Quakers, also known as the Religious Society of Friends, began their existence as a spiritual movement that aspired to return Christianity to what they believed to be its first century original non-dualistic forms of belief and worship. George Fox, founder of Friends, taught that the Apostles were not the last on earth to hear the voice of God. And so, Friends became the most existential of Christians, worshiping in silence and waiting on inspiration that might improve the silence before rising to speak. Quakers base their belief system and daily lives on the premise that we are to answer to that of God in everyone. This belief informed their efforts at prison reform, humane treatment of the mentally ill, and their early opposition to slavery. But Quaker faith also led to their practice of simplicity in their mode of worship, and in the conduct of their daily lives.
Attorney David Clowers became a Friend in 1972, after first encountering Quakers in college. For the next 30 years he practiced his faith, while practicing law, in a conventional church going way, but in 2001, when he moved to a tiny, 12’ x 16’, self-build cabin in the Door County woods, he discovered that living off the grid without electricity, plumbing or central heating also enforced a degree of physical simplicity upon him that soon aligned his faith with his practice, giving him a personal understanding of why it is “a gift to be simple, a gift to be free.”