Conservative Friends


Conservative Friends

Conservative Friends who follow the classic Quaker understandings of faith and practices. Tag: conservative

Members: 178
Latest Activity: 9th month 28

Conservative Quaker Resources

A Short History of Conservative Friends is a wonderful introduction to the origins of the Conservative Friends movement. It includes the 1912 Conservative Statement of Faith, which is about as close to an official definition that exists.

What do Conservative Friends Believe? from Michigan's Crossroads Friends Meeting is a useful contemporary description of one meeting's understanding of Conservative Quakerism.

Friends of Jesus is a group organizing a fresh mix of Conservative Quakerism and an outward-reaching progressive evangelical Christianity. is a lively outreach project from Stillwater Meeting in Ohio, with lots of pictures and a discussion board.

Wikipedia has a relatively good article on Conservative Friends.

Ohio Yearly Meeting, Iowa Yearly Meeting Conservative and North Carolina Yearly Meeting Conservative are the three official Conservative yearly meetings. NCYMC publishes an occasional Journal available by PDF.

New Foundation Fellowship US and New Foundation Fellowship UK have traditional Quaker leanings and act as support networks for isolated Conservative Friends and seekers.

Discussion Forum

At peace with being isolated?

Started by Barbara Smith. Last reply by William F Rushby 3rd month 11. 13 Replies

Northeastern Anabaptist/Conservative Friends

Started by William F Rushby. Last reply by William F Rushby 5th month 31, 2020. 2 Replies

When is Ohio Yearly Meeting this year?

Started by Barbara Smith. Last reply by Ransome Reed 3rd month 20, 2019. 3 Replies

New Worship Group near Ithaca, NY

Started by Barbara Smith. Last reply by Madeleine Reidy 3rd month 17, 2018. 15 Replies

A Thought Provoking Piece from Atlantic Monthly

Started by Keith Saylor 3rd month 24, 2014. 0 Replies

Featured Blog Posts

Meetups, Events, and Resources


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Comment by Adria Gulizia on 3rd mo. 17, 2015 at 10:27am

Allistair and Bill, it occurs to me that getting to know us might help you clarify for yourselves where we fit (or not!) along the spectrum of Friends. We are having our fall gathering over Labor Day weekend in Lebanon, NJ. We haven't finalized all the registration details, but it would be great to see you there. Allistair, I know it's not exactly convenient, but you would be welcome!

Comment by Keith Saylor on 3rd mo. 17, 2015 at 9:46am

Hello Adria,

Would you please expand on your words 

"Our agenda is maximum penetration of a robust gospel vision and lifestyle. infused with love of and obedience to Christ, into our culture."

What I mean is; What does "maximum penetration," "robust gospel vision and lifestyle," "love of and obedience to Christ," infused into our culture mean to you and how are they manifested in daily life? 

Comment by Allistair Lomax on 3rd mo. 17, 2015 at 6:13am

I think I'm largely with Bill Rushby on this. My experience of groups in the UK that have styled themselves as 'conservative' or even merely 'conservative-leaning', while being in many ways, Christ-centred, often exhibit liberal tendencies, such as promoting a pro-gay agenda, and for that reason, I personally find it hard to describe them as 'conservative'. People are free to use what ever label they wish to describe themselves. If they use the label 'conservative' however, they should be expect to be challenged on that point if they do not adhere to a recognised conservative discipline.

Comment by kevin roberts on 3rd mo. 17, 2015 at 5:18am


as a conservative friend, i don't generally consider myself to be a member of a "tail end."

conservative friends are defined by who they are, not by who somebody else was at some other time.

Comment by Richard B. Miller on 3rd mo. 16, 2015 at 7:51pm

I don't see how being young and living in a city prevents someone from being a Conservative Friend.  To me being a yuppie implies being materialistic in a modern sophisticated way.  Being materialistic would put someone at odds with the values of Conservative Friends.  But experience is the important thing and I'll say that I've met Micah when he visited us in North Carolina and he seemed to fit in well with us and he did not seem like a yuppie to me.

Comment by James C Schultz on 3rd mo. 16, 2015 at 6:58pm

Yuppism... is not definable entirely by income or class. Rather, it is a late-20th century cultural phenomenon of self-absorbed young professionals, earning good pay, enjoying the cultural attractions of sophisticated urban life and thought, and generally out of touch with, indeed antithetical to, most of the challenges and concerns of a far less well-off and more parochial Middle America.

Dear Friend Bill.  Trust me they are not out of touch with the challenges and concerns of the least among us and unfortunately in this day we live in the middle class might be more of an urban legend than a reality and they are no more self absorbed than most of us who recognize the Lordship of Jesus in our lives.

