What are the Quaker SPICES?

Simplicity. Peace. Integrity. Community. Equality. Stewardship. Friends talk about these “Quaker values” often, but what do they really mean?

In this week’s video, several Friends help us examine each of the “SPICES testimonies” in detail—and discuss whether it’s appropriate to reduce the lived experience of early Quakers to a set of abstract values.

Is QuakerSpeak worth $1 a video?


6 thoughts on “What are the Quaker SPICES?

  1. Take heed, dear Friends, to the promptings of love and truth in your hearts (moment by moment, living eternally in the present!) Trust them as the leadings of God whose Light shows us our darkness and brings us to new life.
    i.e. don’t be afraid of any “darkness” – sit with it. What is it showing/saying to you? Love AND truth will bring you to a continual, joyful, new life.
    This is a day the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it (Psalm 118:24)

  2. It might be a sign of my age, but I find the “spices” upsetting.
    And that’s because it was presented to me differently.
    It used to be step or pest.

    Old friends introduced me to it.
    Henry Stokes who grew up in Germantown Meeting taught me to think of them as the corner posts in the foundation of a dwelling (your spiritual home)
    “Spices “comes from this.
    I believe it has been changed very recently.
    Somebody got rid of truth and added stewardship ,community and integrity.
    I saw something in print very recently about it.
    There was a perspective put forth that those 3 really don’t belong.
    I really loved the original.
    I’m surprised at how deeply it hurts me, every time I see it put forth.
    My heart cries,” What did you have to mess with it for?”
    For me, the addition ends up representing a loss.

    1. I feel you in your sense of loss. However, as said in the presentation, if we should take the SPICES at the same level as CREEDS, then we will really limit ourselves. It is my take that Quakers have been fairly flexible/open, making them receptive to divergent thoughts.
      For me, two acronyms have stood out for Quakers: STEP, and SPICES. In the first one we discuss Simplicity, Truth, Equality, and Peace. In the second we discuss the spices as shared in the SPEAK.
      My take has often been that TRUTH, and INTEGRITY, are not far removed from each other. A person of Integrity will most likely be a person of TRUTH. Thanks.

  3. i am directly descended from Oliver Cromwell Matthews who, with his family and his father Thomas, came from Sligo, Ireland in the 1660’s and landed in Delaware. Oliver (and possibly Thomas) was a ‘Public Member’ of the Centre Meeting. Thomas appears to have been a Cavalier in Cromwell’s New Modern Army. if you have further information about his family, i would really appreciate learning about it .

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