Explorer’s Guide

The Worlds and Ways of Quakers

Our unprogrammed Monthly Meeting is associated with the New York Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends and Friends General Conference

nyym.org New York Yearly Meeting

Founded in 1694, New York Yearly Meeting is the denominational organization for meetings (congregations) in New York State, northern New Jersey, and southwestern

afsc.org American Friends Service Committee

A Quaker organization devoted to service, development, and peace programs through the world based on the belief in the worth of every person, and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice.

fgcquaker.org Friends General Conference

A primarily volunteer-led association of local and regional Quaker organizations in the United States and Canada that provides services and resources for individual Quakers, Quaker meetings and people interested in the Quaker faith and practice.

fcnl.org Friends Committee on National Legislation

A national, nonpartisan Quaker organization that lobbies Congress and the administration to advance peace, justice, and environmental stewardship

Thursdays with Friends  is an online conversation series, a brief 30-minute community chat on issues that Quakers and people of faith are compelled to continue to work on including Racism and Policing in America, Our Elections, Our Democracy, The State of Native America, The Rise of Gun Violence During the Pandemic, and Environmental Rollbacks and Climate Change. Visit the archive at FCNL Thursdays with Friends. 

powellhouse.org Powell House

The conference and retreat center of New York Yearly Meeting Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) offering programs for all ages.

quakerspeak.com Quaker Speak videos

A Quaker YouTube channel with personal and intimate one-minute interviews with Friends of different backgrounds answering the core questions of our faith. New videos come out every Thursday. Subscribe here.

friendsjournal.org Friends Journal

A monthly magazine published by Friends Publishing Corporation with the mission  to communicate Quaker experience in order to connect and deepen spiritual lives

Friendly Readings

Brinton, Howards, Friends for 350 Years, chapters 4 and 5, 2002

Kenworthy, Leonard S. Quakerism: A Study Guide on the Religious Society of Friends, chapter 5. 1981

Pym, Jim. Listening to the Light, pages 39-63. 1999

New York Yearly Meeting. Faith and Practice, pages 7-19. 1998

Smith, Robert Lawrence. A Quaker Book of Wisdom, chapters 1 and 2. 1998

Steere, Douglas. Friends and Worship (pamphlet)

Note: Suggested Readings are available from Quaker Books of FGC.


Answers to FAQ’s

Do you have to believe in God to be a Quaker?

Non-theist Quakers or Friends do not necessarily believe in God or Supreme Being, the divine, the soul or the supernatural.

Where did you get the name?

Detractors of early Quakers taunted them for “quaking with the Lord” when they spoke in meeting for worship. The name stuck. The formal name for Quakers is The Religious Society of Friends.

Are Quakers Christians?

Historically, Quakers grew out of the desire to return to the roots of Christian practice and emulate the behavior of Jesus and his apostles. Today, many Quakers consider themselves Christians, but not all Quakers do. Some reject all such labels, and some retain an alignment with other spiritual beliefs.

Are Quakers Amish?

Quakers are not Amish, Amish aren’t Quakers.

Quakers are not Amish, Amish aren’t Quakers.

Quakers traditionally do not celebrate any holidays as each day is holy. Quakers have gone so far as to rename the days and months to First Day, Second Day, etc. instead of using pagan day and month names. Many Quakers do celebrate Christmas, however, and some also celebrate other holidays from the Christian tradition or from other traditions.

What are the rules and regulations for being a Quaker?

Quakers have strenuously rejected endorsing a dogma or catechism. However, there are guidelines for Quaker behavior. These are elaborated on in many Faith and Practice books published by different Quaker groups. These books are revised with some frequency and do not delineate rules and regulations, but only provide guidance, most critically in a section known as Queries, which consists of questions one can ask oneself about what one does.