Quaker faith springs from a deeply held belief in living our lives according to our spiritual experience. Quaker testimonies have a long history. Quakers worked for the abolition of slavery and are still involved in issues of racial justice. We have always opposed war as a means of settling disputes and still work for peace and alternatives to violence. Quaker testimonies arise out of an inner conviction and challenge our normal ways of loving. They exist in spiritually-led actions rather than rigid written forms. They are governed by continuing spiritual experience and are not imposed in any way. They require us each to search for ways in which the testimonies can become true for ourselves. It’s not easy! But with loving advice and a supportive community, Quakers are encouraged to keep trying.
- Quakers are concerned about the excesses and unfairness of our consumer society, and the unsustainable use of natural resources. We try to live simply and to give space for the things that really matter: the people around us, the natural world, and our experience of spirituality or the Light within.
- Quakers may be best known for our peace testimony, which derives from our conviction that love is at the heart of existence and that all human beings are equal in the eyes of God. If we truly believe that there is That of God in every living thing, then we must always struggle to find alternatives to violence. This has led Quakers to refuse military service and to become involved in a wide range of peace activities, from practical work in areas affected by violent conflict to the development of alternatives to violence at all levels from personal to international.
- Quakers try to live according to the deepest truth we know, which we believe comes from the Light Within, or God. This means speaking truth to all, including those in positions of power. Integrity is the guiding principle we set for ourselves and expect in public life.
- Quakers recognize the equal worth and unique nature of every person. This means working to change the systems that cause injustice and hinder true community. It also means working with people who are suffering from injustice, such as prisoners and seekers of asylum. Prepared to be different…
Quaker testimonies are not a set of words, but an expression of our spirituality in action. In attempting to live out our testimonies, we are holding up an alternative vision of humanity and society, centered on meeting real needs rather than ever-changing desires.