Our meetings, which are without program, clergy, music, or offerings, are based on silent waiting upon the Spirit, reflecting our Quaker understanding of the nature of the human relationship to God. Friends believe that every human being is endowed by God with a divine spark, a Light Within, that enables each to know God’s will directly, and so we structure our worship in a way that leaves each free to search for God in his or her own way, and free too, to share the fruits of reflection in vocal ministry as God leads.
This same Light Within is seen by Friends as endowing all human life with a sacred quality, so that it may neither be debased nor exploited, nor wantonly destroyed. Evil must be answered in the spirit of Jesus’ teaching and example and not by killing and destroying. Whatever others may do, the Society of Friends finds it impossible to reconcile preparation and waging of war with Jesus’ message that it is love, giving and self-sacrifice that overcomes evil.
But in all these areas there is also an absence of dogmatism and finality, for an important corollary of the Quaker belief in direct revelation is that God continues to speak, not that God once spoke and assured final truth. The human vessel is imperfect, and our capacity to comprehend God’s will is partial. We must therefore always be open to new truth and more nearly perfect understanding. Indeed, Friends’ witness in many areas has matured and changed course as our insights have been enlarged by new perceptions, and as world conditions have changed.