top of page

Frequently Asked Questions

Meetinghouse at sunrise
Inside Exeter Friends meetinghouse
Link to video answering frequently asked questions
  • What might you expect the first time you visit?
    What impressed me about it was that there were people struggling. Not that they had the answers, but that they had questions and difficult questions that they were wrestling with, and they were trying to do so in a spiritually informed but also very intelligent way. --Anthony Smith-- My first impression of Quaker Meeting was confusion. I could not believe that people really were uniting together in practice not in dogma. It was literally incomprehensible to me, the fact that people believed different things and used different language but could be a community – and such a great community – because they shared the same set of practices, and because they came together in the same space and through that shared worship – that waiting worship – they developed a kind of sense of community and a sense of body, a sense of integration. --Robert Fischer --
  • Why do Quakers worship in Silence
    For many folks coming into a Quaker meeting for worship who aren’t already familiar with it, there aren’t many cues to indicate what’s going on and it sometimes seems like we’re having worship based on silence, but in fact something very different is going on. It’s more often called “waiting worship.” So when I sit down and worship, yes, the beginning looks a lot like stilling the mind and coming to a place of silence—and it is a place of silence of body, silence of mind, silence of emotion, a stillness—but we do that in order to pass beyond that into an encounter with the Divine. That’s what we’re waiting for. --Lloyd Lee Wilson--
  • Are Quakers Christian?
    The Quaker way has deep Christian roots that form our understanding of God, our faith, and our practices. Many Quakers consider themselves Christian, and some do not. Many Quakers today draw spiritual nourishment from our Christian roots and strive to follow the example of Jesus. Many other Quakers draw spiritual sustenance from various religious traditions, such as Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and the nature religions.
  • What are the Quaker SPICES?
    When Quakers are asked what they believe, we're at a disadvantage. We don't have the Book of Common Prayer, we don't have the Nicene Creed or the Apostles Creed to cite. We're non-creedal folk but we have beliefs, we have traditions, and the default setting for many Friends (many Quakers) these days are the SPICES. It's an acronym for what Friends call the testimonies. The SPICES as an acronym represent, in their different interpretations but the standard are: simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, and stewardship. --Max Carter --
  • Where can I learn more about Quakers today?
    To learn more about our History, beliefs and practices check out Philadelphia Yearly Meeting's online publication "Faith and Practice". Many of the videos referenced within this website among many others can be found at Pendle Hill Quaker Study Center also publishes pamphlets that explore more deeply our History, thought and the questions we ask ourselves and each other. Many digital format resources are also available through Pendle Hill or the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting's list of current Resources.
bottom of page