Before I close out this series with some personal thoughts I wanted to do a quick post here to give you the list of books I have read in order to do these posts. There were also literally hundreds of websites/blogs I visited; too many to mention or name here.
Here is the list of books and their authors and some websites. This is by no means a complete list but I believe it is a good sampling of the topic.
|An Introduction to Quakerism||Pink Dandelion|
|A Living Faith||Wilmer A. Cooper|
|A Quaker Book of Wisdom||Robert Lawrence Smith|
|Quaker Spirituality – Selected Writings||Forward by Rick Moody|
|Plain Living – A Quaker Path to Simplicity||Catherine Whitmire|
|Why Friends are Friends – Some Quaker Core Convictions||Jack L. Willcuts|
|Quaking Quakers website/blog. A really good site to get a feel for everyday living by today’s Friends||http://www.quakerquaker.org/|
|Friends Journal Magazine – several issues||https://www.friendsjournal.org/|
Let’s finish out this post with some of the miscellaneous things not covered elsewhere. One of the items that I think is unique to Quakers is that they used to believe it is improper to pay for a “minister”; that, as their founder George Fox said is the ministry to the flock must be “freely exercised”. He quoted Acts 2:39 and Acts 20:33-35 where Paul says he will not take money for ministering to his congregations. But, I think this is one of those things that have fallen by the wayside. From what I can find Quaker pastors appear to be paid pretty much the same as pastors in other denominations. I’m not sure when this change happened?
Weddings among Quakers are much simpler than those for either other Christians or in the secular realm. No minister or other official is needed. The man and woman simply say their vows to each other and the people invited to the wedding and, of course, to God. Another tradition is that everyone attending signs the wedding certificate and it is then proudly displayed in their home. This is in stark contrast to spending over $20,000 for the usual wedding in the United States.
Quakers do not use month names. They simply say “the second month…” I think this has something to do with the months named after pagan Greek gods but I am not sure of that.
Quakers are said to be eternal optimists! They believe that there is God in each and every person so all people merit our love. As Jesus said, love even your enemies. They also believe that it is possible to be more Christ like in our daily living. They recognize the sinner in each and every person but choose to concentrate on the love and potential goodness that God gives us daily. Striving each and every day to be more Christ like is a better use of our time than to be constantly moaning about our sinfulness and worthlessness. I like the idea of being a Christian optimist.