Quakers is the name most often used to describe the 300,000 members worldwide of the Religious Society of Friends, although the name Friends is frequently used as well.
We believe the Divine Spirit is present in every person, and everyone is equal and precious before God. We have no formal creed, no ritual, dogma, nor liturgy. We believe all people can have a direct experience with God and it is not necessary to have clergy. Quakers feel that the whole of life should be lived sacramentally, so Friends do not celebrate outward ceremonies or sacraments.
There are Quakers of all ages, religious backgrounds, races, education, sexual orientation, gender identities, and classes. Many of whom have been drawn to the Religious Society of Friends because of its dual commitment to spiritual awareness and social activism.
Quakerism is rooted in Christianity and many Quakers center their faith on Jesus or the Bible, but some Quakers find that traditional religious language doesn't describe their inner experiences, and they look both within Christianity and beyond.
Our Form of Worship:
Quakers refer to our worship time as Meeting for Worship. We are an unprogrammed Quaker meeting, meaning we meet together in silence without clergy. As we gather in a friendly atmosphere of silent prayer and meditation, we allow thoughts that usually fill our attention to recede, and we can listen to the promptings of truth and love in our hearts, which we understand as arising from the Divine. The silence may be broken if someone present feels called to say something which will deepen and enrich the worship. Anyone is free to speak or pray aloud as long as it is done in response to a prompting of the Spirit. These messages are called vocal ministry and are not prepared in advance. This spiritual discernment of vocal ministry in the time of worship is an essential Quaker practice.
Meeting for worship ends after about an hour when an assigned person brings the worship to a close with a greeting or shaking hands with a neighbor. Quakers have worshipped in the silent or unprogrammed manner for over 350 years.