The New Covenant
God Listens to and Guides Everyone
Everyone Can Know God
God’s Love Transforms Lives
A Simple Faith
In a world of greed, endless hurry, and violence, there is a better way of life. This is made possible by Jesus Christ who shows us the infinite love and mercy of God, and who accompanies us day by day, helping us find goodness among the difficult choices that constantly confront us.
You are invited to explore this kind of life among Friends.
You are welcome to worship with Friends. We have discovered that when people start to listen within themselves for divine guidance, the Holy Spirit leads them into a community of fellow believers. We delight to share the joy of knowing and worshiping God together. We start to learn what it means to love one another. The unity of our life together testifies to Jesus’ presence amongst us as Teacher and Lord. Sooner or later, we feel promptings in our hearts to make changes in our lifestyles and to serve “the least of these” whom Jesus loves. Then we really come to know that we need the support of a community of friends! The invitation to listen inwardly to God inevitably leads us outward in service.
You are invited to join in this great adventure.
When Jesus ate with his disciples on the night before his crucifixion, he blessed a cup of wine, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.” (Luke 22:14) He was referring to the new covenant promised long before by God through Jeremiah:
I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts….
They shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest …
I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.
Living a good life is not a matter of following outward rules that God is holding over our heads. Goodness comes into our lives spiritually, through the inward presence and guidance of Jesus Christ. Jesus told his followers, “I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father.” (John 15:14) That is where the Friends church gets its name. Friends offer this advice: “Take heed, dear Friends, to the promptings of love and truth in your hearts, which are the leadings of God.” We have found that those who listen to God’s inward guidance gradually find their lives changed so that they become more like Christ. This is the source of the testimonies to peace, simplicity, equality and integrity for which Friends (Quakers) are known. Listening to Christ: it is a simple faith that leads to a transformed life. It has the potential to change the world.
Everyone, without exception, has access to the inward knowledge of God. Friends believe this means that our worship and life together can be very simple and honest. Jesus said, “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24) There is no need for outward priests or religious rituals. For some Friends, worship is based entirely on silent waiting for the inward voice of God; others include music, scripture reading, and prepared sermons; all seek to worship according to the direct leadership of the Holy Spirit. Since God is working inwardly in everyone, it is important that everyone—male and female, young and old—have equal opportunity to share in ministry as they are led by the spirit of God. The ministry of each believer is nurtured by the community of faith.
Friends believe that God’s love is powerful enough to bring healing and forgiveness into every life—no matter what. Our conviction is that, because of Jesus, no one need be bound by chains to the past. Forgiveness does not mean denying the reality of hurts we have caused or received. It means facing those realities honestly and applying the healing and compassion of God. Friends don’t pretend to be without faults. On the contrary, Friends are just ordinary people living by the mercy of God and trying to extend that mercy to others. We believe that the death and resurrection of Jesus has opened the door for everyone to personally experience the relationship with God promised in the new covenant. It is possible for ordinary people to know God’s will and, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to live it.
Friends have no creeds—no official words can substitute for a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. These unofficial statements give a general sense of Friends’ faith.
—God is love and wants to communicate inwardly with everyone who is willing.
—Worship is spiritual and must be Spirit-led.
—All people are equal before God and may minister as they are led by God.
—Jesus Christ is our present Teacher and Lord, and we seek to conduct church affairs in unity under his guidance
—The Spirit of God gives guidance that is consistent with the Bible.
—As people respond to the Light of Christ within, their lives begin to reflect Jesus’ peace, integrity, simplicity and moral purity.