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“Quakers” Understanding The Religious Society of Friends Taylor Gatta.

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1 “Quakers” Understanding The Religious Society of Friends Taylor Gatta

2 Origins of The Religious Society of Friends The Religious Society of Friends was formed in England around1650, by several people, most notably, George Fox. The turmoil, economic injustice, and starvation caused by the English Revolution or Civil War, along with the repeated changes between Catholicism and Anglicism opened the door for several new religious groups. Fox and his followers intentions were to unify several splintered Christian factions, however most of these groups disappeared soon after the restoration of the monarchy.

3 George Fox

4 George Fox ( ), was a nonconformist religious reformer who at the age of 19, left home on a four year search, seeking answers to questions which had troubled him since his childhood. He gradually became disillusioned with the leaders and structure of the existing Christian denominations. Then at the age of 23, he heard a voice, saying "there is one, even Christ Jesus, who can speak to thy condition“ He felt a direct call from God to become an itinerant preacher and promote the concept of the Inward Light, or Inner Voice. He believed that an element of God's spirit is implanted within every person's soul.

5 Teachings of George Fox Fox preached the idea that everyone has an innate inner capacity to comprehend the Word of God & express opinions on spiritual matters. Logical consequences of this belief were: 1. That every man and woman has direct access to God; no priestly class or "steeple houses" (churches) are needed 2. That every person - male or female, slave or free is of equal worth 3. That there is no need in one's religious life for elaborate ceremonies, rituals, gowns, creeds, dogma, or other "empty forms." 4. Following the inward light would lead to spiritual development and towards individual perfection.

6 The Term “Quaker” George Fox was a constant target for persecution and imprisoned many times. Once, when he was hauled into court, Fox suggested that the judge "tremble at the word of the Lord" The judge sarcastically referred to Fox as a Quaker; the term stuck, and has become the popular name for the Religious Society of Friends. During the second half of the 17 th century, over 3000 Quakers spent time in English jails for their Religious beliefs; many hundreds died there.

7 Quaker influence in the New World The first Quakers to arrive in America were viewed as dangerous heretics in many of the colonies. They were deported as Witches, imprisoned, or hung. They found a safe haven in the colonies of Rhode Island, West Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

8 Quaker influence in the New World William Penn and other Quakers played a major role in the creation of these colonies, noted for their toleration of minority religious groups, like the Jews, Mennonites, Muslims, and Quakers.

9 Quaker Facts part 1 Quakers: Do not believe in Clergy, creeds, or sacraments, every member is a minister. They is no statement of religious doctrine They do not celebrate outward ceremonies or sacraments. They believe that all great human experiences are of a sacramental nature.

10 Quaker Practices Quaker places of worship Typical Meeting House

11 Quaker Practices Quaker places of worship: The meeting house is not a consecrated structure, if there is anything holy about it, it lives with the people who meet there. When Friends meet, they feel a deep connection between worship and their daily life, the meeting is merely the communal search for guidance.

12 Quaker Practices Quaker services:

13 Quaker Practices Quakers worship in groups called meetings, all meetings are held in silence until someone feels they have been truly moved by the Spirit and share their experience. Worship provides spiritual nourishment and inspiration to serve the Divine and others. Since there is no sacraments, they feel that their whole life should be lived as sacramental. Quakers do not celebrate Christian holidays but embrace there meanings everyday

14 Quaker Practices There are different sizes of meetings: –Smallest being friends and family at a home –Preparative meetings which meet regularly for worship –Monthly meetings which take care of business and worship –Quarterly meetings are where several members from monthly meetings for worship and business –Yearly meetings are to conduct business with all monthly meeting members with in its area

15 Quaker Practices Quaker services: The practice of sitting together in silence is often called "expectant waiting." It is a time when Friends become inwardly still, clearing the mind and body of those things that usually fill our attention. This creates an opportunity to experience the presence of the Holy Spirit. It is a time for spiritual receptivity, blocking out non spiritual thoughts. Each person finds his or her own ways of "centering down," or entering deep stillness during meeting.

16 Quaker Pratices A basic concern held by Quakers is that ones outward life needs to witness truth. They practice these concerns through Testimonies. –Equality –Integrity –Peace –Simplicity –Stewardship

17 Quaker Facts part 2 Quakers by Numbers There are 358,900 Quakers in the world Or 1 in every 189,862 people There are 87,500 in the United States Or 1 in every 3,559 people

18 Quaker Facts part 3 Famous Quakers William Penn - founder of Pennsylvania Betsy Ross - sewed the first American flag Elizabeth Haddon - founder of Haddonfield, New Jersey Johns Hopkins – merchant - founded Johns Hopkins University Thomas Garrett. Underground Railroad, his house in Delaware was the last stop before Pennsylvania and freedom. Walt Whitman - American poet (Leaves of Grass, etc.), humanist Daniel Boone - frontiersman and early organizer of Kentucky Herbert Hoover - 31st president of the United States Richard Nixon - 37st president of the United States Edward R. Murrow - famous news broadcaster James Dean - American actor; pop icon Ben Kingsley - actor, received Best Actor Academy Award for Gandhi David Byrne - singer, composer the Talking Heads Dave Matthews, musician


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