Quaker Values And Testimonies

Our Quaker faith is experienced through action in our lives. This action cannot be imposed in any way, but it flows from the spiritual experience of each individual. Quakers search for ways in which they can live out their faith through the values that guide their daily lives. No two Quakers live out their faith in the same way, but as Quakers, each of us is open to the leadings of the Spirit. Being part of a supportive community encourages us to try to make our daily lives an affirmation to our spiritual beliefs.

It is through living the testimonies including: Peace, Equality, Simplicity, Integrity and Stewardship, that our spiritual experience is most profound. For over 400 years, these testimonies have been part of Quaker faith and practice and continuously challenge Quakers to live their faith.

PeaceQuakers commitment to peace stems from the knowledge that God is present in everyone. We relate to others based on that knowledge. This is the basis for our passion for peace. We are led to practice peace throughout our everyday life in the way we relate to others, the choices we make as consumers, and the work we do to help those in need, especially the victims of war and violence, both in our community and in the world. We work to raise awareness of economic and social injustice, and support alternatives to violence. We have an abiding commitment to change the circumstances that lead to war and strive to live peacefully at home and in the wider world.

“We need to have a much deeper concept of peace than the negative assumption that it is simply the absence of war. Peace is an organic concept, living and creative, and concerned with the relationships between people and between groups of people."
William Oats, 1991

Equality - Quakers recognize the equal worth and the unique nature of every person. There are no exceptions. This means valuing with people who are experiencing injustice, illness, prejudice, and people we have difficulty understanding. The Quaker value of equality moves us to work to change the systems that cause injustice and help to bring this light of understanding to our relationships with others.

“Cultural and other differences among us weave a tapestry that is immeasurably enriched by our diversity. It is the right of every person to be treated with dignity and respect.”
Richard Barnes, 2013

Simplicity - Quakers are deeply concerned about the excesses of our consumer society. We challenge ourselves to live simply and focus on the things that really matter– people and our experience of God. We understand there is a connection between the choices we make as consumers and the business practices that take unfair advantage of people or resources and therefore contribute to inequalities throughout the world.

Simplicity . . . has little to do with how many things you own and everything to do with not letting your possessions own you.”
Robert Lawrence Smith, 1999

Integrity - Quakers try to live according to the greatest truth we know, which comes from God. Integrity is the guiding principle we set for ourselves and expect in public life. This compels us to speak the truth to all, including to people in positions of power, people with whom we disagree, and in situations where we must stand as a grounded dissenting voice, and to do so in a genuine loving and caring way.

Stewardship - Quakers are aware of the gifts of the natural world with which we are blessed. We have a strong commitment to live in a sustainable way, being mindful of our responsibility to share these gifts with our global village as well as generations yet to come.