Camas Friends Church

A Quaker Meeting in Camas, WA

The Testimony of Enough

Hi Everyone,Thanks for engaging the question around plainness, and keep the comments coming. All of you are invited to respond, whether you are an attender or an onlooker, whether you’re new to the meeting or have been around awhile, we’d like to hear your thoughts.

This week, as you probably have guessed by now, we are talking about the earlier Friends called “Testimony of Plainness” and what is now more generally referred to as simplicity.

From the NW Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice:

Commitment to Simplicity: As Friends we have a long tradition for adhering to scriptural injunctions for plain living. In this respect, we are encouraged to work toward transforming the values of our culture rather than conforming without question. We recognize our responsibility for the care and use of the earth and, therefore, our obligation to maintain a style of living that will conserve resources for future generations.

The Biblical Text – From Jesus:

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

“No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

“So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today. (Matt 6:19–34)

For a little extra reading, check out and compare with Luke 12:13–34.

Queries from the Yearly Meeting:

Query 13
Is your life marked by simplicity? Are you free from the burden of unnecessary possessions? Do you avoid waste? Do you refuse to let the prevailing culture and media dictate your needs and values?

Query 14
Are you careful to live within your income? Do you avoid involving yourself in business beyond your ability to manage or in highly speculative ventures? Are you willing to accept a lower economic standard rather than compromise Christian values?

Query 15
Are you honest and just in your dealings? Are you true to your promises, prompt in paying your debts, and responsible in handling money or property entrusted to you?

See you Sunday!

Wess Daniels

About Wess

is the William R. Rogers Director of Friends Center and Quaker Studies at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC., PhD in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary, served as a "released minister" at Camas Friends Church, and father of three. He enjoys sketchnoting, sharing conversation over coffee with a friend, listening to vinyl and writing creative nonfiction.

2 comments on “The Testimony of Enough

  1. Jason Twyman
    July 13, 2010

    was gone for this sunday and just listened to the podcast on my way home from work tonight. the testimony of plainness is one of the many quaker traditions that resonate with me. while i don’t always practice plainness as much as i would prefer it is definitely something i wrestle with in a good way.

  2. Wess
    July 13, 2010

    Me too. I think I like it because it’s such a challenge, and I feel like it’s always relevant to what’s going on.

Comments are closed.

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This entry was posted on June 23, 2010 by in Uncategorized.

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