Wednesday, March 17, 2010
76 / Quakerism 101
"Quakers," the name popularly given to members of the Religious Society of Friends, don't pledge themselves to any specific and commonly held liturgy, doctrine, or creed in connection with their membership. They do, however, record what might be thought of as their religious "findings" in books of "Faith and Practice." These publications are the "discipline" that guides Quakers in their worship, and in their participation in the larger society. "Faith and Practice" books are usually published by various Yearly Meetings. Yearly Meetings are generally larger, regional associations of Monthly Meetings, which are the local unit of worship and membership.
One of the articles in virtually all editions of "Faith and Practice" is what is called the testimony of "simplicity," which is really the Quaker version of "just say no."
There is no "official" list of testimonies, but a common acronym used in many Friends schools is "SPICES" - simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, and stewardship of the earth. For more information, click on the "Quaker Information Center" image.
In Santa Cruz, California, Quakers meet every "first-day" (every Sunday) for unprogrammed (mostly silent) worship, which starts at 10:15-10:30 a.m. at 225 Rooney Street, Santa Cruz, California. Click on the image of the Meeting House for more information on the Santa Cruz Monthly Meeting.