The Quaker religious faith leads to a way of life. In Friends' thinking, the practice of Christian faith is not primarily a matter of taking part in rites and ceremonies. What is of primary importance is that we should open ourselves to the Light of Christ and try to live in obedience to the leading of God's spirit. Friends' missionary outreach and social service activities alike have grown out of this continuing attempt to translate Christian faith into life and action. The corporate testimonies and concerns that are set forth in [our Faith and Practice], and the standards of conduct that are recommended, have grown out of Friends' experience in trying to be faithful to the teachings of Jesus and to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in their lives as individuals and as a religious society.
From the earliest days of their history, there are frequent references in the writings of Friends to the belief that there is in the human soul a Light (Ps. 36:9, John 1:9) which is of divine origin and which makes mankind capable of responding to moral and spiritual influences. It is this divine quality that enables one to develop that awareness of moral distinctions and obligations known as conscience and inspires one to live, struggle, and suffer for the achievement of what ought to be.
In the teachings of Jesus are the seeds of the Quaker “testimonies” ~ equality, simplicity, integrity and peace. More than beliefs, testimonies are a way of life that witnesses to a dedication to the teachings of Christ. “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” (Wilmer Cooper).
Mission & Purpose
A UNIVERSAL MISSION
Twenty-first-century Friends are challenged by these words of George Fox, as were those to whom he addressed them in 1656:
"Let all nations hear the word by sound or writing. Spare no place, spare not tongue or pen, but be obedient to the Lord God and go through the world and be valiant for the Truth upon earth....Be patterns, be examples in all countries, places, islands, nations, wherever you come, that your carriage and life may preach among all sorts of people, and to them; then you will come to walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in everyone."
(Wilmington Yearly Meeting Faith & Practice, 1977)
A LOCAL PURPOSE
It is the purpose of Wilmington Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends as a Christian religious body to develop and maintain a Quaker community of faith, centered in this region, which fosters understanding and experience of Christ, the Teacher within, as known directly and through scripture; to share this understanding and experience with young people in our midst, and with others in our communities and the wider community, through ministry, service, and active engagement in the world around us….
(Wilmington Yearly Meeting Faith & Practice, Approved 1995)
On June 25, 1908, J. Waldo Woody arrived in Knoxville, Tennessee under the auspices of Five Years Meeting (now Friends United Meeting) and Wilmington Yearly Meeting to investigate the possibility of planting a Quaker meeting in Knoxville. Woody began holding meeting...
“To follow the principles in Faith and Practice, making all who wish to join with us feel welcome.” These words were recorded July 1972 in the first minutes that still remain of an untitled worship group meeting in the Clifton area of Cincinnati. How did Eastern Hills...
By Betty Johnson Since our founding in 1905, Xenia Friends has been cognizant and mindful of the Quaker testimonies known collectively as SPICES–Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality and Service/Sustainability. The first building on High Street was built...
Campus Friends began meeting in 1948 and was born out of a desire among Quaker students and staff at Wilmington College to participate in an unprogrammed worship group. At that time, there were no unprogrammed meetings in Wilmington Yearly Meeting, and many of these...
Ada Chapel began in 1888 as a mission in East Wilmington. At that time, East Wilmington was the impoverished side of town, and Quaker school-teacher Lizzie Harvey was concerned about the well-being of her students who lived there. She began holding gospel meetings in...
One of the few remaining Quaker settler brick houses in Clinton County is the 1830 Eli Harvey house on Lebanon Road in the Springfield Meeting community, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Eli Harvey (1803-1872) was a very small child when he...
Did you know that Cincinnati Friends Meeting made a documentary about Quakers in 2015? Or that our very own Donne Hayden wrote the film? This documentary tells the stories of lesser-known Friends from southwest Ohio whose faiths led them to do impactful things that...
Do you have an interest in local history? Have you ever noticed that the story of southwest Ohio is chock-full of stories about Quakers, and you are interested in learning more about their influence? Then you should check out the Quaker Scenic Byway! The Quaker Scenic...
See Elmer H. Brown, Jr.'s 1940 Dissertation from Butler University A History of Wilmington Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends
(Above image & text courtesy of Karen Campbell) Article from the August 17, 1870 issue of the Miami-Gazette newspaper, Waynesville, Ohio FRANKLIN COLLEGE PURCHASED BY THE FRIENDS. On Monday afternoon the Franklin College Building and...
book of discipline
Faith & Practice
This is our declaration of what it means to be Quaker in the membership of the Wilmington Yearly Meeting.
The book is divided into three major parts:
PART I — FAITH AND LIFE
PART II — ORGANIZATION AND BUSINESS PROCEDURE
PART III — AUTHORIZED DECLARATION OF FAITH
Who We Are
Epistles for the Yearly Meeting
Friends Disaster Service
The Friends Disaster Services is a network of volunteers from across the USA that provides relief in the aftermath of natural disasters. Taking their lead from Matthew 25:40, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these you did for me,” they describe their mission as being “to exemplify God’s love and bring hope and encouragement to survivors of disasters such as tornados, hurricanes, floods, fires.”
Belize Friends School
Three years ago, Friends United Meeting committed itself to pursue a significant expansion of its ministries in Belize.
Wilmington School in Puerto Padre, Cuba
We were truly blessed to see the work progressing at Puerto Padre, Cuba! With the generosity and faithfulness of Friends who have supported this ongoing ministry, Cuba Yearly Meeting and its partners around the globe have been able to “Rebuild a Friendly Place” at the Colegio Wilmington (Wilmington School).
Quaker Friends Ramallah
There has been an active and vibrant Palestinian Quaker community in Ramallah since the late 1800’s. In 1910, this community built the Ramallah Friends Meetinghouse and later added another building that was used for community outreach.