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Author: TMFSelena Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 196102  
Subject: Quakers Date: 2/1/2002 1:55 PM
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lhaselden said:

<< Someday I will attend a Quaker service, the Lord willing. I have heard the congregation sits silently in worship until someone is moved by the Spirit to speak, sing, pray. I am not sure if this is still the practice?>>

I attended a Quaker meeting (church) for a year while in college. Some of what I remember experiencing or learning:

-- Around the appointed time (11am, as I recall), people begin arriving and taking seats in the meeting house, pretty much silently.

-- The meeting house didn't feature a pulpit. Instead, it had several rows of pews, in a square. So you could sit facing any of four directions and you'd nd up looking at others on the other sides of the room.

-- It would grow quieter as 11am arrived and people settled down. Usually the first few minutes to first 10 minutes were pretty quiet, except for occasional noises like a cough or a stomach rumbling (sometimes mine).

-- When someone felt "moved" to say something, they'd stand up and speak. They might have some thoughts on something in the Bible, or perhaps on something in the news (and sometimes how it pertained to faith), or something happening in their life (maybe the birth of a child made them realize something about Jesus and Mary, for example), etc. I don't recall singing or prayers, but I may *very* well have forgotten that.

-- After the person spoke, they'd sit down and there would be silence again, until someone else stood to speak. There could be two to 20 minutes or more between speakings.

-- Around noonish, after about an hour, you'd hear more rustling and it would just feel like the meeting was ending, which it was. There was a coffee hour afterward, as in most "traditional" churches, as I recall.

-- Some Sundays were chattier than others. Sometimes only 2-4 people would speak one week, and another week, maybe 6 or 7 would.

-- As I understood it, there are two main kinds of Quaker meetings in the US. I attended one in New England, which I understood was more traditional. I think that others, perhaps in the midwest?, do have a kind of sermon in the service, and perhaps some hymns, as well.

-- Also, meetings vary from meeting to meeting. Our meeting in Rhode Island was a lot quieter in general than the one I visited one week in Cambridge, Mass., where it seemed like people were popping up to speak every few minutes. Also, that one was more politically oriented, too -- people would speak about political topics more often than at the R.I. meeting.

Again, my experience is very limited -- and nearly 20 years old now -- but perhaps it offers some insights, and I hope they're correct ones.

Does anyone else have some Quaker insights? I really enjoyed meeting the Quakers I did long ago. They were very kind people.

Selena
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Author: frindon Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 72970 of 196102
Subject: Re: Quakers Date: 2/1/2002 4:40 PM
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-- When someone felt "moved" to say something, they'd stand up and speak. They might have some thoughts on something in the Bible, or perhaps on something in the news (and sometimes how it pertained to faith), or something happening in their life (maybe the birth of a child made them realize something about Jesus and Mary, for example), etc. I don't recall singing or prayers, but I may *very* well have forgotten that.



Isn't that a bit like this board - we sit here in silence, or at least I do, thinking about what others say and then in a fit of brilliance we compose and post. I love it, my wife can't understand the attraction:-)

Frindon



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Author: glampig Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 72972 of 196102
Subject: Re: Quakers Date: 2/1/2002 5:43 PM
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frindon,

< Isn't that a bit like this board - we sit here in silence, or at least I do, thinking about what others say and then in a fit of brilliance we compose and post. >

That's certainly you, my brilliant friend. Me? I usually post THEN think about it.

Rick, the glampig (who should use the "Cancel Reply" button more often)



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Author: lhaselden Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 72973 of 196102
Subject: Re: Quakers Date: 2/1/2002 5:54 PM
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<<Isn't that a bit like this board - we sit here in silence, or at least I do, thinking about what others say and then in a fit of brilliance we compose and post. I love it, my wife can't understand the attraction:-)

Frindon>>


If I had waited for a fit of brilliance, I still would be waiting to post my first comment? :-)
.


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Author: W505a Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 73012 of 196102
Subject: Re: Quakers Date: 2/3/2002 12:45 AM
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I think the 17th Century Quakers (Friends) don't receive the credit they deserve for creating much of what modern-day America knows to be "American". In particular, the freedoms and guarantees against infringements by government were an early innovation of the Quakers who organized the West Jersey colony (the area known today as "South Jersey" in the state of New Jersey).

Philadelphia, of course, is well known as founded by a Quaker, William Penn, but Americans often forget that our notions of religious tolerance and the equality of man (values truly worth remembering in times like these), had their root in that city and the Pennsylvania Colony. In other American colonies, the idea of some people being "superior" to others, or that everyone "should" profess the same religious beliefs, weren't all that rare or unusual opinions. At the time of the Declaration of Independence, Philadelphia was the second-largest English-speaking city in the world.

And although there is some debate about the terms of the deal, the Pennsylvania colony was purchased. Penn compensated the local American Indian tribes for the land on which Philadelphia sits, and the three surrounding counties that made up the original colony.

Also, American business practices were highly influenced by the Friends. Quakers had already established themselves as business people in England (and to a small extent Holland), but became the "Atlantic Community" with the fortune and influence they developed in the New World. (The old saying was, "the Quakers came to America to do good, and ended up doing well.") Quite often, the town's successful business district would grow up right around the local Quaker Meeting house, or an area would be known for the presence of Quakers (like the town of Plymouth Meeting, outside of Philadelphia. I think it's now mostly known for its shopping mall, not owned by Quakers!)

