Fellowship of Friends of African Descent

About Quakers

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About the Fellowship

The Fellowship of Friends of African Descent was formed out of a desire that Black Quakers know each other.
The Fellowship mission statement was adopted by the organization in 1991:

  • To publish and respond to the concerns of Friends of African descent within the Religious Society of Friends.
  • To provide for the nurture of Friends of African descent,their families and friends.
  • To address and respond to issues affecting people of African descent in their communities worldwide.

 

Adapted from Baltimore Yearly Meeting’s Faith and Practice and Friends General Conference (FGC) The Quaker Way


Quakerism—or more formally, the Religious Society of Friends—was founded by George Fox in 17th century England. Through his worship and study, he came to believe that the “seed” of the Divine is in every human being, usually called by Friends the Inner Light, or the Light of Christ. Important aspects of the faith include the following:

  • Every person is known by God and can know God in a direct relationship.
  • The Quaker faith has deep Christian roots. Many Quakers consider themselves Christians, but some do not. Many Quakers find meaning and value in the teachings of many faiths.
  • Quakers strive to live lives that are guided by a direct encounter with the Divine, more than by teachings about the Divine. Quaker terms for the Holy include God, the Inner Light, the Seed, and the Inward Teacher, among others.
  • Testimonies are ways that Quakers have found to express our experience of the Divine in our lives. Some of the best recognized testimonies include: Simplicity, Integrity, Equality, Community, and Peace.
  • The Society of Friends has no formal creed. Over the years Friends have made many attempts to set down the nature of their faith. None speaks for all Friends or for all times. We are a religious fellowship based on common religious ideals and experiences rather than on creed or liturgy.


Quaker Worship

There are different forms of worship among Friends. Some Quakers gather in the silence and wait expectantly to come into the presence of the Divine and to be guided by the still, small voice by which God speaks to us from within. During the silence anyone—child, woman, or man—may feel moved to offer a simple spoken message (vocal ministry) that is inspired by this holy encounter.  Following the message, the silence resumes. A period of worship may include several messages or none.

Some Friends have “programmed” meetings for worship that may include a minister speaking, music, and a shorter period of silence.

Additional Resources

Further Reading

FGC’s FAQ

Friends Journal


The following videos are from the QuakerSpeak series, a web series aimed at communicating Quaker experience to religious seekers and Friends meetings.  QuakerSpeak is a project of Friends Journal.