1. Background

Friends Discuss the Future of Quakerism

By Christine Ashley, May 10, 2020

In April, 225 Friends gathered online for the event, “The Future of Quakers.” The conversation focused on several queries, including what Friends have to offer during this pandemic and how inward transformation can grow prophetic ministries.

Marge Abbott
Marge Abbott

[LEFT] Marge Abbott and [RIGHT] Liz Nicholson led the conversation on the future of Quakerism.

The conversation was led by former FCNL clerk Marge Abbott (North Pacific Yearly Meeting) and Quaker Voluntary Service communications coordinator Liz Nicholson (Southern Appalachian Yearly Meeting).

Abbott discussed how Friends connect to the spark within and shared stories from her recent publication, “Walk Humbly, Serve Boldly.” She encouraged Friends to listen deeply for divine guidance toward justice, generosity, and peace. “[Friends should] see ourselves as a band of everyday prophets,” she said. Abbot is currently an FCNL Friend (not) in Washington.

Nicholson spoke about the importance of listening and discernment as Quaker tools. She called on Friends to be present for their communities in whatever way possible. “[Lean] into an uncomfortable edge,” Nicholson said, “and ask ourselves: ‘What does love require of us in this moment?'’’

The discussion, which was the most-attended Quaker Changemaker event to date, ended with participants taking collective action to address food insecurity in the federal response to COVID-19.

To sign up for future events and to view a recording of “The Future of Quakers,” go to fcnl.org/qwc.

We bid Christine Ashley a fond farewell. She joined FCNL as Quaker Field Secretary in 2015. Throughout her journey with FCNL, her heart resounded with civil rights activist Bayard Rustin’s call for “angelic troublemakers.”

Washington Newsletter Washington Newsletter: Wars and Weapons Will Not Save Us 

Seven hundred and fifty billion dollars. That’s roughly how much the United States is spending annually on weapons and war. About $35 billion of that is for nuclear weapons, which, in a best-case scenario, sit in holes in the ground and never get used.

Christine Ashley

  • Quaker Field Secretary

Christine Ashley has the honor of nurturing and deepening FCNL’s relationships with Friends across the United States. In this role, Christine develops and sustains FCNL's engagement with individuals both within the Religious Society of Friends and with seekers for the Quaker way of living Faith in to action.