Tuesday, 10 May 2011

ABC Wednesday, Q for Quakers



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Sorry for the poor quality of these old photos.

When I was still a student I had no money to go on expensive holidays. So each summer I went to an international ecumenical workcamp, where I met students and other young adults from all over the world. In the summer of 1956 I went to England with my sister. We cycled from the Netherlands to Belgium and took the ferry to Dover. From Dover we cycled to Longwellgreen ( between Bristol and Bath)in 5 days.The workcamp was a Quaker camp. Every day before we went to work, we had a short reading from one of the many holy books. This is what I learned about the Quakers:

The foundation of the community is the Silent Meeting. They observe together silence in which they can get nearer to God and each other. This was mainly meditating, which we as regular church goers were not used to do. The idea was great, however.

Here is a photo of our fellow campers, consisting of English, Welsh, German, Swedish, Spanish, Libanese, Arabic Israelis, American and Turkish campers and me as only Dutch girl.

 

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The way of the Quakers has its roots in Christianity , but it is inspired by various religions and ways of life.They are aimed at the personal religious experiences and not at confessions of faith. They called that the Inner Light.

Sincerity, equality, simplicity and peace are the most important values.(I agree with that.)

In the Quaker community there are no leaders, pastors, ministers, because they believe that everyone is capable to experience God. (I am not sure about that.)

The Quakers take their identity mainly from a number of statements. The most important one is the Statement of Peace.

They reject emphatically all wars and wartime activities, regardless of the aim or pretence that caused them.( that is a difficult one.)

The spirit of Christ is persistent and cannot inspire us to love our enemy at one moment, and lateron urge us to kill the enemy.(Yes that is contradictory, but Ghandi
said the same, and I think nonviolent resistance is allowed)




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This was our project: the building of a Memorial Hall.

With thanks to Denise Nesbitt, who created ABC.For more interesting ABC posts click on the logo in the sidebar or Here. This week we are looking for words beginning with Q.



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The Religious Society of Friends began in England in the late 1640s, in a context of social upheaval which included increasing dissatisfaction with the established church, the execution of the king, and the rise of Nonconformist movements.
The founder of Quakerism is generally accepted to have been George Fox.

20 comments:

Sylvia K said...

What a fascinating, interesting post for the Q Day, Wil! I'm familiar with the Quakers here in the US, but didn't know about these! Love it when I can learn something new! Hope your week is going well!

Sylvia
ABC Team

richies said...

Quakers are a very interesting sect. Thanks for a great post.

An Arkies Musings

anthonynorth said...

An excellent post. I was brought up close to a Quaker community, so knew some of them well.

Paula Scott said...

How unique your summers were! Thank you for taking us there and sharing with us more about the Quakers.

Roger Owen Green said...

I've been to a couple Quaker meetings. Fascinating people.


ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Kay L. Davies said...

I wish I knew which one in the photo is you, Wil. What an interesting way to have a vacation. No wonder you are still cycling, after doing all that every summer when you were young.
Very interesting post. I have only been to one Quaker meeting, but I can relate to their principles.
I hope you are well and happy.
Luv — K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Gigi Ann said...

What interesting information. I knew of the Quakers, but you enlightened me about their beliefs, which I was not familiar with before.

Marina said...

You cycled to England????
Ow my God Wil...how did you manage to do that? Strong bodies, not like us today...

Hildred and Charles said...

A fine choice for Q Reader, - I have great admiration for the Quakers and their philosophies.

Jama said...

Interesting post! Thanks for sharing.

Marina said...

Thank you for your visit! My family and Antigoni's are well!!! We hope the same for you...
I can see that even if I've put a translator the translate is really bad! So I'll start posting in English AND Greeks too! I want to have a communication with my counrty now I'm so far away!!! Isn't that normal? I really miss them all....
I admire you for your cycling skills! My hubby has just bought a bicycle and he likes cycling a lot!!! I'm going to follow him as soon as my children finish their exams and before I go to Greece for summer vacations!!!

Marina said...

Thank you Wil for your kind invitation!!! You're always so kind....
My children start their examination on Monday and they will have them for a month! After that we'll leave for Greece. That means it's difficult to see you at this period! We'll be back early next September! So I hope we'll meet next Autumn...
Thanks again...You're more than welcome to come to Brussels as soon as we come back!!!

Kim, USA said...

Thanks for sharing this I get a lot of information. Happy Wednesday!

Holland,Michigan

Gattina said...

Very interesting post ! and biking from Holland to Belgium, my goodness, I am already tired reading this !
Gattina
ABC Team

chubskulit said...

So Quaint.

Please find out what my Q is at Nostalgic Marveling

Rosey said...

It is so strange how we associate Oatmeal with Quakers now because of advertising.
Very interesting post about Quakers!
I learned a lot, thank you!

Carver said...

I enjoyed this post so much. Very interesting information and I love the old photographs.

Dina said...

You really built something there!
And I love how you built this post with information plus personal opinions.

Kay said...

I really didn't know exactly what the Quakers were about, but your post really gave me a better understanding. I've always been impressed by the Quakers since I heard how they protested the treatment of incarcerating Japanese Americans in Internment Camps. Their desire for peace among people is such a beautiful thing.

Sara at Come Away With Me said...

This was very interesting! On my mother's side we come from the Quaker persuasion, though my mother was not raised in that faith, nor was I. It was only after my mother died in 2003 that I began looking into the family history a little more. Fascinating.