This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Quakers: The Light Within Essay

3226 words - 13 pages

On Easter Sunday, a dozen adults and half that many children gathered at the Perry City Friends Meeting an hour before their usual worship time. They came, bringing plates of food for a time of fellowship before worship. The children had an Easter egg hunt, while the adults visited over coffee and snacks. After a while, the group moved to the meeting room for a time of singing. The meeting room, a plain room with a stage at one end and a few small tables holding brochures along the wall, has simple benches arranged in a circle around a central space. Someone had put a small table with a vase of fresh picked daffodils in the middle. Music is not a part of the worship at this meeting which is unprogrammed, so this time of singing together was special for the Easter holiday. One person played the piano, while people looked through the hymnal for their favorite hymns. Anyone was free to suggest a hymn, as no one is in charge of planning a worship service. When worship time approached, the hymnals were gathered up and put away, and one adult led the children downstairs for First Day School. Without announcement, everyone lapsed into silence. The silence at Meeting for Worship is not a passive silence; it is the deep, comfortable silence of people accustomed to joining together this way. It was not broken when a few more people entered the sanctuary to join the group. The silence continued for about an hour with each worshiper communing with the Holy Spirit in his or her own way, not interrupted when the children reentered to join in the silent worship. One man broke the silence to say a few words about the simplicity of Jesus’ teachings, and then the silence returned. At the end of the hour, without announcement, one woman turned to greet her neighbors, and everyone proceeded to greet the people around them. This was followed by a short time of sharing prayer requests and announcements before people started to leave.
Not all Quakers continue the tradition of unprogrammed silent worship. Many Quakers attend programmed or pastoral meetings, often referred to as churches. These meetings have pastors or ministers and the worship services there resemble worship in other Protestant churches, with regular use of music, Bible readings and a message or sermon. Many, but not all of these pastoral Quaker services, have a time of “silent worship,” or “open worship” when there is time for silence, and anyone is welcome to speak as the Holy Spirit leads them.
Quakers trace their beginnings to George Fox, who grew up in a Puritan family in England in the mid 1600s. He was disillusioned with both the Church of England and the various sects that he encountered, and wanted to see the church purified. He was convinced that “being bred at Oxford or Cambridge was not enough to fit and qualify men to be ministers of Christ.” (Hamm 2003). After having a series of experiences of God speaking to him directly, he and his followers developed the belief that everyone has the...

Find Another Essay On Quakers: The Light Within

Quakerism Field Study Essay

1432 words - 6 pages diversity and do not discriminate based on gender or race as they regard all human life as sacred; we all have some of God’s light within us. Due to a focus on a personal relationship with God, they do not observe many of the sacraments used in Christianity, such as baptism and the Eucharist. They do not agree on whether there is an afterlife or not, but all value this life and tend to concentrate on improving this world, instead of questioning

Role of the Quakers in Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

1950 words - 8 pages will, which, like a cup of cold water given in the name of a disciple, shall never lose their reward" (Stowe 2335). George experiences a religious revelation that these Quakers are Godâs messengers to show the light of God to all humanity through their good works. However, in reality, this was not so at first. The Quakers at first were also slaveholders, using the slaveâs labor for financial reasons in an agrarian economy. Only after about 150 years

Persecution of the Quakers in England Led to Their Sympathy Towards the Slaves in America

2079 words - 9 pages England as a way to remove the debt the King had to Penn’s father. Penn wanted Pennsylvania to be a “Holy Experiment” and he believed that if the colony followed the “Light, God would bring them peace, prosperity, and piety.” Quakers would not stay in the New England area, they would move into the Ohio Valley and farther west. The first phase of Quaker migration west was in 1760, when they moved westward in Pennsylvania and Virginia because the

Society of Friends: History of the Society of Friends and contemporaneous observation

1771 words - 7 pages the meaning of their Peace Testimony to oppose slavery. They played a major role in organizing and running the Underground Railroad.Today, there are three main organizations of Quakers that comprise the bulk of its membership: Friends General Conference (32,000); Friends United Meeting (200,000), and Evangelical Friends International (100,000). While Quakerism remains rooted in the Christian faith, various congregations within the Society of

How do the the people in the New England area and the area of the Chesapeake Bay differ

830 words - 3 pages intolerant to other religions. They did not allow other religious groups to settle within their colony. In contrast, the Quakers, which settled in the Chesapeake Bay area, were tolerant to other religions and their distinct cultures. The only exception to this was the Scotch-Irish people who brought trouble to the region and were strongly disliked. Although the Puritans saw the new world as an opportunity to obtain land, the Quakers, and other groups of the Chesapeake Bay region, came for trade and expansion. After years of conflict and struggle within the regions, there would eventually emerge a new people called Americans.

