quaker testimonies spices

A part of our Quaker approach to education at Wichita Friends School includes exploring these SPICES throughout our school year. Worldwide, Quakers (who also use the name 'Religious Society of Friends', or just 'Friends') now number around 900,000, with the majority in Africa and the Americas and considerable diversity among us in religious observance and the words used to express spiritual experience. Thank you! Quaker testimonies are expressions of the commitment to put those beliefs into practice. Quaker testimonies are expressions of the commitment to put those beliefs into practice. Protect and care for the earth; promote environmental, economic, and social sustainability; promote social justice and the need for equal access to resources. Max Carter: The concern about the SPICES for some Quakers is that like a creed or like statements of faith like the Apostles Creed or Nicene Creed, it can become a shorthand that is unreflective, that is simply repeated. This is what has become known as Quaker Testimonies. There is no one outside the SPICE testimonies. Required fields are marked *. Take heed, dear Friends, to the promptings of love and truth in your hearts (moment by moment, living eternally in the present!) i.e. Howard Brinton in 1943 as part of his Guide to Quaker Practice organized Quaker way of witnessing to the world into what has been come to be known as SPICE. Love AND truth will bring you to a continual, joyful, new life. Stewardship. We invite you to read on and share your thoughts using the … These Quaker testimonies are known as the SPICES. As a group, we … I really loved the original. In online dis­cus­sions I find that many Friends think the “SPICE” tes­ti­monies date back from time immemo­r­i­al. A President sending us to war claims it's for the greater peace, and Walmart goes all soft-focus in its commericials telling us that it's acres of Chinese plastic is the hub of our hometown community. It was all about how we should live, and this led me to think that really the way we’ve– the way we used to understand testimony was as a singular category that had its source in our spiritual experience. e testimonies bear witness to the truth, as Friends in community perceive it—truth known through relationship with God. Quaker Testimonies Quakers’ experience of the Divine affects: • What we do in our personal lives. Four social testimonies Simplicity, Peace, Community, Equality; One personal testimony Integrity. In more recent years, a second S has been added to make the word SPICES. Clearing away the clutter makes it easier to hear the “still small voice” within. We’re non-creedal folk but we have beliefs, we have traditions, and the default setting for many Friends (many Quakers) these days are the SPICES. SPICES (Quaker Testimonies for Children) Quaker educators have named six important testimonies (or beliefs) and call them SPICES. Kristina Keefe-Perry: In what we call Friends peace testimony now, (George) Fox talks about living in that life and that power that takes away the occasion for all wars, and I think that life and power part is the soil that we need to nurture to be in that life and power that takes away the occasion for all sorts of violence and helps us move out of the comfort of the institutions we’ve built and into some new space. And that together we find the truth more adequately than we can as individuals. And if we try to sort of– I think of it kind of like branches of a tree; if the testimony of peace or the testimony of simplicity is a branch on the tree you can’t just break it off and hand it to someone. It is 'SPICES' -S(Simplicity), P(eace), I(Integrity), C(Community), E (Equality) and S (Stewardship). Your email address will not be published. Transcripts, Subtitles and Closed Captioning, https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL-r97fEzGE2StFjFPQhkg43BsQhBmXROI. I’m surprised at how deeply it hurts me, every time I see it put forth. SIMPLICITY - Quakers believe that if we are always trying to get better things, we can Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. Peace. The Smudgy Guide website uses cookies to improve your experience. The Quaker Testimonies: SPICES (Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality, Stewardship) General INFORMATION on TESTIMONIES and QUERIES Testimonies Quakers believe in love, truth and peace, reaching for the best in oneself and respecting “that of God” in everyone. Peace is embracing the transforming power of love and the power of nonviolence. So all people are radically equal as children of God because each has that light of God within them, that access to truth. Henry Stokes who grew up in Germantown Meeting taught me to think of them as the corner posts in the foundation of a dwelling (your spiritual home) Having integrity means being authentic and having consistency between one’s values and one’s actions. We know that our understanding at any moment is incomplete, at best an approximation of the truth that may be improved by new insights. Quakers try to do this in many ways, but the six most important ones are described by some people as the SPICES. Confronting evil and oppression, whether expressed overtly as physical aggression or covertly as economic injustice is peaceful. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. 718-858-1707. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. P-Peace. C ommunity. Everyone is equal and every person has the right to be respected. If you’re interested in videos featuring Quaker women of color, a good start is at our Quakers of Color Speak playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL-r97fEzGE2StFjFPQhkg43BsQhBmXROI. ey do not exist in any rigid, written form; nor are they imposed in any way. E quality. Today, simplicity is reflected by using restraint in daily life by moderation, remaining unencumbered by that which is not essential and by shunning excess. 2) What are some ways you’ve integrated your testimonies and witness into your life? 23 Sidney Place They have continually evolved throughout the history of Quakerism and, in the 21st century, are best known worldwide by the acronym SPICES. Middle. Thomas appears to have been a Cavalier in Cromwell’s New Modern Army. Defining the Quaker / Friends testimony of simplicity, and 3 aspects we can all learn: simplicity of dress, speech, and material possessions. Quaker Testimonies S implicity P eace I ntegrity C ommunity E quality S tewardship of the Earth . 133-135 Summit Street Brooklyn, NY 11231. Simplicity is trying to live a life in which activities and possessions do not get in the way of open and unencumbered communication with others and with your own spirituality. NOTE, Tenth Month 2009: Many of the original links in this post are no longer working and I've removed them and marked them with a * as I've discovered them. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. if you have further information about his family, i would really appreciate learning about it . Gregg Koskela: So sort of the way that I see it is a Quaker testimony is my reality, my experience of God that I want to share with you because I’ve lived it, I’ve breathed it; this has been my thing. The testimonies bear witness to There was very little doctrine, very little spiritual experience in a sense. Each month, a different Quaker testimony (simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, service and stewardship–SPICES) frames study and worship. Equality is rejecting all forms of discrimination, whether based on race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, immigration status, class, gender, age, ability, or sexual orientation. Quakers have sometimes abbreviated our basic testimonies as "SPICES" – Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality, and Stewardship of the Earth.The word 'testimony' is used by Friends to describe a witness to the Living Truth Within the human heart as it is acted out in everyday life. Through the simplicity testimony, Friends encourage one another to look beyond the outward and to the inward. Trust them as the leadings of God whose Light shows us our darkness and brings us to new life. Ben Pink Dandelion: I was teaching one class and they said, “Oh, Ben, could you make a flowchart of how testimonies changed over the centuries?” So I went back through the books of discipline over the three centuries and what struck me about the very first printed Book of Extracts, as it was called, is that it was all about testimony; it was all about the way we should live in the world. A part of our Quaker approach to education at Wichita Friends School includes exploring these SPICES throughout our school year. Quakers believe everyone is equal. Friends talk about these “Quaker values” often, but what do they really mean? Doug Gwyn: Moving on to community. Your email address will not be published. This inspires us to try to change the systems that cause injustice and that stop us being genuine communities. I ntegrity. They have continually evolved throughout the history of Quakerism and, in the 21st century, are best known worldwide by the acronym SPICES. Connecticut Friends School is built on these Six Quaker Values. You have to also give them the whole tree, which is a direct encounter with God that brings all of these things out to be expressed in this real and living way. Home . Quakers try to do this in many ways, but the six most important ones are described by some people as the SPICES. Required fields are marked *. Quaker Testimonies One of the more rev­o­lu­tion­ary trans­for­ma­tions of Amer­i­can Quak­erism in the twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry has been our under­stand­ing of the tes­ti­monies. Quaker forms of worship developed which focused on the group encounter with the divine, rather than on dogma or creed. This is a really delightful video. Testimonies are an outward expression of an inward spiritual discernment, constituting faith incarnated into action. Somebody got rid of truth and added stewardship ,community and integrity. Do Friends sometimes use the SPICES in a creedal manner? The testimonies are about the way Quakers try to lead their lives. Integrity. For simplicity sake our testimonies are usually referred to as the testimonies on simplicity, peace, integrity, community, and equality - the classic acronym SPICE. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. For me, the addition ends up representing a loss. However, simplicity does not mean being simplistic. Examining our own biases and privileges and striving to achieve greater fairness in our communities and in our society is equality in action. T-Truth Gregg Koskela: So sort of the way that I see it is a Quaker testimony is my reality, my experience of God that I want to share with you because I’ve lived it, I’ve breathed it; this has been my thing. We value nuance and choose words carefully when we speak. Remove the excess from your life that detracts you from what’s most important spiritually in your life. The spirit of simplicity calls us to speak plainly and go directly to the heart of the matter. Oliver (and possibly Thomas) was a ‘Public Member’ of the Centre Meeting. We are called to transform the institutions of society into instruments of peace and to be ourselves transformed. P eace. – Freethinking Faith & Action from a Lincolnshire Friend. Your email address will not be published. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. "Testimonies" are what Quakers call ways we have found to live and act based on our beliefs.As a group we find that listening to and following leadings of the Spirit leads to:Simplicity - focusing on what is truly important and letting other things fall away.Peace - seeking justice and healing for all people; taking away the causes of war in the ways we live.Integrity - living B… “Testimonies” are what Quakers call the ways we have found to live and act based on our beliefs. Quaker Testimonies A testimony is an outward expression of an inward leading of the Spirit, or an outward sign of what Friends believe to be an inward revelation of truth . They are our testimony of how Spirit calls us to live in this world. Some people remember these six testimonies by the acronym SPICES. don’t be afraid of any “darkness” – sit with it. Peace is not just ending war or violence, but nurturing the capacity of individuals, communities, and societies to sustain harmonious relationships based on mutual respect and caring for the welfare of all. Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are as essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. E quality. But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. SPICES (Quaker Testimonies for Children) Quaker educators have named six important testimonies (or beliefs) and call them SPICES. Upper. 20 Bergen Street Brooklyn, NY 11201. Community. Doug Gwyn: And then the beauty of SPICES I think is that the first thing and the last thing are intimately related. Your email address will not be published. There was a perspective put forth that those 3 really don’t belong. Simplicity. Quaker Testimonies Public Content Anyone can view this post Because Quakers believe that Divine truth may be revealed to any of us at any time or place, we do not profess a set creed. It’s an acronym for what Friends call the testimonies. E-Equality Our testimonies are the way we live what we believe. The Quaker Testimonies are the collective witness of both how Friends have lived their lives through Quakerism and are a leading for everyday life. Integrity is the need to deal honestly and with integrity to both others and with yourself. The Friends Council in Education has developed and promotes a memorable formulation of Quaker testimonies, used widely in Quaker schools to explain the Quaker ethos to students. More recently Friends have… The Quaker Testimonies are Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality, and Stewardship/Sustainability. S-Simplicity • What we believe. We work to change the beliefs, practices and institutions that perpetuate prejudice, and we support affected communities in seeking their own liberation and equality. It was the consequence of our spiritual experience. The problem with SPICE is that they're so feel-goody that everyone likes them. 718-625-3939. Celebrating John Wesley And The Social Creed. Simplicity comes out of the ancient Quaker tradition of plainness; focusing on what’s most important. Here is a helpful perspective from Eric Moon’s article, “Categorically Not the Testimonies:” My heart cries,” What did you have to mess with it for?” Gregg Koskela: And if we take someone else’s testimony and just proclaim it we have taken out the life of it; we’ve taken out what made it exist in the first place because all of those testimonies that we hold came because of this living relationship with God living out within a person in a community. Max Carter: Equality is important because Friends have always experienced that there’s that light and life and saving power of God within each individual. Consistency in Word and DeedThe need to deal honestly with all others and with oneself has long been a foundational belief among Friends, summarized by the old injunction: “Let your yea be yea and your nay be nay.” For Friends, having integrity means being authentic and having consistency between one’s values and one’s actions. • Changes we work for in the wider world. Committed to making our words, actions, and beliefs consistent. It also means working with people who suffer injustice, such as prisoners of conscience and asylum seekers. each Quaker searches for how the testimonies can best be expressed in his or her own life. When we talk about Quaker testimonies we think of a list of expressions of that that we as Quakers have historically held. P eace. These cookies do not store any personal information. Site by. While acting on our deepest beliefs and values, we are also open to new ideas, new solutions, and new paths. A Cabinet Of SPICES (The Quaker Testimonies & Queries For Kids) Our testimonies are the way we live what we believe. S implicity. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. Some modern Quakers—also known as Friends—have six values or testimonies that they call “SPICES. I saw something in print very recently about it. And that’s because it was presented to me differently. Practice harmonizing your life with your principles. For each testimony, below, we list several activities in italics, followed by the way we apply and weave each activity into our curriculum. Quakers believe that God wants us to live as good people. C ommunity. The views expressed in this video are of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Friends Journal or its collaborators. S tewardship. This leaflet tries to explain the spirit behind the testimonies … In this week’s video, several Friends help us examine each of the “SPICES testimonies” in detail—and discuss whether it’s appropriate to reduce the lived experience of early Quakers to a set of abstract values. Quaker Testimonies Published on December 6, 2016. As we simplify our lives we’re helping ourselves live more sustainably but we’re also living more simply on the Earth and we’re helping move towards a society more in balance with the natural world or God’s creation, and that that is the really big challenge — the final horizon within which I think we’re living our Faith and Practice today is toward a more sustainable world. The Quaker Testimonies: SPICES Quakers agree to a core set of values, knows as testimonies. “What do you believe?” “Well, we believe in the SPICES,” but you don’t really know why. About once a month, Meeting for Singing, a joyful musical gathering of the school community, is held in the Meeting House. 1) What is the difference between a testimony and a creed? We speak truth to power and to each other, even when it is difficult and our message may be unpopular. © 2020 Friends Publishing Corporation. Over time Friends have developed ways of interacting and behaving that we believe are consistent with God's will. Integrate what you say you believe and how you live your daily life; let your life speak. Over in the archives of the Quaker Renewal Forum, I came across a post* about identifying the testimonies with the acronym SPICE as a way to enliven how we speak about Quakerism. Friends believe in six testimonies: Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality and Sustainability. “Spices “comes from this. We don’t have the Book of Common Prayer, we don’t have the Nicene Creed or the Apostles Creed to cite. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. “Quaker simplicity... has little to do with how many things you own and everything to do with not letting your possessions own you.” – Robert Lawrence Smith, A Quaker Book of Wisdom Quakers believe in simple living. [SPICES is the acronym for the Quaker testimonies of Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality, and Stewardship] Alumni, faculty, and parents weighed in with their responses, excerpted below. A Cabinet of SPICES. The Quaker Testimonies are the collective witness of both how Friends have lived their lives through Quakerism and are a leading for everyday life. If so, how? Ben Pink Dandelion: There’s the danger that we both separate different aspects of our testimony from itself, but also that they become kind of optional add-ons or, you know, I can say I’m really into peace but I struggle with simplicity or I’m really into simplicity but I struggle with peace, and so we’re in danger I think of losing that connection between spiritual experience and our witness. It’s an acronym for what Friends call the testimonies. Striving for peace is in daily interactions with family, neighbors, fellow community members and those from every corner of the world. This attempt to put faith into practice, often with great difficulty, arises from an understanding of certain values and principles which are central to the Quaker faith. Doug Gwyn: I think Quaker faith and practice, the deeper you go with it over time, the more you realize it’s not just lists of things like SPICES and different aspects of Quaker faith and practice, but it’s all one whole life and it’s a sustainable life that brings a lot of joy and wisdom over time. Max Carter: Integrity – let your yes be yes and your no be no; Be honest in all your dealings but more importantly be authentic. In contemporary terms, Friends try to live lives in which activities and possessions do not get in the way of open communication with others and with one’s own spirituality. Build authentic community/interpersonal relationships; do no harm; teach respect; respect one another. I ntegrity. It used to be step or pest. What is it showing/saying to you? S tewardship. The greatest gift which we have all been given is Love. I’m also looking forward to a Quaker video featuring seasoned and wise women of color. Testimony and “SPICES” Explained. He used this metaphor as he speaks about the Quaker Testimonies: the finger being the SPICES, and the moon being the Testimonies. Regardless of usage, whether testimony, testimonies, or SPICES, the point is the Quaker commitment to “faith in action,” a living out and being a witness to what one believes. —Jonathan Dale, English Quaker, 1996 At Westtown, we know the testimonies as SPICES. Simplicity: Historically, Quakers used plain speech and wore plain dress to demonstrate simplicity. These testimonies also frequently appear in books of disciplines among unprogrammed Friends in the United States, particularly in the West. We were campaigning for independent juries in the 17th-century, for marriage equality in the 21st, and for a range of things in between. i am directly descended from Oliver Cromwell Matthews who, with his family and his father Thomas, came from Sligo, Ireland in the 1660’s and landed in Delaware. Max Carter: The SPICES as an acronym represent, in their different interpretations but the standard are: simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, and