Living in Fellowship
While the Quaker faith is founded on the principle that every person can have a direct relationship with God, an equally central tenet lies in the power of the “gathered community.” When Friends gather in silence to worship, they are collectively seeking the will of God, rather than meditating individually. Shared worship signifies unity and trust.
The Friends community also provides a place for individual members to look for wisdom and support. For example, early Friends relied on their community to provide for the families whose breadwinners were imprisoned for their beliefs—and at Quaker weddings today, the union is not formalized by a clergy member, but is witnessed and endorsed by every member attending.
At AFSC we nurture relationships and partner with communities, believing that, in gathering together, people increase their strength, vision, wisdom, and creativity. We accompany and support communities in their efforts to seek justice and improve their own lives and circumstances. Where people are divided, we strive to build bridges, encourage trust, and create spaces for dialogue and cooperation.
As we engage with the world, we also work to bring our organizational life into harmony with the vision we urge others to achieve. We are committed to building an inclusive AFSC community of staff, Board members, volunteers, and constituents, whose collective experience and wisdom help to guide the organization.
Without community, there is no liberation.
AUDRE LORDE, POET
One's life has value as long as one attributes value to the life of others, by means of love, friendship, indignation, and compassion.
SIMONE DE BEAUVOIR, AUTHOR
Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much.
HELEN KELLER, AUTHOR AND ACTIVIST
From the depth of need and despair, people can work together, can organize themselves to solve their own problems and fill their own needs with dignity and strength.
CESAR CHAVEZ, FARM WORKER AND LABOR LEADER
Perhaps community is a constellation. Each one of us is a light in the emerging
collective brightness. A constellation of light has the greater power of illumination than any single light would have on its own. Together we increase brightness.
JOHN O’DONOHUE, POET AND AUTHOR
Do I participate fully in making the AFSC community a welcoming, respectful, and caring place?
In what ways do I honor the diverse gifts, talents, and resources of the individuals and communities with whom I work?
How do I help ensure a safe space for diverse voices and opinions in the communities where I participate and serve?
How can I contribute to AFSC meetings, whether participating in person or by phone, so these gatherings are more constructive and reflective of a truly inclusive community?