Quakerism has developed unique approaches to worship, communal decision-making, and ongoing nurture of spiritual gifts and ways of holding each other accountable in love and in truth. All spring from a theology of the Inward Christ — God’s unmediated guidance of the faith community via direct ongoing revelation using the willing, listening hearts of the faithful in the present time.
This is a single Testimony rooted in our Quaker faith - not a basket of separate social testimonies. This Testimony is a form of prophecy — words and ways of living that express and live out God’s vision of the world. True prophecy stands in sharp contrast to the values and practices of Empire. Each dimension of this prophetic speaking and living flows from and is rooted in Quaker faith.
Having a willing, teachable heart is key to a life of faithfulness. How we approach relationships with others, untangle the many dimensions of hierarchy and caste at the heart of Empire, free ourselves from addictions, practice self-care, learn to live fully in our bodies, and address each others’ needs and possibilities shape powerfully our ability to be available to God in worship and in witness.
These include spiritual practices such as prayer without ceasing, fasting, and setting aside sabbath time - as well as ways our hearts can be cracked open by reading the Bible, the writings of Friends, song, poetry, and adult religious education courses, workshops, and long-term programs. All facilitate a deeper relationship with God — both for us as individual Friends and for our meetings.
Typical Differences between Ministry & Eldering
table (created by Susan Smith)