Quaker Universalist Fellowship

 

The Quaker Universalist Fellowship consists of Friends and others who are influenced by the strains of Quaker thought that eschew literalism and celebrate the universality of inward religious experience. Here are a few examples:

"Walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in everyone." --George Fox

"There is a principle that is pure, placed in the human mind, which in different places and ages hath different names. It is, however, pure and proceeds from God. It is deep and inward, confined to no forms of religion nor excluded from any, where the heart stands in perfect sincerity." --John Woolman

"The humble, meek, merciful, just, pious and devout souls are everywhere of one religion; and when death has taken off the mask, they will know one another, though the divers liveries they wear here make them strangers." --William Penn

"I hold that skepticism is a religious duty; men [and women] should question their theology, and doubt more in order that they might believe more." --Lucretia Mott

"Religion is an experience which no definition exhausts." --Rufus Jones

In the tradition of George Fox, universalist Friends may prefer to express their religious experience in their own words or to give fresh meaning to traditional terms. Many universalist Friends would agree with the following statements:

  • The writings of the early Friends abound in universalist beliefs, although those beliefs may be expressed in the Christian thought-forms of 17th-century England.
  • We appreciate the richness the Religious Society of Friends enjoys by accommodating among its members a variety of terms for expressing religious experience and commitment.
  • We are in spiritual unity with all sincere seekers of truth.
  • We seek, as do others, to express our faith in the way we live.
  • Our Mission

    "The mission of The Quaker Universalist Friends is to foster the understanding that within everyone is a directly accessible spiritual light that can lead people to equality, simplicity, justice, compassion and peace" --   QUF Steering Committee, November 2005

    Commonly Held Principles

    In our articles in Universalist Friends, our semi-annual journal, and in our pamphlets and bulletins, the thoughts and words expressed by the author or speaker may or may not be unanimously held by all of our subscribers. However, there are commonly held principles held by many Quaker universalists which may resonate with your convictions:

  • There is that of God in every person. All human beings, regardless of religious beliefs, have the ability of unmediated spiritual communion and relationship with the transcendent Divine that is immanent within.
  • The central theme of universalism is that spiritual awareness may be achieved by everyone everywhere. It may be experienced through the teachings of all the great religious systems or in the personal and private experiences of an individual seeker who may have no religion at all.
  • Spiritual awareness is accessible to everyone of any religion or none . . . no faith can claim to have a final revelation or monopoly of truth. We acknowledge that such awareness may be expressed in many different ways. We delight in this diversity and warmly welcome both Quakers and non-Quakers to join with us.
  • While being convinced of the validity of our own religious path, we not only accept but also rejoice that others find validity in their own spiritual tradition, whatever it may be. Each of us must find our own path, and each of us can benefit from the search of others.
  • There are many paths toward a truth that lies beyond the confines of any single religious doctrine. No one faith has a monopoly of the way to truth. Seekers must find their own paths, assisted by the search of others.
  • Underlying the infinite diversity of life is the unity of one all-pervasive spirit. We seek unity with all creation, joining with the increased awareness of Friends that our traditional peace testimony includes reverence toward all life.
  • We are encouraged that The Religious Society of Friends nurtures a spiritual path open to all. With its absence of creeds and doctrinal statements, it is well suited to provide a spiritual community in which all sincere seekers of Truth can join, whatever their religious beliefs or doubts. Through the sharing of different religious insights and experiences, Friends can give support to each other's spiritual search. Such an exchange can be both refreshing and unifying.
  • The attribute of holding a position confronted by an opposite position which must be respected has great importance in the formation of spiritual character. - Rufus Jones
  • While affirming God's witness in the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, we also acknowledge that the Light, the Principle, the Spirit of Love has been made manifest in the teachings of other religions and that there is still much more Light and Love to be revealed in the world.
  • The Light, the Life, the Truth, the Love of God is revealed directly to every human being, of every race and religion, without the requirement of any intermediary such as church, priest, or sacred book. Each of us has the choice of relying on ourselves or discerning and following the Divine Light within.
  • The great diversity of people within The Religious Society of Friends is by no means a liability. To create a climate for a loving, listening spirituality within our meetings for worship, business and learning in which all attendees may release and share the deepest witness of their belief system is an opportunity to "Give peace a chance!," to practice conflict resolution, and to wage peace. Our meetings should strive to nurture mutual awareness, understanding and compassion.

  • Return to: www.universalistfriends.org Email: friends@universalistfriends.org