Born and raised as a Roman Catholic, I had many unanswered questions while growing up, so I started a 30-year search for God. I tried Buddhism, Jainism, Lutheranism, Native American ways, and spiritualism, and others I cannot remember. A friend re-introduced me to Jesus. I then tried independent and Pentecostal churches. The quote, "The law corrupts but the Spirit gives life" kept rattling around my brain. I joined my husband at a Quaker service. I read that George Fox wrote that his job was to bring people to Christ and leave them there to be taught by Him. It worked! I feel that I have grown in my faith and am very happy and content. The people at meeting are truly my Friends.
During the Vietnam War I took a draft counseling training course given by the American Friends Service Committee, after which I did counseling at the Flushing Quaker meetinghouse for the remainder of the war. Though my interest was secular at the time, I came to admire some of the Friends I met.
Some 25 years and numerous churches later, I began to attend several local Quaker meetings, eventually finding my way to Manhasset. I had believed, based on my reading of George Fox, that Quakers were a Christian denomination. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that there were Quakers of all and no religious beliefs. “It’s a big tent,” as the expression goes. However, while “all were welcome,” I became aware of a certain expression of discomfort by some Quakers at the mention of Christ.
At Manhasset we welcome Friends, visitors, and seekers of all beliefs, including Christians. I consider myself a Christian Quaker, or Friend, i.e. a Friend of Christ. At Manhasset I can be myself without feeling uncomfortable. So can you.
James C. Schultz
I am a “convinced” Quaker who started life by being born into a Roman Catholic family, went to Catholic elementary and high school, and started his own spiritual journey as a seeker in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in the late 1970's. This journey included stops at Pentecostal and Evangelical churches before I was accepted into membership as a Quaker. I believe that the Bible is divinely inspired and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness, and that Jesus of Nazareth is the love of God personified. Among the reasons for becoming a Quaker were the financial transparency I witnessed at my first Quaker meeting, the Quaker testimony of integrity, and my belief that there is an individual as well as a communal continuing revelation of God’s truth and that God reveals that truth to each of us as He deems timely and warranted, both individually and communally.
Stella M. Schultz
My journey in seeking peace and love has always involved an inner knowledge of God. Even as a small child I knew that I was loved and being watched over. Although I was raised traditionally as a Roman Catholic, I never felt loyalty to their tradition. When I look back now, I see the Spirit of Christ has always guided me in the direction he has wanted me to go. In my twenties I remember explaining to a friend that I felt something was missing in my life. When I explained how I felt she stated you are missing Jesus. I took up reading and studying the Holy Bible and was opened to a more loving and serious relationship with Jesus the Redeemer, Savior, and Teacher.
While on vacations, I was reading the history of Christianity and a large portion of the book was dedicated to Quakers and what they believed. I identified with George Fox and his understanding of Jesus Christ as our teacher, and not man. I attended a Quaker meeting in St. James and learned the Quaker process of openness, simplicity, and integrity. I have found the meeting to be a place in which each member and attender can seek their path to the divine.