Why do Quakers soft-pedal the importance of financial giving? It’s true, our unprogrammed meetings don’t need as much as conventional churches since they typically lack paid staff and large buildings. But beyond those differences, we seem to be quite uneasy in even bringing up the topic.
Like many others, I was drawn to the Religious Society of Friends by its compassionate work with people in need. As an undergraduate in the 1960s, I witnessed that compassion first-hand by participating in several AFSC projects, including visiting mental-hospital patients in the Bay Area and working with disadvantaged children during Freedom Summer in Memphis, Tennessee.