are Quakers, and what do they believe?
Society of Friends (Quakers) emerged out of the theological dissension
and turmoil of 17th century England. Our founder, George Fox,
was a deeply spiritual person, earnestly seeking divine guidance.
unable to find a home in the “steeple houses” of his
day; their priests and ministers did not help him along his quest.
One day he had an epiphany and heard a voice tell him “There
is one, even Jesus Christ who can speak to thy condition.”
That simple message transformed his life, was the foundation of
his belief and has become the foundation of Quaker faith and action.
that moment on Fox preached a radical new gospel, that all human
beings could communicate directly with the divine without intersession
by another human being, that what he called the “Inner Light”
was available to us all. He called upon his rapidly growing band
of followers to “walk cheerfully over the Earth, answering
to that of God in everyone.”
these simple statements he calls us to respect and treat all persons
as our equals before God, regardless of race, gender, religious
beliefs or social status. We are not to exploit, enslave, discriminate
against or act violently towards any other human being. We are
called to witness for peace, social justice and stewardship of
is a broad spectrum of worship practice among Quakers but all
emphasize a time of expectant waiting on the leadings of the Holy
Spirit. At Middlebury Friends Meeting we gather in that expectant
but not empty silence: During worship, all present may speak or
remain silent as they are moved by that Spirit.
we were called Quakers (which name is a story by itself) Friends
were often referred to as “Seekers after Truth.” We
welcome any such seekers to our spiritual community.
Drafted by Stewart Kirkaldy, July 2008
more information about Middlebury Friends Meeting contact Winslow Colwell at
win at wcolwell.com or call 802/388-1961