One Quaker describes her experience in this way……..
“Although we have our roots in Christianity, we find meaning and value in the teachings and insights of other faiths and traditions. Quakers believe that there is an “Inner Light” in each person. Some Quakers call this God.
“The experience of Quakers is that everyone can have a direct relationship with God and can experience this in their own way. We meet together for silent worship, waiting to receive inspiration from the “Spirit” or “Light” within ourselves and others in the room. People may feel moved to speak. This is called “Ministry”. Anyone can do this as Quakers do not have priests or someone leading worship.
“Our focus is on our experience rather than creeds or liturgy. Our collective experience is shared in “Quaker Faith and Practice”. This book is an anthology of Quaker experience and insights from the seventeenth century to the present day. It is updated every generation, recognising that our understanding of truth moves on.”
……..and another Quaker has described his experience this way:-
We sit in silence as a group “turning away from our own thoughts and suspending our imagination to feel a spiritual Presence in our midst”. Friends have described their experience of this Presence as God, or the Spirit or the Light, speaking to their condition.
For most of us, we can only try to be aware of our “condition” and spend our time in our Meeting opening our hearts and focusing our minds so that, together, we edge just a little way towards the experience of the Meeting being gathered in a presence felt by each person.
“I am a contemporary Quaker” writes a present-day Friend, “because being a Quaker offers me the richest road-map I know into the heart of being human in the twenty-first century.” And being Quaker starts with the Meeting for Worship experience.
Quakers feel that it is no good having beliefs or a faith without putting one’s faith into practice. Quakers believe that there is something of God – the Presence, the Spirit, the Light – in everyone and try to respond to all people in a way that treats everyone with respect whatever their beliefs, race, age, gender (physical or mental abilities) or personal circumstances.
If you want to find out more about Quaker life and practice, try these sites: