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Why am I a Quaker?

 

Wellington Quakers

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Belinda

Belinda's statement

For me beekeeping, like being a Quaker; connects me with the world in a profoundly life-giving way. When I fire up the smoker, as with being in community with other Quakers; I experience an easing of day to day worries. When I gaze with awe in to the beehive, just like being in the Light of Christ; a child like feeling of playful curiosity takes over, freeing me to explore wonders of nature and life. These are my happy places.

 

Mark

Mark's statement

I felt led to be in community with other people of faith and I noticed that among Quakers the people seemed to care for one another and enjoy being together. Some Quakers have similar religious understanding and experiences to my own, and others quite different -  yet I feel supported by the whole group in a way that has really nurtured spiritual growth. 

A core aspect of my Quakerism is the regular Meetings for Worship.  The stillness and silence of the group somehow seems to help us to encounter the Divine (“where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them”).  Sometimes this encounter leads one or more people to spoken ministry, and this Spirit-led ministry often speaks directly to me - just as prepared sermons did for me in the past. 

I think I express my faith in my personal and professional relationships, in a sense of wonder in nature, and in my support for some justice, peace and environment groups.
 

Lucas

Lucas's statement

Although I have always had a great deal of respect for religion, including for the Catholicism in which I was raised, as a teenager I found it impossible to reconcile my rationalistic outlook on life with the doctrines which religions usually impose.  Believing something because I was told to, and not because it seemed sensible to me, was just not something which I was able to do.  But I still missed the experience of belonging to a church community.

I found Quakers when I was sixteen, and at just the right time of life.  A group of people who took religion seriously, and encouraged me to take it seriously, without believing that they had the right to tell me what to believe or think or feel.  Moreover, the weekly silent meetings for worship are excellent opportunities to reflect on life, and to learn from the kaleidoscope of experiences which the other attenders have to share.

 

Why I'm a Quaker
 
The belief that there is a unique human quality in every person, which used to be expressed as "that of God" or "the Inner Light" in everyone is the fundamental reason why I'm a Quaker. From this belief springs a number of ideas that contribute to my commitment.
 
I identify strongly with the Quaker idea, which contrasts with the doctrine of original sin, that humans are innately capable of goodness and can achieve this, not as a finite end point but by living to their full capacity, potential or measure of Light.  That potential or measure of Light then expands in a process of continual learning and evolving understanding. Each individual seeks leadings from this evolving understanding and others must ultimately respect such leadings.
 
Murray
As every person is equally capable of discerning leadings in this way, everyone is responsible for ministry and leadership rather than assigning such roles to a clergy.
 
As our understanding of truth continues to evolve, Quakers replace doctrine and creed with processes of collective seeking after the truths.
 
These beliefs lead to a profound respect for every person, which is the foundation of Quaker social and peace witness.  Such witness over the centuries has consequently promoted economic, social and political arrangements that protect and enhance the wellbeing of all individuals irrespective of nationality, ethnicity, gender, class or position. 
 
Finally, there is the belief that the unique human quality in each of us transcends the intellectual and we can only come to know one another through feeling, intuition and intellect. This places strong emphasis on relationships as the basis of loving communities in which we learn and grow.

 

Murray

 

 

Introducing our Friend Connie on her 101st birthday.

Connie Camfield

I was born in February 1914 and war started in August so I can’t remember the actual war. After all there wasn’t any fighting in England in the First World War, it was all in Europe. I can remember that during the war we used to have people staying, there was always someone staying, somebody new. I think my mother had to take in lodgers. To help with the money. And I can remember my father coming home from the war, probably in 1918. I can remember him coming through the door and I just said, ‘Oh Dad’s back’. That’s it. I didn’t really think much about the war as a kid.

Read more in this biography by Elizabeth Plumridge.

Connie Camfield, ‘born pacifist’: my first 100 years

 

Meet some more Quakers

Quaker Activism in Wellington  Roles in the Meeting

The best way to meet Quakers in Wellington is Sunday, 10:30am at the Meeting House, 7 Moncrieff St Mt Victoria.

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