What is Friends for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Concerns?
Friends for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Concerns is a Quaker faith community within the Religious Society of Friends. FLGBTQC deeply honors, affirms, and upholds that of God in all people.
We seek to know that of God within ourselves and others. We seek to express God's truth in the Quaker and in the lesbian/gay/bisexual/transsexual/transgender communities, as it is made known to us.
It is our hope to offer an oasis to those who have been spurned by the world at large. We are learning that radical inclusion and radical love bring further light to Quaker testimony and life. Our experience with oppression in our own lives leads us to seek ways to bring our witness to bear in the struggles of other oppressed peoples.
We gather twice a year, at our Mid-Winter gathering and at the Friends General Conference Annual Gathering of Friends in the summer. At these times we worship together, discern our corporate witness through Meeting for Worship with attention to business, share our individual journeys, celebrate our lives, heal old wounds, and draw sustenance from the Spirit for our work and life in the world. After almost thirty years, we are still learning to spread love in the face of rejection and hostility and to embrace new friends. We have found faith and voice to speak truth to power and the courage to be open to new revelation.
(adapted from a minute approved 15 Second Month 1999)
Who are Quakers?
In the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), people from a variety of backgrounds and beliefs embark together on a spiritual journey. Although their individual beliefs may vary, Quakers share an understanding of a Divine presence in all people.
This presence is the source from which we draw our strength to witness to human dignity, and to work for peace and justice. Though some Quaker meetings continue to struggle for unity around gender and sexual diversity, many Quaker meetings have found unity in welcoming and supporting gender and sexual minorities.
The Religious Society of Friends began in England in the 17th Century. Early Friends sought to revive a form of primitive Christianity, without creed, outward sacraments, or paid clergy. In the course of Quaker history a variety of spiritual practices evolved as Friends followed the inward leadings of the Divine presence.
Today those spiritual practices include both programmed and unprogrammed Meetings for Worship. Programmed meetings may include pastoral prayer, responsive readings, music, scripture, and prepared messages, while in unprogrammed meetings for Worship worshippers gather together in silence to seek the Divine presence, speaking out of the silence when led to do so by the movement of Spirit.
Quakers believe that all are called to minister to one another. We believe that each person has direct access to the Divine inner light present within. Individuals must search and come to a personal understanding of their own spiritualities, which may or may not be Christ-centered. During the past three centuries, consistent testimonies have emerged which bear witness that the Spirit can be trusted to lead toward simplicity, equality, justice, nonviolence, peace, and stewardship.
Where can I find Friends for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Concerns?
The first place for information is this website. We also have twice-yearly gatherings, as mentioned above.