Hope to see you soon.  Pray for them.  They need our prayers to discern their call just like the rest of us. 

Comment by William F Rushby on 3rd mo. 16, 2015 at 5:31pm

Wow!  The discussion has turned lively.  I am happy to be corrected when and if I am mistaken in my impressions of the Friends of Jesus.  I guess time will tell what the organization stands for after the "shake down" following its honeymoon phase.  One of the critical issues will be to whom the Friends of Jesus will appeal.  As I have already stated, it looks like a Yuppie-oriented group to me. 

By the way, I am personally not devoted to Robert Barclay's elaborate system of propositions in his *Apology*.  He was a second-generation Friend, and his understanding does not really capture the "essence" of early Quaker faith, according to Lewis Benson.  Benson argues, correctly I think, that we need to look to Fox, not Barclay, for the key insights of Quaker faith.

Also, as our Friend James Wilson points out, Barclay does not offer a systematic theology in that he does not  address basic Christian doctrinal questions, such as the Atonement.  Instead, he focusses on those issues concerning which Friends differed from other Christians.  The effect is to skew Quaker self-understanding, minimizing common ground with other Christians.

Comment by Christopher Hatton on 3rd mo. 16, 2015 at 5:04pm
Dear "Friends of Jesus," Having just read your advice's and queries, I find they speak to my condition (challenge me). I self identity as a Convergent Friend and FoJ feels convergent, inspired by Conservative Friends and living the Emergent Church.

Here in Europe, " Friends of the Light" are helping me become a better disciple of Christ. Although Ohio YM (C) advice's & Queries does not speak to me I am thankful for all Conservative Friends /meetings who are reaching out.

In Friendship

Comment by Adria Gulizia on 3rd mo. 16, 2015 at 4:43pm

Hi Adrian -

Here is part 2. (Silly 4000 character limit!)

We are not rooted in the culture of Conservative Friends, but we are rooted in the theology of Conservative Friends. Two of our six workers were full members of OYM Conservative, and they remain affiliate members of OYM Conservative to this day. I believe that most or all of us could fully and heartily affirm Barclay’s Apology. However, we are a largely young and urban bunch, and those facts alone make it clear that we are not “real” Conservative Friends.

I believe that any religion that cannot be practiced by people who are young, well-educated and urban is much, much smaller than the Gospel preached by our Savior, Christ Jesus. The Jesus that we serve in the FoJF is the Lord of the farmer and the yuppie, the young and the old, the well-educated and the poorly educated, the professional and the service worker, the attorney and the housewife. We worship him together, welcoming young and old, pro-life and pro-choice, Democrat, Republican and libertarian, white, black and otherwise. (This is not just big talk – I am happy to put you in touch with someone from any of these categories if you want to see if we are really “walking the walk.”) We respect and value our tradition as Friends, but if something falls outside of Friends’ traditional practice, but is affirmed by the Gospel, we are willing to try it, if the Lord so leads. We worship the risen Christ, not tradition.

If that sounds interesting to you (or to anyone else!), just let me know. I’d really like the opportunity to be in touch!

In Christ’s peace,


Comment by Adria Gulizia on 3rd mo. 16, 2015 at 4:38pm

Hi Adrian,

I share your “not perfect fit” feeling with liberal Friends. In fact, it was only years after being drawn into the Religious Society of Friends through unprogrammed worship and my reading and appreciation of the Journal of George Fox and other early Friends’ writings that I realized how bad a fit I was within most (though not all) liberal Friends meetings! The nearest Conservative meeting to me is several hours’ drive away in Pennsylvania, and while I have never been made to feel unwelcome among Conservative Friends, various factors led me to help form the Friends of Jesus Fellowship. I want to clear up some misconceptions that I see here, and let you know that I am happy to answer any questions you have about us here or via phone or email or to introduce you to members of Friends of Jesus Detroit, if you are interested.

Bill Rushby, who, based on my limited acquaintance with him, is very wise and knowledgeable about Friends, as well as being a dear and gentle soul, stated that his impression is that the Friends of Jesus Fellowship is “not particularly orthodox in theology.” This is false. Our members acknowledge Jesus as “our Savior and Healer, Lord and Teacher.” We “seek the power of the Holy Spirit to turn us away from sin, brokenness and incompleteness, and to bring us into more abundant life.” We commit, among other things, to: worship, prayer and other disciplines; creating communities where all can experience the love of Christ; letting ourselves be taught by the Holy Spirit directly, through the Bible and through each other; and being intentional and proactive about spreading the Gospel. You can read our commitments document here. (More to come...)


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