One of the reasons Quakers were so successful in business is that they were known to be honest and reliable, and membership in the local Meeting tended to "enforce" those high standards. I remember reading a post on another site, from about 1997 (link discontinued), that said that the Quakers were likely the originators of the "market price", the idea that you charge all comers the same price for a good. And not for business reasons, but for ethical ones. (In the sense that you might be cheating others by offering out different prices.) As it turns out, of course, the market price inspires confidence of buyers, that what you are selling can generally be seen to be worth that price. Macy's, Cadbury's, Lloyd's of London, all started by Quakers.

That lost link also talked about how the Annual General Meeting in the modern corporation is probably derived from the Quaker meeting. That meeting of yesteryear, however, probably started with prayer, and the management faced an uncomfortable silence if it sought to make cheap excuses for bad business practices. Nothing like the charade that many contemporary AGMs have become. Ken Lay of Enron, to name a CEO in the news, probably wouldn't be too comfortable at an early business meeting of the Friends.

The 17th Century Quakers were a remarkable people who gave modern America very much, and yet so little is popularly known about them.



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Author: crobinso Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 73048 of 196102
Subject: Re: Quakers Date: 2/4/2002 9:33 AM
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Around noonish, after about an hour, you'd hear more rustling and it would just feel like the meeting was ending, which it was. There was a coffee hour afterward...

Wow... Quakers drink coffee?? :-)



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Author: W505a Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 73092 of 196102
Subject: Re: Quakers Date: 2/4/2002 6:38 PM
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Wow... Quakers drink coffee?? :-)

I think that would be the Mormons (LDS) that don't . . .!


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Author: seaofglup Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 73121 of 196102
Subject: Re: Quakers Date: 2/5/2002 9:24 AM
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Wow... Quakers drink coffee?? :-)

I think that would be the Mormons (LDS) that don't . . .!



So are you saying the Quakers take LSD?


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Author: W505a Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 73171 of 196102
Subject: Re: Quakers Date: 2/6/2002 9:38 PM
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In particular, the freedoms and guarantees against infringements by government were an early innovation of the Quakers

Man, did I botch that up! (No wonder, I was writing at 12:45 in the morning . . .)

The freedoms were not an early innovation of the Quakers. The freedoms that the Quakers sought to protect come from God, not the government. What I was meaning to convey, was that the Quakers recognized these liberties as coming from God, and set up a government that guaranteed that it would not infringe on those freedoms.

The Quakers, as an oppressed religious minority in the United Kingdom, obviously had a keen interest in preventing another bullying government from arising in the New World.

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Author: beckyz51 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 73286 of 196102
Subject: Re: Quakers Date: 2/9/2002 6:58 PM
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The 17th Century Quakers were a remarkable people who gave modern America very much, and yet so little is popularly known about them.
..............
W505a,
I guess so! And thanks to this incredible post, we are a bit more knowledgeable.

Wish they had the clout now that they did then! I know they are still very active in speaking out for the oppressed.
I read of their "good works" in a monthly newspaper with articles of people speaking out as "Friends" and other groups. They are exceptional, I believe, in their choice of causes. Spirit led?

Again, thank-you for the info! I love to learn about good people and other faiths.

Becky

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Author: W505a Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 73290 of 196102
Subject: Re: Quakers Date: 2/9/2002 10:46 PM
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Becky writes:

<<They are exceptional, I believe, in their choice of causes. Spirit led?>>

An interesting question. The Quakers believe that "God's will" can be discerned by any person. That was, in fact, the whole purpose of the Meeting, to figure out, "what is God's will?"

Quakerism obviously changed in the last three hundred fifty years, and there aren't really a whole lot of "true" adherents these days. But you're right: the track record of the denomination, of having been "ahead of the curve" on so many social and political issues, is really something else.



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Author: JAFO31 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 73419 of 196102
Subject: Re: Quakers Date: 2/11/2002 7:27 PM
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beckyz51:

The 17th Century Quakers were a remarkable people who gave modern America very much, and yet so little is popularly known about them.
..............

<<<<I guess so! And thanks to this incredible post, we are a bit more knowledgeable.

Wish they had the clout now that they did then! I know they are still very active in speaking out for the oppressed.

I read of their "good works" in a monthly newspaper with articles of people speaking out as "Friends" and other groups. They are exceptional, I believe, in their choice of causes. Spirit led?>>>>

If you are charitably inclined to the Quakers and their actions, you might consider (after whatever diligence you deem appropriate) supporting the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC).

Regards, JAFO
(posted before reading all posts)




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Author: beckyz51 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 73448 of 196102
Subject: Re: Quakers Date: 2/12/2002 5:37 AM
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If you are charitably inclined to the Quakers and their actions, you might consider (after whatever diligence you deem appropriate) supporting the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC).
...............................

I'd LOVE too! In fact, they are on the list.

Thanks for the "proper name"---it is in the Progressive too. But only when there is an article on them.

Becky



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