Post Reply
Switch to Forum Live View New to the Friends Church
7 years ago  ::  Jan 14, 2008 - 2:46AM #1
rollinsdad
Posts: 8
Hello, I am new to the Friends Church and have a few questions about the denomination. Our congregation recently had a conference with Dave Kingrey outlining Quaker beliefs, but I don't see our congregation following a lot of what he said. I have recently been elected to the Spiritual Life Committee of our church and the answers I get from the older members of our church are somewhat disturbing. The majority of our membership (like myself) came from other denominations at one time or another, and over the years the service which we now have really resembles a stuffy Baptist or Methodist service. Our pastor is very forward thinking but has really had his hands tied in the past by the committees when it has come to doing ANYTHING different. If there are any Quakers here who would take the time to answer some of my questions I would greatly appreciate it. God bless!
Quick Reply
Cancel
7 years ago  ::  Jan 14, 2008 - 5:53PM #2
foxfell
Posts: 62
[QUOTE=rollinsdad;212139]Hello, I am new to the Friends Church and have a few questions about the denomination. [/QUOTE]

Hello rollinsdad and welcome to Quakerism.  I am probably not the best person to offer you your initial greeting to the "Welcome: Christianity: Friends (Quakers)" forum or to answer your questions.  But I will give it a try until one of the weighty Quakers shows up with a more thorough response.

There are several Quaker branches and I cannot quite tell from your post which yours might be.   One branch is fairly liberal (Friends General Conference), another is a bit more conservative (Friends United Meeting) and there is even an evangelical branch, and perhaps some others I am unfamiliar with.  The services are either programmed, with a pastor leading in a more conventional style, or un-programmed, in which members sit in silence until one is moved to speak, moved by God...a profound experience, as you might imagine, that causes some Quakers to, well...quake!

My affiliation is through the Philadelphia Yearly meeting, the largest meeting under the auspices of the FGC.  It is the unprogrammed variety.

All Quakers, or most at least (help weighty Quakers!!) hold to a handful of basic tenets, the peace testimony, service, simplicity, non-violent conflict resolution, and a belief in the intrinsic worth of every human being.  Quakers try to adhere (very successfully in my opinion) to this saying attributed to founder George Fox, "...walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of god in everyone..."

I hope this may have helped a tiny bit.

fox
Quick Reply
Cancel
7 years ago  ::  Jan 15, 2008 - 12:40AM #3
rollinsdad
Posts: 8
Our church is part of the Evangelical Friends, Mid-America Meeting. I guess the biggest thing that confuses me is the way the service is conducted. Supposedly, we are to be open to God and allow the service to be what He wants it to be. In actuality, our services are planned out a month in advance so the flyers can be printed up. If Jesus Himself walked into our service He wouldn't be able to speak because it isn't in the program! We have a lot of older couples from Lutheran & Episcopal backgrounds that abosultely insist on the predictability of the service.

Another thing, in my reading of Quakerism I have found that Quakers hold to no rituals, liturgies, etc. From what I understand, to the early Quakers this also included tithing. However, right in our bulletin between the second hymn and the special music is "Giving of our Tithes". When did the change occur that they no longer belived tithing to be a ritual? I have no problem with tithing, I always have, but would just like to hear why they decided tithing is not ritualistic. Thanks and God bless.
Quick Reply
Cancel
7 years ago  ::  Jan 15, 2008 - 6:05PM #4
BillSamuel
Posts: 23
Like most groups, Friends have gone in various directions in the centuries since founding.  Individual meetings and churches will vary considerably, and all will differ to a more or less degree from what was the case in the earliest days.

Today there are more pastored Friends churches than unprogrammed Friends meetings.  Many of them have a period of open worship during the service, but some don't.  Most pastored Friends churches differ from early Friends in that they have a prearranged order of service.  Most unprogrammed Friends meetings differ from early Friends in that they don't have recognized ministers and the content of messages tends to be very different from what it would have been with early Friends, with much less emphasis on Christ and much less use of Biblical references.

Friends started in England, and the tithe there was a state tax for support of the state church.  It's really hard to find much early Friends wrote that spoke directly to the question of voluntarily tithing to your own faith community.  So I don't think early Friends were really all that clear on tithing one way or the other as encouraged in your church, since that's not what they dealt with.

If there are other Friends congregations in your area, you might try them.  Find them at http://fwccamericas.org/meetingsearch.aspx?mode=1
Quick Reply
Cancel
7 years ago  ::  Apr 01, 2008 - 9:33AM #5
graceface
Posts: 1
hey there!! thought I'd post on here since everytime I do the belief quiz on here I seem to get Orthodox Quaker - wouldn't have thought it, but hey! I have a lot of respect for you guys! Any Quakers I do know seem ot have a huge amount of religious integrity, and that's something I really admire in any denomination :-)
Quick Reply
Cancel
7 years ago  ::  Apr 01, 2008 - 11:42AM #6
BillSamuel
Posts: 23
Many people who never had any idea that they would be attracted to Quakers test out on Belief-O-Matic as most compatible with Quakers of one or the other of the two types defined by BeliefNet - Orthodox and Liberal.  Over the years, some of them have reported that they then visited Quakers and found themselves at home there.

So I would suggest you go to the link earlier and find out what Quaker groups are near you.  For Orthodox rather than Liberal Quakers, look for Branch/Affiliation in the listings.  Orthodox isn't an official designation.  What you want to look for is Friends United Meeting, Evangelical Friends International or Conservative there.
Quick Reply
Cancel
 
    Viewing this thread :: 0 registered and 1 guest
    No registered users viewing
    Advertisement

    Beliefnet On Facebook