Olive the Quaker

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    scan0055.jpgBefore becoming a teacher in Chandler, Arizona, Olive Goodykoontz was raised in a small Quaker community in rural Indiana.

    The Religious Society of Friends, also known as the Friends Church, is a denomination of Christianity comprised of autonomous local collectives. The members, known as Friends or Quakers, believe in the priesthood of all believers and as such have Meetings instead of church services where they gather together and discuss religion as a group (save for a select few factions who have silent gatherings). Because the various Quaker groups are autonomous, they can sometimes have very different beliefs with only certain core ideas like pacifism and the spiritual equality of women in common.

    Because there is no church service associated with The Religious Society of Friends, some Quakers attend services at other churches when there is no group nearby to meet with. The Goodykoontz family became very active in the Methodist Church in Chandler because there was no local Quaker group to attend meetings with. When she traveled, Olive would often stop in whatever place of worship space was available - from churches to temples to synagogues - to satisfy her religious needs.

    Olive had the most ready access to Quaker meetings while working for the AFSC as a relief worker. Working overseas with groups comprised mostly of 20-somethings, Olive had her first chance to really engage in both philosophical and religious discussion on an equal level with other young people in a casual environment as would have been her ideal as a Quaker.


    Olive and the Poets Olive the Pacifist


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