Practical Advice for Those Seeking Quakers
As those who at sea are held by an anchor, pull at the anchor yet do not drag it to them, but rather drag themselves to the anchor; so those who according to the life of spiritual knowledge try to draw God toward them imperceptibly bring themselves to God.
Clement of Alexandria (~150-215 AD)
1. PraySit in solitary silence with God. Listen to thy Inward Teacher and learn to hear what thee is being guided to do. Quakerism is an experiential religion, built on the belief that we can each of us experience God directly, discern God's will for us directly, and use God's strength to do as he wishes. Prayer is our link with God, and it is fundamental to any pursuit of the Life and the Way.
Download from Quaker Jane:
Elsewhere on the web:
For the Heart:
For the Head:
3. ConnectI highly recommend getting a subscription to "The Conservative Friend," a publication of Ohio Yearly Meeting of Friends, published four times a year. The value of the subscription is $10 per year. Send donation made out to "The Conservative Friend" to Elvina Krekler, 1187 State Hwy 250, Adena, OH 43901. Any excess over $10 that a person contributes for a given year's subscription is probably tax deductible, because TCF is a publication of Ohio Yearly Meeting. It includes articles about Conservative Quaker faith and practice as well as a listing of Scheduled Meetings for Worship of Conservative Friends. Some older issues happen to be online at: http://www.conservativefriend.org/oympublications.htm.
Also available is a newsletter called "Foundation Papers." Published Quarterly. In the US send $10 for a year or $18 for 2 years subscription to: The New Foundation Fellowship (USA), Patricia Dallmann, Treasurer, The George Fox Fund, Inc., 144 Seville St., Philadelphia, PA, 19127. In the UK send 4 pounds for 4 issues to Sarah Eilbeck, 11 Almond Close, Abbeydale, Gloucester, GL4 5XY.
Thee can also go see what is going on in the "Quaker blogosphere" via Martin Kelley's Quaker Quaker online community. I do, now, spend time, as I feel led, on QuakerQuaker, but let me emphasize my strong reservations about the nature of the conversations that can arise and sometimes emotionally erupt. I find the volatility of online blog discussions and groups troubling and only go where the Lord strengthens me to go. Bill Samuel offers a list of some of the Quaker web groups that are out there and his thoughts on their nature and tenor. Quaker.org, which has an encyclopedic listing of Quaker and Quaker-related websites. QuakerInfo.org which describes itself as a Quaker Information Center and as a "gateway" to Quakerism. There is also a page listing Quaker "Christian renewal" opportunities.
Other Plain and Conservative Quaker Websites
4. AttendQuakerMaps.com has an impressively comprehensive list of Quaker churches and meetings at:http://www.quakermaps.com/
Consider attending the Wider Gathering of Conservative Friends. Here is info on the 2010 Gathering. They are held even-numbered years at Barnesville, OH, and odd-numbered years in different places. A good place to check for the more information is the Conservative Friend News and Events page.
For more on the use of Church vs. Meeting among Quakers, see my Glossary of Quaker Terms and Phrases.
FRIENDS, in the Measure of the Life of God wait, to guide your Minds up to the Father of Life, where there is no Shadow nor Changing. As ye do hither come, ye must know a Removing and Changing of that which will Change, with that which doth not Change, to that take heed to guide all your Minds. . . .
So here the Love of God will in your Hearts come to be shed abroad, which Love is one, and doth not change; in it dwell, and grow, and abound, that over all that, which is contrary to the Lord of Life, who ...
I am not Amish or Mennonite, but some people who come to my website are interested in knowing more about these groups. I can recommend these books as authoritative and relatively inexpensive sources of further information.