Biography of William Penn

2048 words - 8 pages revelations, Fox believed that any person could know God personally. He would preach "the inward light...by which all might know their salvation and their way to God." Quakers were a sect of Protestant that favored a simple life, rather than the aristocratic ways. The aristocratic ways were what the young Penn was getting used to; however, the Quaker movement had traveled from England to Ireland and to Penn's front door.Thomas Loe, a Quaker missionary

Seminar Three Essay

917 words - 4 pages Source Evaluation Three: Zitkala-Sa American Indian Stories Zitkala-Sa was first published in 1900. Because she was raised after the Native Americans had been stripped of their original lands, Quakers sought to assimilate them and give them what they thought was an opportunity. At age 8, after being convinced by a friend that had spoken of the missionaries as though they were portrayed in some holy light and headed to the Promised Land

Religion in America

861 words - 3 pages smother all signs of religious dissent. These austere measures may seem appalling at first, but they are justified when one recalls the Separatist's intentions. The reason the Separatists absconded from England was so that they could create an ideal and unified church. John Winthrop aptly stated the Separatist's goals when he said “wee shall be as a Citty upon a Hill,” (Hutson, 7). In the light of this concept it is easy to understand the

The Puritans

752 words - 4 pages personal and within their communities, after the New Testament. They created strong, functional, and for some time successful societies in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the town of Boston. The Puritans taught mainly reading as writing and math skills were not felt to be important. Establishing the first schools for children, they also founded the first American College, Harvard. Additionally, the Puritans governed their communities democratically

Compare and contrast the Northern and Middle colonies around their date of founding

454 words - 2 pages The original Northern and Middle colonies had different economic and social systems which evolved within the two; also, they had other characteristics which they shared. Although the colonies of Pennsylvania and Massachusetts Bay had contrasting views toward religion and government, they shared the fact that their environment dictated their agriculture and economy; they were founded because of religion, and had similar views toward

The Countercultures: Once Pooh-poohed, Now Revered

1594 words - 7 pages Throughout American history, the countercultures have greatly influenced the societies of their respective eras. The Quakers, the Harlem Renaissance participants, and the Hippies have had an immense impact on American culture. This impact is especially apparent in the political actions and art一audio and visual一of the countercultures’ respective times. The Quakers first arrived in North America after facing constant persecution under England’s

Similar Essays

Dark And Light Imagery Within The Hobbit

1669 words - 7 pages . The hobbit traveled all over Middle-Earth, beginning with Bilbo's tiny hobbit-hole in the ground, to Mirkwood forest, to finally reaching the Mountain in which the dragon Smaug lives. Tolkien uses a large amount of imagery in his writing which can been seen through settings in The Hobbit. The imagery is usually either dark or light, depending on Bilbo's mood and contrast of his surroundings. J.R.R Tolkien uses dark and light imagery in The

Quakers Essay

2290 words - 10 pages declaration to Charles II stating: “We utterly deny all outward wars and strife and fighting with outward weapons, for any end, or under any pretense whatsoever; and this is our testimony for the whole world.” Today this belief still rings true for current practicing Quakers. As I stated in the brief history of Quakerism, they do not believe in a minister or pastor. Friends hold the belief that the divine light is within everyone. Everyone is loved and

Franklin’s Militia Essay

1241 words - 5 pages principle forced them to leave public office over time. Also the Quakers could not keep consistency within their own community, some of them believing in defensive war, while others not. In Ben Franklin’s essay Queries on a Pennsylvania Militia he asks the question “Whether from the Purity of our Lives and the Sanctity of our Manners, we have any more Reason to expect the immediate Protection of Heaven than the rest of our Neighbors?” (Franklin 224

The Quaker Movement Essay

1762 words - 7 pages came to the conclusion that God was to be found only within the soul of each individual. Fox was 23 when he began his ministry by traveling from village to village. He preached his new belief of the Inner Light and soon won many converts. England was torn by civil war, however, and the authorities did not like this sect that claimed equality for all and refused to take up arms or swear allegiance. Hundreds were jailed. Fox wrote his 'Journal' and