Anyone with any experience of raising children as Quakers?

(7 Posts)
wholesomemum Fri 10-Jan-14 09:13:57

My sister is a Quaker, after a long spiritual quest, and I have always been fascinated by it as we are descended from a long line of them although we were raised Catholic and went to Catholic schools. I am concerned about not scaring my kids with fire and brimstone and I feel the Quaker way is a wise and humble one but most of all I worry about how Quakers engage children on Sunday-- do thgery get taken out of the meeting (an hour of silence?). Do they do Sunday school? And does anyone on here have experience of Quaker schools themselves?

HoneyandRum Fri 10-Jan-14 13:29:07

I did not grow up in a Christian home but we had some family friends who were Quakers and I did go on a Quaker summer camp for about a week I think with the daughter of the family when we were about 13. I found everyone friendly and open (although one older guy was a bit too friendly and instead was creepy and lecherous). I don't think I even really understood it was religious in any major sense. We did have a meeting once a day when we all sat in a circle in silience (adults and children) but it was sunny and relaxing and I don't think I even understood that it was a form of being with God or prayer.

I still have warm memories of the Quakers and having studying Civil Rights history can report that they were at the vanguard of the anti-slavery movement in the USA - and way ahead of other Christians in condeming slavery and freeing slaves that some Quakers had owned much earlier than other groups.

So I think they are strong on social justice. However, I don't get the impression you can expect much in the way of Catechisis in the Catholic sense. I really don't get the impression that Quakers are into much structure or formal teaching or any kind regarding their faith. As an adult who converted to Catholicism I think I would love to attend a Quaker meeting and bask in silence for an hour being in God's presence. As a young teen however I had no idea what was going on so I'm not quite sure how the teaching of Christ is passed on. I'd be interested to hear more myself from some practicing (is that the right phrase?) Quakers.

CalamitouslyWrong Fri 10-Jan-14 13:36:56

Our local Quakers house has a children's meeting that runs at the same time as the main meeting. Parents can choose to attend either. They have activities and discussions about topics and Quaker values etc. they also incorporate some aspects of the children's meeting within the main meeting, so that it's isn't like some kind of children's ghetto.

wholesomemum Fri 10-Jan-14 13:42:30

Thank you so much for this long and thoughtful message. This is just my impression. I, like you, can really appreciate basking in God's as an adult...but I had 12 years of Catholic school and 18 years of Catholicism. So I have had rt he rigours of church teaching. I'd love my kids to have a freer philosophy underpinned by Christianity but am also seriously awards that my robust morals did come from the aforementioned teaching. I don't want to scare my kids (I just have one baby DD at present) or give them messed up ideas re the role of women (Catholicism is full-on and at times waaaay behind the times in this respect) but I also don't want them to be vague about right and wrong either...and now fewer primaries are faith-based I can't guarantee they'll get it in school... Balancing act, isn't it?

CalamitouslyWrong Fri 10-Jan-14 13:48:11

I'm not a Friend (but some of my friends are), but as far as I can tell there is no fixed set of beliefs. It's more about the practice of worship and the action of doing good in the community. You can be an atheist quaker.

fizzoclock Fri 10-Jan-14 14:10:50

Quakers are not really/necessarily Christian. If you do want some Christian teaching for your children have you thought about a different type of church set up? Perhaps an open evangelical church would be a good mix of low church (not the formality or extra rules/traditions of Catholicism) and good teaching but open/free thinking approach. Or somewhere which has messy church for your children?

wholesomemum Fri 10-Jan-14 18:11:49

Thanks guys this is really interesting food for thought. I guess I should find out about what happens in various Quaker children's services and take it from there. Fizzo what is an open evangelical church? I'm not so keen on evangelicalism usually!!

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