Quaker Beliefs and Practices
Friends beliefs includes openness to an ongoing relationship with God and a willingness to live one’s life according to the leadings of the Spirit as affirmed by the community of faith. Friends try to live their lives consistent with the beliefs expressed using the acronym SPICES: simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, and stewardship.
We try to live our lives Simply, Peacefully, with Integrity, in Community, treating everyone Equally. We are opposed to war, and encourage peaceful resolution to conflict. We believe that all humans need to be good Stewards of the earth, limiting wasteful use of resources and encouraging exploration of sustainable innovations in energy, agriculture, and other industries.
Discerning how to live one's life is not always clear. Friends sometimes ask for a Clearness Committee, made up of their peers, to help determine how to go forward. Members of the Clearness Committee do not direct the path - they help the person clarify the path by asking Queries. Attenders who seek membership and members who wish to be married under the Care of the Meeting, request a Clearness Committee as well.
What is a Query and How Do We Use Them?
When early Quakers met each other, they would ask "How does the Truth prosper with thee?" rather than "How are you?" This was a way of asking about one's spiritual condition and relationship with the Divine. One way that Friends do this today is to pose questions to themselves, as a guide for self-examination and as a framework for periodically examining, clarifying and prayerfully considering the direction of our lives and the life of the Meeting community.
Using Queries, Quakers explore many facets of their daily lives to be sure that each is living in harmony with the Quaker community, wider communities and the planet. Our faith is an on-going search for the Divine. Queries help foster that search.
Videos on Quaker Practices
"Glossary of Common Quaker Terms"
A quick guide to some of the words that have special meaning for Quakers.
"What are the Quaker Spices?"
Simplicity. Peace. Integrity. Community. Equality. Stewardship. What do they really mean?
Meg Lytton, 10/8/2012