What Are Your Favorite Quaker Words or Passages?

“That Friend speaks my mind” is one of Jennifer Higgins-Newman’s favorite phrases unique to Quaker faith and practice. “When I hear that as we’re doing business, or I get to use that,” she says, “I think it helps us as a community… tether ourselves or knit ourselves to each other. Like, ‘oh yeah, that’s me, too.’ Or ‘that is what Spirit is calling me to, too.'”

We asked several Friends about their favorite words and phrases from Quaker vocabulary, and they shared words and phrases with powerful spiritual resonance. Didn’t see your favorite expression in the video, or just want to learn more about Friends-specific terms? Visit our glossary at Quaker.org—or share your thoughts in our comments section!

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10 thoughts on “What Are Your Favorite Quaker Words or Passages?

  1. Two of my favourite Quakerisms are:
    when I can say that somebody’s ministry “speaks to my condition”- it is such an archaic but descriptive way of acknowledging the truth of somebody else’s words
    the idea of “discernment” is so rich and deep, so much more than agreement or conclusion

  2. Favorite Quaker passage: Let us then try what love can do.
    Or the complete passage, “Let us then try what Love will do: For if Men did once see we Love them, we should soon find they would not harm us.” — William Penn

  3. “I will. hold you in the Light.” This gives me the image of wrapping as person in a cloak of true caring. To me it is so much more meaningful than saying “I’ll pray for you.”

  4. When we say we will pray for someone, we say: we will “HOLD YOU IN THE LIGHT!” I love this brief caring phrase that speaks our concern as coming from our heart and our desire to LIFT SOMEONE UP rather than just speaking words.

  5. “Way Opens” is a phrase that describes my spiritual journey. I think it was Dr King who said “I only need enough Light to see the next step.” And for me taking a step, no matter how small, has lit the next step when I have felt lost. Take a step. Make a move. Way opens.

  6. My favorite phrases are, ” continuing revelation” and “way will open”. When I believe in continuing revelation, I believe that God will show me the way , one step at a time, and because of that, way WILL open.

  7. Let Love be the first motion. I often bring this up when I’m trying to discern whether my response to a situation is the best one. I can ask myself whether the response is coming out of love, or fear, or anger or helplessness. And then, if it is not love driving the response, I can consider what a response led by love would look like for me.

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