Leadings | Quaker faith and practice

At the World Conference of Friends in 1991, Val Ferguson asked: Does anything unite this diverse group beyond our common love and humanity? Does anything make us distinctively Quaker? I say yes. Each of us has different emphases and special insights, but wherever Friends are affirming each other’s authentic experience of God, rather than demanding credal statements, we are being God’s faithful Quakers. Wherever we are seeking God’s will rather than human wisdom, especially when conflict might arise, we are being faithful Quakers. Wherever we are affirming the total equality of men and women, we are being God’s faithful Quakers. Wherever there is no division between our words and our actions, we are being faithful. Whenever we affirm that no one – priest, pastor, clerk, elder – stands between us and the glorious and mystical experience of God in our lives, we are faithful Friends. Whether we sing or whether we wait in silence, as long as we are listening with the whole of our being and seeking the baptism and communion of living water, we will be one in the Spirit.

And now at this critical point in time, when our outdated world view no longer satisfies, comes this breakthrough: science and mysticism speaking with one voice, the rediscovery of our own (Christian) creation-centred and mystical tradition, and the recognition of the spiritual wisdoms of the native traditions. All uniting and all challenging in a profound way our narrowly drawn boundaries.Are we willing to open ourselves to this wider vision, to cease our urge to control and dominate, to listen instead to our hearts, to recognise again the integrity and sacredness of this planet which we have so abused? This means entering into a new relationship with ‘our Mother the Earth’, it means seeing ourselves again in a cosmic context, a larger perspective, which includes fire-ball, galaxy, planet and all other life forms.If we can move from our ‘human-sized’ viewpoint and look instead from the cosmic viewpoint, there is a sudden and dramatic widening of the lens through which we look. Redemption is seen to be for all creation, and our human story, far from being diminished, is incorporated in the whole drama of an emerging universe.
Grace Blindell, 1992

Therefore, dear Friends, wait in the Light, that the Word of the Lord may dwell plentifully in you.
William Dewsbury, 1675

Leadings | Quaker faith & practice