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Our Testimonies

Peace

Friends oppose and refuse to engage in war and violence. In pursuit of lasting, sustainable peace, they seek to eliminate causes of violent conflict, such as poverty, exploitation, and intolerance. In renouncing war and violence, Friends embrace the transforming power of love and the power of nonviolence, striving for peace in daily interactions with family, neighbors, fellow community members, and those from every corner of the world.

Friends endeavor to see “that of God” in every person, regardless of nationality, race, gender, sexual orientation, age, ability, or social status.

Equality

Friends hold that all people are equal in the eyes of God and have equal access to the “inner Light.” This profound sense of equality leads Friends to treat each person with respect, looking for “that of God” in everyone.

Integrity

The need to deal honestly with all others and with oneself has long been a foundational belief among Friends, summarized by the old injunction: “Let your yea be yea and your nay be nay.” For Friends, having integrity means being authentic and having consistency between one’s values and one’s actions. Lack of integrity separates us from our own soul, from the Light within, and from our community.

Community

While the Quaker faith is founded on the principle that every person can have a direct relationship with God, an equally central tenet lies in the power of the “gathered community.” When Friends gather in silence to worship, they are collectively seeking the will of God, rather than meditating individually. Shared worship signifies unity and trust. The Friends community also provides a place for individual members to look for wisdom and support. For example, early Friends relied on their community to provide for the families whose breadwinners were imprisoned for their beliefs—and at Quaker weddings today, the union is not formalized by a clergy member, but is witnessed and endorsed by every member attending.

Simplicity

Friends believe in simple living. This has historically meant simple dress, plain speech, and unadorned meeting houses for worship. Through the simplicity testimony, Friends encourage one another to look beyond the outward and to the inward. In contemporary terms, Friends try to live lives in which activities and possessions do not get in the way of open and unencumbered communication with others and with one’s own spirituality. Clearing away the clutter makes it easier to hear the “still small voice” within.

Stewardship

Friends strive to use God’s gifts wisely, with gifts conceived in the broadest of terms. These gifts include our talents and our possessions, as well as our natural environment. Friends believe that such gifts are not ours alone.

To Friends, good stewardship means taking care of what has been given, not just for ourselves, but for the people around us and for future generations as well. Friends strive to use their gifts in accordance with their beliefs.

 

From the booklet An Introduction To Quaker Testimonies.

 

 

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