Friends Talk – Community the “C” of the Quaker SPICES
There are over 300,000 Quakers around the world. The highest concentration is in Africa. Although it can be challenging to get an exact count among all the branches, it is estimated that there are around 75,000 Quakers in the United States. This is the Quaker Community and brings to life an important Quaker value – the “C” of the SPICES “Community”.
A map developed by the Friends World Committee for Consultation shows concentrations of Quaker Communities across the world. It includes the various branches of Quakerism. These branches share a connection in the Society of Friends; however, the way they worship differs. For instance, “programmed” worship includes services led by a pastor.
Quakers Around the World
“Unprogrammed” worship, in contrast, proceeds in silence. Each individual focuses their energy on connecting to what the spirit of God means to them. This silence may be interrupted by someone who is inspired to speak if they fully determine that the message is from God not from their ego. The unprogrammed way of worship is simple in its construct. It is focused on self-reflection rather than ritual and structure and has been a way of Quaker worship for over 350 years old. It is based on a strong Quaker belief that there is not any need for an intermediary to connect with God.
Community — The Quaker Meeting
Speaking in a Quaker meeting – queries that test whether to speak or not in a Meeting are below and you can click on the video to see more about it.
- Is this message from a connection with the Spirit?
- Is this for only me or for others in service of the meeting?
- Is it for now or is it for later?
I thoroughly enjoy attending Quaker meetings after first being introduced to this way of worship by a Quaker colleague…a direct descendent. As you can see from my series of posts on the eMeetinghouse blog, I was and am deeply touched by the practice. I am a descendent of a different religious legacy but much prefer the spirituality and values of Quakerism. This makes me happy and proud to be part of the Friends Life Care organization.
The Friends Life Care Community
Founded over 30 years ago, Friends Life Care is a nonprofit based on Quaker values. Over the decades, we have served thousands of members helping them live their dream of aging independently at home as they age. From the onset, we have recognized that Friends Life Care is a like a CCRC, Continuing Care Retirement Community, without walls. These members, along with our friends, unite to form the Friends Life Care Community. Through Vigr® Vitality Independence Growth Resilience ™ programs, member meetings, our social networks and the team at Friends Life Care, we see this community come to life.
Connecting with Members
We recently asked members to help us understand what they valued in their membership decision. They told us what the important reasons were behind joining the Friends Life Care community. Along with Quaker values and not having family to rely on as they age, some commonalities surfaced:
I want to have choices about the type of care that I receive — 95%
I do not want to be a burden to my family – 86%
I want to protect my assets — 71%
I want to participate in wellness and prevention initiatives — 52%
Having choice, not being a burden to others, security and wellness – these themes not only came out in the questionnaire but also guide what Friends Life Care focuses on for the membership community.
In the Friends Life Care Community, we strive to support our members and friends in their life journeys, being there when needed most. What are your thoughts about the importance of community? Leave us your thoughts below this blog post.
Joylyn Williamson, Inside Sales Manager
Joylyn joined Friends Life Care in 2017 as a sales manager and plan counselor on the sales and marketing team. She brings many years of experience with inside sales in both business-to-business and consumer. Previously she held positions selling to vertical markets like the federal government and meeting tough sales quotas for technology and IT offerings. She is excited to be a part of Friends Life Care and appreciates working in an organization guided by Quaker values.
Originally from Southern California, Joylyn has called the east coast home for over 20 years. A couple years back, she relocated her father from California to her home in Pennsylvania. He’ll be 90 in June and she now manages his care as he has a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. He is her favorite person; and she finds it an honor to care for the man who once took care of her.
Joylyn earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Drama, TV and Film and completed some graduate studies in Communications at Regent University. Joylyn volunteers with a local theatre company performing onstage or working behind the scenes.
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