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Quakers in Australia

About – interfaith

Quakers and other Religions

Friends [at Yearly Meeting 2007] … noted the richness of involvement with ecumenical and interfaith groups both at the national and local level. Meeting with and listening to people from other faith traditions is one way we express our commitment to being inclusive.'
(Documents in Retrospect 2007 p. 61)

Quakers and Ecumenism

Do you, as members of a Society within a world-wide Christian Church, try to share in the life and fellowship of the whole Christian community? Do you cooperate as fully as possible in its work, availing yourselves of local opportunities for worship and service with your fellow Christians? Is your distinctive Quaker witness characterised by humility and a willingness to learn from others, so that differences are transcended in a common loyalty to Jesus Christ?
(Advices and Queries 23, Handbook of Practice and Procedure 2004 Section 12)

In the Spirit of this Query, those who become members of the Religious Society of Friend and who wish to retain membership in another faith community can do so, and remain active in both faith communities. However, common membership does not imply any formal link between the Religious Society of Friends and these other faith communities.

Quakers and the Peacetree Community

Quakers have given financial and spiritual support through the Donald Groom Peace Fellowship to Jarrod McKenna of the Peacetree Community in Perth for his work Empowering Peacemakers in Your Community.

Jarrod and the Peacetree Community have been inspired by, and have made a study of, early Quaker writings and Jarrod was a guest speaker at Yearly Meeting in 2007.

Quakers and the National Council of Churches

The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) has been a member of the National Council of Churches, and its forerunner, the Australian Council of Churches, since foundation of the earlier organisation in 1946. The Presiding Clerk of Yearly Meeting is ex officio a member of the NCCA Forum and its Executive Committee.

There are Quaker representatives on the following NCCA bodies:

Within the state-based Regional Meetings, Quakers are members of the varying Churches Together initiatives. For example, in Queensland, Quakers have been members of the Churches Together Indgenous People's Partnerships and the Joint Churches Domestic Violence Prevention Program.

Quakers and Interfaith

In each state, Regional Meetings and Local Meetings take part in many interfaith and ecumenical activities — meetings, discussions, workshops, lectures, question and answer sessions, displays and presentations about our faith and the faiths of others (from Documents in Advance 2007 p. 35).

In New South Wales, there are representatives on the World Council of Religions for Peace and the Women's Interfaith Network.

Most Local Meetings hold Interfaith gatherings, giving the local community a chance to learn and ask questions. For example, Wahroonga Local Meeting in Sydney has been addressed by Buddhist, Baha'i, Jewish, Muslim, Brahma Kumari, Hindu, Scientologist and other Christian faiths. In Brisbane, Quakers are members of Believing Women for a Culture of Peace. In Geelong, Quakers are represented on the Geelong Interfaith Network, where they were involved in redesigning a Sacred Space at Geelong Hospital and participated in the city's Harmony Day.

Quakers and Jews

A number of Jews, some of whom practice Judaism, are members and attenders of Quaker meetings, here and elsewhere.
(Helen Gould, 1992, this we can say, 1.67, AYM 2004, p.42)
We remind Quakers that anti-Jewish oppression is real, and ask us all to search our hearts lest we harbour prejudices and stereotypes.

Some Jews see Jesus as a great rabbi. Judaism is central to Christianity and today, as always, has much to offer. For example, it is a Jewish insight that we co-creators with the Divine. Judaism is rich in ritual, stories, festivals and dance, in rites of passage,and in support for those who mourn.

We call on Quakers to honour all our cultural and religious heritages, Jewish, Catholic, Aboriginal, Muslim, etc. We encourage Jewish Quakers to share with other Friends what our Jewish heritage means to us.
( Jewish-Quaker group 1996, this we can say, 1.68, AYM 2004 p. 43)
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