The testimonies are basic principles with specific applications which are regarded as central to the belief of Friends (Quakers). The following is extracted from the writings of Gordon Browne, a sojourning member of our Meeting during his tenure as Executive Secretary, Friends World Committee for Consultation, Section of the Americas, as well as from Faith and Practice:  "Our testimonies are not a pre-packaged set of values. Our spiritual experience, our openess to being led and to living a guided life, leads us to a life we have little choice over. Testimony is the outflowing life we cannot help but lead." (Ben Pink Dandelion, 2014).


Based on the insight that there is that of God in every person, this testimony held and still holds that there is no room in our Society for discrimination, including that based on age, gender, race, sexual orientation or ethnic origin. From the beginning, Friends have supported equality of the sexes and races.


The peace testimony arises from the same understanding of the nature of God and of human beings. Since we are all potential channels of God's truth, no matter how remote that might seem in certain circumstances, we do not have the right to negate each other. This testimony both opposes war and supports non-violent conflict resolution which is likely to be more relevant in our daily lives.


In the belief that there are many distractions from the Truth, Friends seek to focus attention on the essential and eternal. The testimony of simplicity cautions against becoming overly busy, even in pursuit of 'good' causes, or absorbed by pursuit of power, wealth and other diversions.


Friends believe that the Light illuminates a gathered group as well as the individual human heart, regardless of differences of experience, culture, age or understanding. The testimony of community seeks to nurture and support the best we find in each other, avoiding gossip and detraction.


Speaking truth as we know it, and being open to truth spoken to us is integral to this testimony. Friends will find that simplicity is bound to the integrity testimony, and will seek to embody those in our structures and practices. We seek involvement in organizations and activities whose purposes and methods complement our integrity.

Note: This page and the above summary of Quaker testimonies have been prepared by the Peace and Social Concerns committee of the Monthly Meeting of Friends of Philadelphia (Arch Street Friends).