There is a principle which is pure, placed in the human mind, which in different places and ages hath had different names. It is, however, pure and proceeds from God. It is deep and inward, confined to no forms of religion nor excluded from any, where the heart stands in perfect sincerity. In whomsoever this takes root and grows, of what nation soever, they become brethren.
— John Woolman (1720-1772).
|Friends believein the presence of God within each person, oftenreferred to as the “Inward Light.” God is directly accessible to all without the need of either a pastor or ritual. God speaks in amanner that is personal, direct and certain – a continuing revelation. The Scripturescan be understood only by entering into the Spirit which produced them. Divine revelation did not end withthe publication of the Bible but remains available to anyone open to receive it. Because we believein the presence of God in everyindividual, we place a strong value on humanitarian and pacifist activities. Friends seek to remove the causes of conflict and war, striving to trust in loverather than to react in fear. The term “Quakers” comes froma description of early Friends as trembling at the word of God. While originally intended by the authorities as an insult, Friends now happily refer to themselves as Quakers. Out of these principles, Quakers have developed anumber of testimonies, including Equality, Peace, Simplicity, and Community.We sit in silence to hear more clearly God’s “still small voice” (1 Kings 19:12). Each worshiper is a listener. While some Friend’s meetings have pastors, Flushing Friends’ Meeting does not and our worship consists of “expectant waiting.” We have no prearranged prayers. We do have prearranged readings of the Queries andAdvicesset forth in our Faith and Practice book. During worship, a message may come to one of us that we wish to share. Friends value messages that are simple, come from the heart, andare prompted by the Spirit.
–Adapted from Binghamton Community Friends Meeting
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|The Religious Society of Friends
|New York Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends
|Friends United Meeting
|Friends General Conference
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