Tuesday, 10 May 2011
ABC Wednesday, Q for Quakers
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.
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)
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.
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.