Saturday, 1 November 2014


This post is from the new Facebook group Quaker Renewal UK, and is published here with permission.

I have been reflecting on Craig Barnett’s blog Quaker Space or Quaker Way and in Meeting for Worship last night I realised how unifying this is compared to the disparate beliefs we hold. Our challenge for Quaker Renewal is to explain very clearly and very simply the key aspects of the Quaker Way and then to support people in following this path. We need to remember the clarity of the Quaker Way as a spiritual practice.

Advice and Queries 1: Take heed, dear Friends, to the promptings of love and truth in your hearts. Trust them as the leadings of God whose Light shows us our darkness and brings us to new life.
This advice is first for a reason. It is the core of the Quaker Way. Meditating on this message, we can notice that this is not about ideology it is a call to action.

The Quaker Way is to LISTEN to the promptings of love and truth in our hearts. The only thing that matters in Quakerism is whether we live a spirit-led life. We want everyone to pay attention to these promptings and for our Meetings to be places where this is encouraged and nurtured. We will show you how you can be more and more open to these leadings.

The Quaker Way is to TRUST these as the leadings of God as we become increasingly aware of our own darkness and limitations. We recognise that learning to trust the promptings of our hearts can be challenging. They may be urging us to make radical changes to our life and priorities and we need to be able to discern whether they are of love and truth. We don’t want people to be isolated in this experience and have established Quaker ways of helping people discern what is based in love and truth. We can help you test your own leadings within the security of a loving spiritual community.

The Quaker Way is to ACT in response to the possibilities for new life that are shown to us. Our spiritual experience results in action: we begin to change the way we see the world. Over the years, from this spiritual experience, Quakers have developed testimonies to peace, simplicity, equality and truth. We want to develop spiritual communities where everyone feels they have support from kindred spirits in responding to this life-changing experience. Within any Quaker meeting, there will be variety of types of action already happening and we can help you discern the path that you feel called to and support you as you make your way.

Notice the structure that is offered. Notice that we already speak very clearly about what the way involves and that we have elders and long-standing friends with plenty of experience to share. I suggest that new attenders will be pleased and reassured to hear us speak in this way compared to simply stating that Quaker believe different things. Of course, new attenders themselves will also bring their insights and spiritual experiences which will, in turn, deepen our practice. Let’s energise a Quaker Renewal by being more confident about what we can offer people seeking a different spiritual path. Starting from a common love of A&Q 1, let’s deliver a unified expression of the Quaker Way.

Emma Roberts

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