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. And our ability to open our hearts is in turn deeply tied to the extent that we feel ourself to be loved - both by God and by those we are connected to in this world. We are learning how to live in and love our own bodies as temples of God spirit - and to untangle and heal many form of brokenness that get in the way of our ability to love and serve God with all our heart.
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)