Quaker History

The Quaker movement began in seventeenth century England with the ministry of George Fox.  Fox emphasized the immediacy of Christ as an Inward Teacher. Early Friends met in silent, waiting worship in which any member might be led to speak, rejecting need for ordained clergy and outward ritual. Friends also took great care to ensure that their daily life reflected the truth as they had come to discern it, developing testimonies on Integrity, Peace, Simplicity and Equality.  Quakers today continue to challenge one another to live out these testimonies.  While some Friends Meetings have adopted a programmed worship service, others like Dayton Meeting continue to meet in silent worship which prepares us for service in the world.  The Ohio Valley Yearly Meeting Book of Discipline says of Quaker Worship:

True worship, whether vocal or silent, is offering ourselves, body, mind, and soul, for the doing of God’s will. During the silent waiting, the flow of the Divine Spirit from heart to heart is often felt. “One is your teacher, and all ye are brethren” (George Fox.) Worshipers should gather in a spirit of silent prayer with a willingness to give, as well as receive, so that the full possibilities of the Meeting hour can be reached and its influence extended throughout the community from week to week.

The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) holds as a basis of its faith that there is that of God in every person, which we call the Inner Light, an that each person has direct access to the Holy Spirit.


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