We gratefully acknowledge the generosity of Friends who have permitted
us to use material for this Faith and Practice.
on integrity, unity, equality, simplicity, and
peace come together in our testimony on community, which calls us
to sustain caring relationships for all. In today’s interconnected
world, human survival depends more than ever on discerning and
actualizing the truth of our corporate experience, on mutual regard
and support, on nurturing our relationships with one another, with
society, and with the environment as a whole.
need to find the courage to assert and act upon the hope, however naïve, that community can be found, because only by acting “as if” can we create a future fit for human habitation… Community means more than the comfort of souls. It means, and always has meant, the survival of the species…
palmer, a place called community,
pendle hill pamphlet 212, 1977
mutual regard and concern, without the trust that
comes from the observance of mutual expectations developed and
sustained over time, without commitment to a collective search for
unity around that of the Divine that each of us shares, there is
separation, and separation is the root of conflict. Community is
necessary foundation for social justice and peace. As we live in
community which is committed to honor that of God in all, we are,
as individuals, strengthened in the work to which we are called.
The Quaker exhortation to “know
one other in that which is
eternal” is an exhortation to a mutual knowing in which we
affected by, and responsive to, one another. We come to know one
another as we seek our collective, Spirit-led Truth — our
sense of the common good within which we discover who we are
and where we each fit in the larger scheme of things. We see and
speak from that of God in ourselves to that of God in all others
when we discover and acknowledge our common ground and
common good. We see Jesus’ command to love one another as
command to be in community. We testify against all appeals to
Within Friends’ spiritual
community, the collective search for
truth, undertaken in the Meeting for Worship, is the foundation
for the beloved community to which Friends aspire. Gathered
together in the Light, the work of community involves empathic
searching for the Divine in self and other. It nourishes our witness
to the world.
trust, fellowship, selflessness are all mediated to us through our interdependence. Just as we could not live physically without each other, we cannot live spiritually in isolation. We are individually free but also communally bound. We cannot act without affecting others and others cannot act without affecting us. We know ourselves as we are reflected in the faces, action and attitudes of each other.
scott, what canst thou say?
swarthmore lecture, friends home service,
Spirit calls Friends to acknowledge their connection to one
another and to all creation. This understanding strengthens us to
minister to one another and the wider community, to test
individual leadings, and to witness to the truth as it is revealed
Living by faith is not a private matter. It calls us outward to the
needs of the community at large. The Spirit we follow is present
each individual human being. To be true to that Spirit, we must
recognize and nourish the spiritual worth of all people, particularly
those who have been devalued or excluded. Following the Spirit’s
leadings together, we hope to overcome the causes of racism,
sexism, homophobia, and the neglect or disrespect of children, the
poor, and the socially marginalized, in the world and in ourselves.