For some Friends, it’s the direct, personal connection with God. Others cherish the community coming together in discernment. And some keep returning to the grounding moment of silence.
What’s YOUR favorite aspect of Quaker faith and practice?
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Cara Pfeiffer: I’ve been thinking a lot, even just today, about the non-sacramental nature of Quaker theology on the Spirit. That the Spirit is present at all times and drawing us into communion that goes beyond the sacrament of communion that is deep at the heart of embodied time together as the meeting gathers and that we are connected by the one Spirit, and I’ve really been particularly drawn to that during this moment in time where we’re in lockdown– COVID-19– and we can’t be present with one another but we have this strong tradition that tells us we are always present with one another and present with the Spirit.
A Few Favorite Aspects of Quaker Faith and Practice
Marcelle Martin: The element of Quaker faith that most resonates with me is the idea that each one of us has a direct connection with God. That the presence of the divine, of the light, of the Spirit, the Spirit of Christ is inside of us and can guide us and lead us if we pay attention to it. And more than that, the Quaker community is designed to help each other listen for that, listen for it individually and together.
Emily Provance: There are a couple of things that I have learned over time in the Quaker tradition. One is that this original concept that God speaks to directly to all people is alive everyday, and it can guide our actions everyday. And the other piece that I’ve learned that is just as important is that it isn’t enough to have one person who can hear directly from God; we need the community as a whole to sit and to listen together and to discern together because we’re all imperfect. And so that tie to the community, I’ve discovered, is equally important in the practice of the faith and it’s something that I feel is incredibly precious.
A Moment of Silence
Hayden Dawes: I think my favorite aspect of Quaker practice is having a moment and that means to briefly hold silence and hold worship where you might be and whoever you might be with. My partner, my husband, and I, before we eat dinner together we have a moment. Whenever I have friends that come over I encourage us all to have that brief moment of silence before we start eating the meal. It’s– it both gives me more space to have that moment and also kind of fills me up all at the same time.
Derek Brown: My favorite aspect of Quaker faith is silence, although I would admit it’s the hardest aspect of both my faith and even just everyday life. Silence, I think, is one of the hardest things any of us have to do but I think that’s why it’s so important. I think silence is important in Quakerism because it’s the antidote to a lot of the troubles in this world. Specifically I think many people today are looking for more sacredness. I think silence strips away any pretension because I think even when we pray, in the back of our minds we are– oh, I think we have a habit of justifying our actions, of diminishing our responsibility while condemning others. Silence strips that away and it’s just us and allowing God to say, “What is your role in what’s going on?”
Standing in Thin Spaces
Sara Gada: So there’s an issue of Friends Journal where it’s focused on the idea of “Thin Spaces,” and that’s something that really speaks to me. I didn’t realize how much until I, you know, was reading the articles and there’s this particular article about a donut and it’s very short but it’s a rollercoaster of a ride that when I read it it brought me back. It brought me back to what is important for me to remember about my Quaker faith and these thin spaces are the spaces that make the most sense to me, that are there in everyday life, and to be able to center down or fall in to worship at a moment’s notice, when these tiny things pop up it is something that I hold dear and at this time in my life is really, really important and really life affirming.
- 1) Do you have a favorite aspect of Quaker faith? If so, what is it?
The views expressed in this video are of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Friends Journal or its collaborators.