Shan Cretin, American Friends Service Committee:
When I got to college, and the Vietnam War was gearing up, I went to the American Friends Service Committee office in Cambridge to get some counseling, and I became a draft resister. I liked the way that Quakers protested the war. There was a lot of stuff going on, teach-ins and many other things, but the Quakers had a more consistent, peaceful way of being present. I didn’t like some of the more, I would say, violent and demonizing ways of protesting the war, so that drew me there. I didn’t join the Society of Friends, but later when I got married and had a daughter, and we were still living in Cambridge, she went to Cambridge Friends School. At that time I was attending Cambridge Meeting, and she was engaged in the school and learning about Friends, and when we moved to California, she asked that we find a Quaker Meeting. So, in a way, my child kind of led me into Quaker meeting, and I joined in California.
For more of Shan’s story, click here
Gretchen Castle, Friends World Committee for Consultation:
That’s a good question, because my siblings haven’t. I’ve definitely stayed in it and I really treasure it: the Quaker faith, Quaker life, Quaker work. I’ve worked almost all of my professional life in Quaker settings. I’m very committed to it; it’s very important to me.
For more of Gretchen’s story, click here
Gabe Ehri, Friends Journal:
It would be accurate to say that I haven’t been anywhere else. There have been times in my life where the need for an active, practicing spiritual life has been less important or less in the forefront. But I love learning about other religions, just as a part of my own curiosity to know about that stuff, and fascination with intersections. I have never really been tempted to think that another path was the right one for me. I will say that my understanding of Quakerism has changed over the years.
For more of Gabe’s story, click here
Christina Repoley, Quaker Voluntary Service:
I never left, but there was a phase in my life where I was exploring lot of other things, too. I went through a period where I felt like I hadn’t learned as much about Quakers or my own faith, and definitely about the Christian tradition in general. I hadn’t been given a lot of religious education in my meeting, and I was very interested in other Christian traditions. I lived in a Catholic Worker house after college, in Philadelphia, was involved in other progressive Christian groups, and attended a Mennonite church for a while in Atlanta. I was also attending Atlanta Friends Meeting, so I never completely left, but had a lot of connections with other specifically Christian-based groups and other churches. I went to a United Methodist seminary for three years for my M.Div. So I’ve had a lot of ecumenical experiences that have been really meaningful to me, but have continued to identify as Quaker through all of those things.
For more of Christina’s story, click here
Doug Bennett, Earlham College (Emeritus):
I’ve had my moments of frustration with every Quaker meeting I’ve belonged to, but I’ve been a member now in a succession of meetings-unusually, both programmed and unprogrammed. In my travel I encounter a lot of evangelical friends, so my experience of Quakerism has been uncommonly broad.
For more of Doug’s story, click here