The Society of Friends has no formal creed. However, for more than 300 years, Friends have honored the central belief that there is in each person the spark of the Divine, “that of God in everyone.” Out of our individual religious convictions and leadings come our practices of religious tolerance, opposition to war and the manner of conducting of our personal lives and business affairs with simplicity, sincerity, and equality. Friends feel that:
- Love, the outworking of the Divine Spirit, is the most potent influence that can be applied in human affairs.
- Equality, the Divine spark resides in every individual and each expresses that divinity uniquely.
- Integrity is being true to one’s beliefs in the striving for unity and integrity of inner and outer life.
- Peace is a positive concern towards taking away the causes of all wars and a commitment to non-violence in resolving all manners of conflict.
- Simplicity is a commitment to live simply, respect our environment, and share so that others may live.
Friends have long held priorities in the areas of education, care and service to others, healthcare, prison reform, elder care, and stewardship of the environment. Friends are known for their active work to ease the plight of those who suffer because of their conscience, youth, gender, race, religion, or ethnic origin.
Some of the areas of main effort include: ending slavery; civil rights/ racial equality; prison reform; pioneering the humane treatment of the mentally ill; minority rights; advocating peace and non-violent conflict resolution; aiding victims of war and refugee relief; pioneering life care communities for the elderly; establishment of public education in America.
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