity is not usually unanimity, which is agreement without dissent. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at fgcquaker.org/contact. In the 19th century, many of the leaders of the women’s suffrage movement in the United States were Quakers, including Lucretia Mott and Alice Paul. Alas, here we are, still jumping at every cough, looking askance at strangers, and updating our wills. The Shakers, who were pacifists like the Quakers and Amish, came to America lived in communal settlements and were celibate. Consequently, in our meetings for worship and business and in our daily lives, Friends try to manifest our common values. On the other hand, the community knows that it must listen carefully to heartfelt dissent, as God's leading may come through any one of us. For Friends, all people have the possibility of direct access to God. Fox and Fell married in 1667. I noticed the puzzled expressions of the meeting participants, but that is fairly common when I talk, so I paid it no mind. Anonymous: Anonymous wrote: Anonymous wrote:The hostility on this thread is offensive. Fox shared his religious beliefs and epiphanies with others, speaking to increasingly larger gatherings. This is why there is not an overly top-down hierarchy for Friends. With God's guidance, we try, instead, to find nonviolent solutions to conflicts and differences and to help others through service, the promotion of social and economic justice, kindness in daily living, and the support of each other's search for that of God within. If the Chinese want to take over our little piece of America, they can have it. See Silence and Worship. A number of Quaker beliefs were considered radical, such as the idea that women and men were spiritual equals, and women could speak out during worship. Sit anywhere you like, but if possible leave seats near the door and at the end of rows for latecomers. For Friends, staying together despite differences is an important aspect of community, and we realize that the more differing opinions we consider, the more closely we may come to the truth. Then everyone shakes hands. Among them, Friends value life as sacred. At what were once long, dull Quaker meetings, Zoom lives up to its name. a kid growing up in Danville, it was my job to adjust the TV antenna to pull in the signal from Indianapolis. A core belief is that there is the light of God in … Friends have found that messages may be for our personal reflection or for sharing on another occasion. Go in as soon as you are ready. Within just a few years, several thousand Friends had moved to Pennsylvania from Britain. The Louisiana city of New Orleans still retains much of its French-infused heritage, and ...read more, The Great Awakening was a religious revival that impacted the English colonies in America during the 1730s and 1740s. "Christians do not believe in god as "light," but in the flesh and blood personage of Jesus Christ. They opted not to use honorific titles such as “Your Lordship” and “My Lady.”. Because Friends recognize that there is that of God in everyone, Friends appreciate that anyone at any time may express God's leadings. Penn, who had been jailed multiple times for his Quaker beliefs, went on to found Pennsylvania as a sanctuary for religious freedom and tolerance. The silence may be broken if someone present feels called to say something which will deepen and enrich worship. Many, but not all, Quakers consider themselves Christians. Anyone can worship on their own, but for Friends the gathered community worshipping together is a critical component to what it means to nurture the life of the Spirit. The elders are kind and thoughtful people, but I assure you, if a hacker took over our meeting, he would be pleading for escape within 15 minutes. Subject: What are Quaker meetings like? There are different branches of Quakerism; some have “programmed” worship services that are led by pastors, while others practice “unprogrammed” worship, which is done in silence (those who are inspired can speak) without the guidance of a pastor. Over the course of his journey, as Fox met others searching for a more direct spiritual experience, he came to believe that the presence of God was found within people rather than in churches. No one in the 194-year history of our church has ever voluntarily attended a meeting they didn’t absolutely have to. The differing opinions and beliefs of individual Friends are challenging to many Friends and to many Friends meetings. Some people will have a profound sense of awe and wonder because they know God is present. You can learn more about what Quakers believe by visiting our introductory page found here. Testimony – For Quakers, living out one’s faith in community is of utmost importance. When we do, our values become our testimonies, or witness, to the world. When the way does not open, we question if we have correctly understood our leading. For Friends, all people have the possibility of direct access to God. Bring whatever is pressing on your mind to meeting. To be more receptive to revelation, Friends practice simplicity and integrity. We take the Psalmist's advice literally: "Be still and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10). Direct Encounter with God – Quakers believe that they do not need a mediator, a priest, pastor, or physical elements like the Eucharist or water Baptism to interact with God. I have no idea whether our venture will pan out, but I’m enjoying our discussions. Like other Quaker meetings, the wedding service is mostly held in silence but anyone who feels moved by the Spirit can speak or pray. Using a different image or concept such as ‘spirit’ or ‘light’ can be helpful. Or they may be a leading to stand and speak. Quakers were also early abolitionists. Nurture the Life of the Spirit – Quakers believe that the meeting for worship is essential. Simplicity requires integrity, which is honesty in all dealings, telling the truth on all occasions, and consistent adherence to one's values. In 1681, King Charles II gave William Penn, a wealthy English Quaker, a large land grant in America to pay off a debt owed to his family.