The faith and practice of the Religious Society of Friends, or Quakers, have evolved over 365 years of experience and testing. It is not a faith of creeds or set doctrines, and is not governed by a hierarchy of ordained priests or bishops. Since Friends believe that the Spirit is actively present among them as teacher, they have trusted in that Inner Teacher, or Christ Within, to reveal the truth to individuals open to receive it.
While Friends do strive to uphold certain time-tested principles, called testimonies (simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, sustainability) they do not require strict adherence to a set of rules as a condition of membership. Friends’ faith and practice have traditionally been grounded in religious experience rather than doctrine. Friends speak of the “Inner Light” and “That of God in every person” to identify the Spirit that leads them. Friends hold to the testimonies of simplicity, peace, and integrity, and believe in the power of love to call out the inherent worth of others. Loving care of our Earth sprouts from our testimony of simplicity. A sense of supportive community springs from our vision of the Divine nested within all people.