Quaker (Religious Society of Friends)


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Light Filled Holiday

Date: 11/18/2014

    This morning, I saw a meme on a friend's Facebook page that expressed: LIKE if you plan to be politically incorrect by saying "Merry Christmas" this holiday season. My response to her was: " If I know what people celebrate, I will greet them with their preferred sentiment. I have friends of many different faiths who celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and the Winter Solstic ...

Related Topics: Blog 107, Philadelphia, Christian, Facebook, Jewish, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, Holidays, Menorah, Native American, Pagan, New Thought, Edie Weinstein, Latke, Midnight Mass, Santa


A conversation with NASCAR crew chief Jason Ratcliff

Date: 10/17/2014

Jason Ratcliff, crew chief for Matt Kenseth and the #20 Sprint Cup Series car (Brian Czobat/Photo courtesy of Joe Gibbs Racing) For the past 15 years, Jason Ratcliff has slowly worked his way through the NASCAR ranks as a crew chief for the likes of David Green, J.J. Yeley, Aric Almirola and Jamie McMurray. He’s spent time working with Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin early in their careers and mo ...

Related Topics: Entertainment, NASCAR, Sprint Cup, Nationwide Series, Jamie Mcmurray, Matt Kenseth, Norm Miller, Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs, Denny Hamlin, Aric Almirola, Jason Ratcliff, J.J. Yeley, J.D. Gibbs

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    Quaker Basics

    History: Quakerism originated in mid-17th century England, originally as a break-away branch of Puritanism. George Fox (1624-1691), an English preacher, founded the Society of Friends, whose open structure reflects his aversion to church hierarchy and titles. Fox held that the “Inner Light,” the inspiring presence of God in each person, stands above Scripture and creed. This belief resonates through Quakerism despite a fairly wide variety of practices.

    Main Tenets: Quaker beliefs include the emphasis on plain speech and dress; opposition to slavery and war; and the refusal to swear oaths, which Quakers believe undermine the daily mandate for truth-telling. Many early feminists and abolitionists were Quakers, and a strong social ethic continues to pervade the work of the American Friends Service Committee, which shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 1947.

    Quakers, who often met persecution for their beliefs, have also been champions of religious freedom. English Quaker William Penn founded Pennsylvania as a "holy experiment," a refuge for Quakers and other religious minorities.

    Organizations: Quaker congregations are called "meetings," which range from structured services led by ministers to open sessions where participants speak when inspired by their own Inner Light. Major Quaker umbrella organizations are the Friends General Conference of Philadelphia and Friends United Meeting, based in Richmond, Ind.

    Membership: According to "Quakers in America," by Thomas D. Hamm, there are about 100,000 Quakers in the U.S. and about 350,000 worldwide. Kenya has the largest Quaker population in the world, with about 130,000 Friends.