Quaker Spirituality


The kingdom/reign of God is within you/among you.”
(Luke 17:21)


Within Us—the Light

Faith. The grounding of our Quaker spiritual faith lies in our experience that each of us can commune with God directly, without mediating persons, books, or rituals.

Practice. The core of our Quaker spiritual practice lies in turning toward this Light within each of us, the Light of Christ, that of God within us, the Spirit—we name it in different ways, but we share the same experience.

This “Sinking down in the Seed,” as an early Friend once put it, can guide us, heal us, forgive us, awaken us, inspire us, make us more whole and fulfilled, and call us into some service or ministry on behalf of Love and Truth.

We turn toward the light within us in worship, in prayer and meditation, in the reading and study of the Bible and other enlightening literature, in silence and retreat, in the activities of everyday life, and in community.

A listening spirituality. Quaker spirituality is one of listening for that inner voice that calls us to our true and higher selves, an Inner Guide that can lead us on the path of right living and into loving service.

Ministry. We believe that the Spirit calls each of us, at times, into some service. This can take the form of speaking in meeting for worship, or serving in various roles in the meeting’s collective life, or to some witness to the truth in the world, some effort to make it a better place. When we answer that call, we become God’s ministers.


Among Us—Community

Spiritual nurture. Community is essential to our spiritual lives—we are here to support each other in the life of the Spirit. We seek to help each other find the path to the Source that works for us, and to help each other mature in our faith and practice.

Ministry. When one of us hears the call to some ministry, the meeting provides discernment, helping the person with the leading know whether the leading comes from the Spirit, and then provides support for those who have been called.

The gathered meeting for worship. There are times in our worship that we feel the presence of the Spirit among us, uniting us in some transcendent way into one body in the Spirit, a spirit of joy and gratitude. As individuals, we bring to meeting for worship our most centered self, hoping to contribute to this extraordinary communion.

Learn More

For a full exploration of Quaker spirituality, we refer you to the sections in our book of Faith and Practice, for which we provide links below:

About Faith and Practice

Faith and Practice is revised every generation or so and presents our latest agreements on the Quaker way, outlining our history, experience and beliefs, and organization and procedures.

It is published by Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, which is Central Philadelphia Meeting’s denominational organization. It’s called a yearly meeting because it meets annually for several days in the summer to conduct most of its business.

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