Faith & Practice is an attempt to express Truth through the
experience of Quakers. It’s partially composed of guidelines to Quaker
beliefs and extracts from Quakers' writings, in which Friends from a
variety of meetings express themselves on Quaker theology.
Although Philadelphia Yearly Meeting has many publications, its best
known is Faith & Practice, a book detailing the beliefs and
practices of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) within the area
served by the Yearly Meeting.
First adopted in 1955, the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting revised Faith
& Practice in 1972, and after 25 years and numerous reprintings,
revised it again in 1997.
Friends use this Faith and Practice, we should heed the admonition
stemming from the Meeting of Elders held at Balby, England in 1656:
Dearly beloved Friends, these things we do not lay upon you as a
rule or form to walk by, but that all with the measure of the light
which is pure and holy may be guided, and so in the light walking and
abiding, these may be fulfilled in the Spirit, —not from the letter,
for the letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life.
This edition of Faith and Practice of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of
the Religious Society of Friends is intended to be a guide for our
members and all those who seek to understand in greater detail the ways
we endeavor to apply our fundamental affirmations.
Early Friends proclaimed that from the beginning every person has
been endowed with the capacity to enter directly, without mediator or
mediation, into an empowering holy communion with God. They rejected,
therefore, the assumption that this communion, which is essential to
spiritual health, occurs primarily in the presence of designated persons
in an established religious institution using sacred language and
rituals. Friends, both in individual worship and in meetings for worship
and for business, continue to experience the presence of the living God
not only as awe and healing but also as guidance for conduct. Like the
prophets of Israel they proclaim the unity of religious faith and social
The Religious Society of Friends continues to affirm that refreshment
of spirit and the ability both to know and do right come when families
and individuals, in daily life and in meeting, trust in the Light that
enlightens and empowers everyone who comes into the world.