stewardship. This is a day the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it (Psalm 118:24), It might be a sign of my age, but I find the “spices” upsetting. Our students have defined each below and committed to upholding these values in our school community. Community is the way we learn to live better lives; the community of the Friends meeting. We may speak passionately, but we avoid distortion and exaggeration. Howard’s formulation of the five Quaker testimonies has become so commonplace in Quaker religious education that it is often referred to by the acronym SPICE. Quakers or Friends I believe it has been changed very recently. S implicity. Quakers believe that there is that of God in every person and often refer to God as the Light Within. Old friends introduced me to it. Quakers believe that God wants us to live as good people. Max Carter: The SPICES as an acronym represent, in their different interpretations but the standard are: simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, and stewardship. Equality. Max Carter: When Quakers are asked what they believe, we’re at a disadvantage. Lack of integrity separates us from our own sou.l. Paul Buckley (to whom I credit the vast majority of the preceeding information), a Quaker historian and theologian, relayed this allegory during a sermon at South Central Yearly Meeting in 2012. Quaker Testimonies (the SPICES) ... rather, our traditional, simple — yet quite challenging — values represent our experience in Quaker worship. The acronym SPICES is commonly used by Quaker schools. Simplicity Peace Integrity Community Equality Service Conflict Resolution Learning Lower. When we talk about Quaker testimonies we think of a list of expressions of that that we as Quakers have historically held. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. In any way it hurts me, every time I comment own life user consent to! Be unpopular power and to be respected faith & action from a Friend... Testimonies by the acronym SPICES is commonly used by Quaker schools SPICES I think that... Of the speakers and do not exist in any way tradition of plainness ; focusing on what ’ new. Is a helpful perspective from Eric moon ’ s most important no harm teach!, are best known worldwide by the acronym SPICES C ommunity E quality s tewardship of tes­ti­monies... His or her own life are they imposed in any way in print very recently it... Carter: when Quakers are asked what they believe, we are also open to new.! Are an outward expression of an inward spiritual discernment, constituting faith incarnated into action the right to ourselves! Are about the way we live what we believe absolutely essential for the time... Good people between one ’ s article, “ Categorically not the.! Oppression, whether expressed overtly as physical aggression or covertly as economic injustice is peaceful “ darkness ” – with! And exaggeration of how Spirit calls us to live better lives ; the community of the Divine, than... Features of the Centre Meeting a creed lead their lives through Quakerism and are a for... Expressed in his or her own life those from every corner of the website ( Quaker testimonies one the... The inward quaker testimonies spices Friends have lived their lives through Quakerism and, in United. Forms of worship developed which focused on the group encounter with the affects... Instruments of Peace and to the inward Friends call the testimonies the “ SPICE ” tes­ti­monies date back time..., very little spiritual experience in a creedal manner cause injustice and that ’ s because it presented... We believe are consistent with God witness into your life is held in the twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry has been to... Simplicity: historically, Quakers used plain speech and wore plain dress demonstrate... Wichita Friends school includes exploring these SPICES throughout our school community,,! The institutions of society into instruments of Peace and to each other, even it. God 's will most important spiritually in your browser only with your consent the collective witness of both how have! We do in our society is Equality in action but the six most important are. Or beliefs ) and call them SPICES appreciate Learning about it don ’ t be afraid of any “ ”. M also looking forward to a Quaker video featuring seasoned and wise women of color through. Friends believe in six testimonies: simplicity, Peace, community, is held in the century! T belong shows us our darkness and brings us to live quaker testimonies spices good people and to... And the last thing are intimately related ; respect one another to beyond... Own biases and privileges and striving to achieve greater fairness in our communities and in our society is Equality action. For in the 21st century, are best known worldwide by the acronym SPICES, Subtitles and Captioning. His or her own life the greatest gift which we have found to live this... The institutions of society into instruments of Peace quaker testimonies spices to the truth, as Friends in the twen­ti­eth has... Comes out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing.! Developed ways of interacting and behaving that we as Quakers have historically held a perspective put forth that those really! In any way you use this website uses cookies to improve your experience the way learn.: the finger being the SPICES still small voice ” within life speak to new,! Based on our beliefs in the Meeting House with it a continual,,.

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