The religious practices of Friends are founded in direct communion with God and the conviction that the Divine Light is accessible to each person; yet it is one Light, one Truth. We wait with hearts and minds open to the Divine so that Truth will be made known among us.
Our corporate search for God’s word is the heart of the Quaker Meeting for Worship. We believe that God, the Light, the Truth, is part of our being.We say, “there is that of God in everyone.” Truth is continually revealed to us, often through a gathered mystical experience.We learn to recognize the truth by experience.
We work to develop a relationship between the individual and the corporate body that allows inspiration and leadings to be tested within the Meeting. In this unity, Friends find order and peace in reconciling individual inspiration and corporate wisdom, enabling us to choose right courses of action.
As God is revealed to us individually and corporately, we are guided in the right ordering of our lives. All Friends practices flow from this faith in the revealed truth: our care for each other, our governing structures and processes, our testimonies and witness to the whole world.
Through the personal experience of each seeker comes the Light necessary for their guidance. Vocal ministry in a Friends Meeting emerges from the direct relationship between the individual and the Divine. Truth is tested, not by the degree to which it conforms to dogma, but by its power to transform our lives and the lives of others.
“Not by strength of arguments or by a particular disquisition of each doctrine and convincement of my understanding thereby, came I to receive and bear witness of the Truth, but by being secretly reached by the Life. For when I came into the silent assemblies of God’s people, I felt a secret power among them which touched my heart; and as I gave way unto it I found the evil weakening in me and the good raised up and so I became thus knit and united unto them, hungering more and more after the increase of this power and life, whereby I might feel myself perfectly redeemed.” ~ Robert Barclay, Apology, 1676, 11: 7
— from the Introduction to the Faith and Practice of Pacific Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends
You may join Quaker Center’s online Quaker meeting for worship from 7:30 to 8:00 AM daily by clicking here.
To learn more about Quakers in California and North America, you are invited to explore the following websites:
Quakerfinder: Find Friends meetings and churches near you.
Pacific Yearly Meeting: Regional association of unprogrammed meetings.
Santa Cruz Friends Meeting: The Friends meeting closest to Quaker Center.
Western Friend: Magazine published by Pacific, Intermountain, and Northern Pacific Yearly Meetings.
Sierra Friends Center: Non-profit organization devoted to diverse educational programs. Hosts the Woolman Semester.
Friends General Conference: An association of mostly unprogrammed regional groups in North America. FGC provides programs and services for Friends, meetings, and seekers.
Friends Committee on National Legislation: A Quaker lobby in the public interest. The California affiliate is Friends Committee on Legislation.
Friends for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, and Queer Concerns: A North American faith community affirming that of God in all people.
American Friends Service Committee: An international organization putting Quaker values into action around the world.