Skip to content
The Quaker Tradition for Everyone - Public

icon picker
1. Quaker Tradition

Quakers started in 1647 England by Christian Dissenters: George Fox and Margaret Fell.
A faith tradition rooted in the Christian tradition that was radical in many ways (meaning, they sought to go back to the roots of Christianity before all the hierarchy and influence of empire).
“ patterns, be examples in all countries, places, islands, nations, wherever you come; that your life and conduct may preach among all sorts of people, and to them. Then you will come to walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in every one; whereby in them ye may be a blessing, and make the witness of God in them to bless you: then to the Lord God you shall be a sweet savour, and a blessing.” - George Fox
Screen Shot 2021-08-13 at 12.02.59 PM.png
Quakers came to this area they named New Garden in the 1750s.

Land Acknowledgement

Guilford College — as all institutes of higher education in the United States — sits on Native land. In our case, it is land previously cared for and claimed, at various times, by the Keyauwee, Saura, and Saponi Peoples, some of whom such as the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation, maintain a strong presence in the area, caring for it still. While Guilford College as an institution has not done all it could to respect and maintain its relationships with Native People, it is important to acknowledge these Peoples’ , and their care for the land in the past and the present and the future. Doing so in a syllabus is an early and critical step in a larger process of relationship-building. Guilford has undertaken that work deliberately, working both to build and nurture relationships with the region’s Indigenous People in ways that respect their claims to sovereignty, as well as ensuring that as a campus community we are as supportive of Native Students as we can be.
Screen Shot 2021-08-13 at 12.03.06 PM.png

Underground Railroad

Screen Shot 2021-08-13 at 12.03.13 PM.png

Diversity within Quakerism

Screen Shot 2021-08-13 at 12.02.44 PM.png
There are many ways Quakers are diverse today: racially, sexual orientation, gender representation, theology, politics and even in their faith and practice, Quakers today cover lots of varying experiences, beliefs, and practices. One difference is that some Quaker continue to worship in “expectant silence,” without a pastor or hymn-singing, or even prayers spoken out loud.
These “unprogrammed” Quakers, as they are sometimes called, wait in the silence listening for that “still small voice.” In these meetings, Friends are often seen standing up in the midst of a silent gathering and sharing messages of wisdom, insight, spiritual reflection and more.
The rest of Quakers (and the majority) in the world today are “programmed,” meaning they have a program they follow for their worship. They often have a pastor who leads the worship service and usually offers a sermon, there is also usually singing and prayers offered out loud, as well as a time for silence like their unprogrammed counterparts though the time silence is shorter.

Watch :

What's the Difference Between “Programmed” and “Unprogrammed” Quaker Worship?
When Quakers say that their worship service is “programmed” or “unprogrammed”, what do they mean? Celebrate World Quaker Day! Quaker Speak is a weekly video series. Subscribe: ___ Go Deeper with Friends Journal: Lobby with Quakers on Capitol Hill: Work for peace with justice with AFSC: Learn about the rich diversity of Quakers worldwide: Directed by Jon Watts ___ Transcript: Nancy Wallace I’ve worshiped with conservative Friends. I’ve worshipped in Central America. I’ve gone to Pastoral Meetings in the United States. I’ve gone to an Evangelical Meeting in the United States. They’re all different. What I would say is that the Meetings go from – you can find a Meeting that’s non-programmed, non-pastoral to a Meeting that’s totally programmed, totally pastoral, and you have every possible permutation in the middle. What’s the Difference Between “Programmed” and “Unprogrammed” Quaker Worship? Gloria Thompson A Programmed Meeting means that we have a pastor, and we believe in reading the Bible, singing hymns – we have a piano that someone plays. And we have vocal ministry, really. Programmed means also we do enjoy the silence, there’s a period of silent meditation there, and we read from the scriptures. Jim Anderson There are about 20 of us that gather for an hour in a period of waiting worship, and I think I would describe that as a group of people with different understandings of what they’re doing. Different understandings of Quakerism. Some newcomers, some who have been there for decades. And they’re all in their own way settling into a period of quiet waiting in communion and connection with one another. Karen Gregario de Calderon Es un programa que construye mi vida espiritual. Amo la parte de cantar porque alabo al Señor y agradezco. Amo la parte de escuchar la persona quien me va a ensenar porque Dios tiene algo preparado para mí. Amo la parte de leer la Biblia porque también Dios me habla allí. Amo la parte de orar porque recibo bendición y escucho la voz de Dios. Todo el conjunto me beneficia espiritualmente. Amo el conjunto de cosas que hacemos en, en nuestra forma de adorar. Eduardo Diaz For some people the silence is uncomfortable. I know for me, initially it was, with my first unprogrammed Meeting, but then I learned to love it. Because I was given the opportunity to go deep inside, and to listen to that internal antennae that I could turn on and hear God’s voice, and search for guidance. Nancy Wallace The goal is not silence. The goal is creating the space in our very loud world so that we can hear God’s voice. Kelly Kellum In my experience, the core of even pastoral Friends worship is that centering, open worship time which we call the silent, unprogrammed time of our worship, in which we truly do seek to heed the presence of Christ that is in our midst. Kristin Olson-Kennedy I don’t have to believe a certain thing. I don’t have to profess a certain creed. I get to sit there and listen and be and experience and go through all of those things that are necessary for me to be closer to God, and I find that to be invaluable. I find that to be the only way I know how to become that person that God has created me to be. Ministry in the Different Traditions Kristin Olson-Kennedy We don’t have any paid staff for our Meeting, we don’t have a paid pastor or any other support staff. We gather together in silence, so we have nothing programmed in our Meeting. So we come in and we sit down, we sit in expectant waiting. Read More: ___ The views expressed in this video are of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Friends Journal or its collaborators.

Global Quakerism

Screen Shot 2021-08-13 at 12.18.32 PM.png
Today, The Quaker tradition is a truly global community. Here is how Quakers break down in terms of theological diversity and influence around the world.
Visit to see where Quakers are around the globe.
Screen Shot 2021-09-03 at 10.32.02 AM.png

👉 Next

Want to print your doc?
This is not the way.
Try clicking the ⋯ next to your doc name or using a keyboard shortcut (
) instead.