SPICES (The Quaker Testimonies)
Posted on 24 November 2019
The Quaker Testimonies are Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality, and Stewardship/Sustainability.
The Quaker Testimonies are the collective witness of both how Friends have lived their lives through Quakerism and are a leading for everyday life. They have continually evolved throughout the history of Quakerism and, in the 21st century, are best known worldwide by the acronym SPICES.
Simplicity is trying to live a life in which activities and possessions do not get in the way of open and unencumbered communication with others and with your own spirituality. Clearing away the clutter makes it easier to hear the “still small voice” within.
The spirit of simplicity calls us to speak plainly and go directly to the heart of the matter. However, simplicity does not mean being simplistic. We value nuance and choose words carefully when we speak. We may speak passionately, but we avoid distortion and exaggeration.
Peace is embracing the transforming power of love and the power of nonviolence. Striving for peace is in daily interactions with family, neighbors, fellow community members and those from every corner of the world.
Confronting evil and oppression, whether expressed overtly as physical aggression or covertly as economic injustice is peaceful. We are called to transform the institutions of society into instruments of peace and to be ourselves transformed.
Peace is not just ending war or violence, but nurturing the capacity of individuals, communities, and societies to sustain harmonious relationships based on mutual respect and caring for the welfare of all.
Integrity is the need to deal honestly and with integrity to both others and with yourself.
Having integrity means being authentic and having consistency between one’s values and one’s actions. Lack of integrity separates us from our own sou.l
Committed to making our words, actions, and beliefs consistent. We speak truth to power and to each other, even when it is difficult and our message may be unpopular.
While acting on our deepest beliefs and values, we are also open to new ideas, new solutions, and new paths. We know that our understanding at any moment is incomplete, at best an approximation of the truth that may be improved by new insights.
Build authentic community/interpersonal relationships; do no harm; teach respect; respect one another.
Equality is rejecting all forms of discrimination, whether based on race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, immigration status, class, gender, age, ability, or sexual orientation. We work to change the beliefs, practices and institutions that perpetuate prejudice, and we support affected communities in seeking their own liberation and equality.
Everyone is equal and every person has the right to be respected.
Examining our own biases and privileges and striving to achieve greater fairness in our communities and in our society is equality in action.
Protect and care for the earth; promote environmental, economic, and social sustainability; promote social justice and the need for equal access to resources.
Image from newquakerhistory.net/