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Quaker

Quaker

Quakers, or the Religious Society of Friends, are a Christian community of believers who acknowledge Jesus Christ as `a man through whom the divine light shone undimmed’. Their founder, George Fox, was inspired by his belief that there is something of God in everyone – an inner or divine light – and that God is directly accessible to all. While Quakers acknowledge the Bible as inspired words from God, they rely as individuals on their direct communication with God for guidance.

As a result of this direct relationship with God they have dispensed with the traditional outward forms of religion such a strict adherence to a creed or professional clergy to interpret God’s word and traditional texts to be used in worship. When Friends (Quakers) have a spiritual meeting, they do not rely on priests or leaders.

Quaker member, Bridget Nomonde Scoble, pictured second from the left in the middle row, attends a SAFCEI anti-nuclear coalition meeting in 2017.

The meeting begins in living silence in which the clamour of daily life is stilled to hear God’s voice, then anyone present may offer prayers or ministry.

A ‘right relationship’ with Creation

With the growing awareness of and concern for the state of the environment, Quakers across the world are starting to apply their values of peace and justice to actions to promote care of the earth. Increasingly, Quaker writers and organisations have argued that their core values and the future of our planet are threatened by the current economic system. The consequences they predict are environmental devastation, increasing economic inequality and wars for resources.

Earth-aware Quakers propose living in a “right relationship” with the Earth to preserve the integrity, resilience, and beauty of the commonwealth of life. This requires radically changing our individual behaviour and our social structures to a way of life that honours all of God’s creation.

Our religious experience of the natural world is pervaded by a strong sense of God’s presence immanent within it ….and so we have come to look upon nature as a temple God created for Himself, and as deserving not of “stewardly” exploitation, but of healing and humble respect. And we have come to recognize that the non-human creatures are our fellow worshippers in that temple, our fellow inhabitants of God’s Kingdom, and to realize that as such they are entitled to all the rights, all the gentleness and consideration, that Christ himself would give them.

Marshall Massey a co-founder of the Quaker Earthcare Witness in Quaker Environmentalism

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