Thousand Islands Meeting
Kingston, Ontario    CANADA


A FRIENDS' MEETING, however silent, is at the very lowest a witness that worship is something other and deeper than words, and that it is to the unseen and eternal things that we desire to give the first place in our lives. And when the awake and looking upwards, there is much more in it than this. In the united stillness of a truly "gathered" meeting, there is a power known only by experience, and mysterious even when most familiar.
Caroline Stephen, 1908


I BELIEVE THAT GOD'S BEST for another may be so different from my experience and way of living as to be actually impossible for me. I recognize [a change] to have taken place in myself, from a certain assumption that mine was really the better way, to a very complete recognition that there is no better way, and that God needs all kinds of people and ways of living through which to manifest Light in the world.
Henry Hodgkin, 1933

REJECTION OF CREED is not inconsistent with being possessed by a living belief. We have no creed in science, but we are not lukewarm in our beliefs. The belief is not that all the knowledge of the universe that we hold so enthusiastically will survive in the letter; but a sureness that we are on the right road. If our so-called facts are changing shadows, they are shadows cast by the light of constant truth. So too in religion we are repelled by that confident theological doctrine which has settled for all generations just how the spiritual world is worked; but we need not turn aside from the measure of Light that comes into our experience showing us a Way through the unseen world. Religion for the conscientious seeker is not all a matter of doubt and self-questionings. There is a kind of sureness which is very different from cocksureness.
Arthur Eddington, 1929

CHALLENGING MARKET ECONOMICS with a Biblical sense of the goodness of God in creation is to join a spiritual struggle. Faith in God and solidarity with the suffering poor and all other forms of life demand that we take a stand and say, "This destruction must stop."
Keith Helmuth, 1990
IT IS EASY to let ourselves slip into "action for action's sake." Without noticing it, we unconsciously seek to enlarge of sphere of activity; our social work confronts us with such heart-breaking realities, with such urgent needs, that we should like to run from this one to that...We find ourselves eventually at the bottom of a dry well, with nothing but our wretched little human powers...Bit by bit, we transformed what was a divinely appointed task into work on a merely human level...because we neglected our inner life.
Henry van Etton, 1942
FRIENDS ARE NOT naive enough to believe that an appeal to "that of God" in a dictator or in an [aggressive] nation... will necessarily be successful in converting the tyrant or preventing aggression. Christ was crucified. Gandhi was assassinated. Yet they did not fail. Nor did they leave behind them the hatred, devastation and bitterness that war, successful or unsuccessful, does leave. What can be claimed, moreover, is that this method of opposing evil is one of which no person, no group, no nation need be ashamed, as we may and should be ashamed of the inhumanities of war that are perpetrated in our name and with our support.
Kathleen Lonsdale, 1953

IT'S HARD TO LOVE the questions when you live in a society obsessed with answers. A believer takes a great risk in affirming the questions and doubts of others because to be a good Christian is to have all the answers and to never admit you have any questions. Consequently, we have a lot of people living out a spirituality they can hardly claim to be their own. On the surface they look good. They can sing all the right hymns and say all the right prayers. They quote all the right verses and support all the appropriate groups. They have even overcome great tragedy and despair and give claim to a testimony of great victory. But deep within their being, they are torn apart by this "spiritual schizophrenia." They have doubts....But the Christian culture "code of silence" has forced them on a journey of "Jesus is the answer" without ever having been allowed to ask the questions.
Scott Waggoner, 1993

TO FIND RELIGION itself, you must look inside people and inside yourself. And there, if you find even the tiniest grain of true love, you may be on the right scent. Millions of people have it and donít know what it is they have. God is their guest, but they havenít the faintest idea that s/he is in the house. So you mustnít only look where God is confessed and acknowledged. You must look everywhere to find the real religion... Living with God is not an apparition but a wordless and endless sureness. Like the silence of two friends together. 
Bernard Canter, 1962

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