Our Highest and Holiest Ideals

“We’re not a seminary where beliefs must be memorized and affirmed. We are a community, a collection of people who believe if you create a rich and meaningful and compassionate community, then those who participate in that community will soak up those virtues, will marinate in those virtues, and will become who we ought to be through osmosis, through the gradual assimilation of the highest ideals we can imagine.

Quakerism is not a religion of the head; it is a religion of the heart. Joining a Quaker meeting isn’t about giving a monosyllabic grunt to an incomprehensible question. It is about our willingness to immerse ourselves in a community that affirms and celebrates our highest and holiest ideals, and to daily soak them up. This is why the Quaker never fully arrives at some state of perfection. Osmosis is a lifelong procedure. We are always growing, always becoming, always yearning. What makes osmosis possible is our permeability, our openness, our porousness, our capacity to be altered.”

— Philip Gulley, 2024.
“Quaker Qualities (Osmosing)”


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Think about someone you know whose faith you admire.

Write down three qualities they have that you might like to marinate in.

How have your relationships with other people shaped your spirituality?

How does it feel to worship alone? As part of a community?