We’ve been going through a membership course for the last month and there were lots of questions about what various words, phrases and acronyms mean in the Quaker world. Over the course of about 350 years of history Friends have really racked up a serious vocabulary so it can be confusing to those of us who have been around a little longer, let alone the new Friends in our meetings.
So my initial response was to say “Hey, let’s make our own glossary,” the much wiser Friends (ie. the elders in our meeting) said, “this may be reinventing the wheel, let’s check first and see what’s available.” So that’s what I did and this is what I found.
First, there is the indispensable resource called “The A t0 Z of the Friends” co-edited by a group of Quakers and one of our own NW Quakers – Marge Abbott. Along these lines I might also encourage people to read Ben Pink Dandelion’s book “A Very Short Introduction to Quakerism” which is a great read, helpful for new people, as well as Friends who have been around awhile, and it has a nice glossary in the back.
Second, our yearly meeting has put together a helpful glossary in the form of short videos.
- Quaker Dictionary from the Northwest Yearly Meeting.
Third, here’s a collection of links from a variety of Quaker Websites.
- New York Yearly Meeting
- Quaker Jane’s listing of “Plain Speech”
- Quaker Information Center Glossary
- Westhills Friends Glossary
Fourth, here’s a really nice packet (that is also bi-lingual) put together by FWCC.
- Read the packet online here.