Direct Mail Lists

These lists send mail directly to your e-mail account. Most are available either with each message sent as a separate piece of mail, or in digest format, where all messages for a day are bundled together in one large message and received daily. Some (the lists that have listserv in their subscription address, are also available as indexes - once a day, you receive a message that lists the authors, topics and size of all the messages for that day. You return the list, indicating those messages you want to receive, and receive only those messages by return e-mail.

Mail submissions to any of these lists may also go to the same username at (e.g. QUAKER-L@QUAKER.ORG).


A general purpose mailing list for discussion of Quaker life, spirituality, belief, and practice. This list is moderated. A group of moderators reviews all messages intended for the list before forwarding them to the list. This practice is intended to ensure an atmosphere of courtesy and respectful sharing of ideas.


Quaker P split off as a discussion list oriented specifically to peace and social concerns issues. Originally, this discussion occurred on Quaker-L, but some correspondents found the combined traffic too much to bear in their mailboxes. A fairly substantial number of subscribers participate in both Quaker-L and Quaker-P, but those who prefer a specific focus can choose to take only one list.


A new list, established this spring by some past members of Quaker-L who desired an unmoderated forum that is separate from Quaker-U. Some robust discussion happening here - combining spiritual and peace/social concerns focuses, as well as a fair amount of discussion of Quaker politics (meaning internal to the Society).


A new list, just established, to be a forum for youth aged 5 to 12 who are Quakers, attenders, or involved in some way with Friends to hold discussion and exchanges. Adult facilitators are present, but are asked to hold their role to facilitation, and work on avoiding behaviors that would dominate the list!


Friends-Church "was created for Friends to discuss current events, trends, new ministries, job openings, etc. in an evangelical forum. Participation in the list implies that the subscriber acknowledges the following: 1) The Bible is the inspired written word of God. 2) Jesus is God the Son. 3) It is only by the blood of Jesus Christ that we can be reconciled to God." (NOTE: The list administrator means by participation the posting of messages to the list. Those who don't feel they can acknowledge the 3 points are welcome to "lurk" on the list, and thus gain insight on Friends with an evangelical outlook.)

News And Discussion Groups

News and discussion groups ( usually called usenet groups or conferences - depending on where they are located) do not come to your e-mail box. Instead, you read them with a utility/program. Some of the most common are called NN, TRN, RN, and Netnews.

USENET groups are located on the internet. AOL, Compuserve, Prodigy and IGC/APC now all have Usenet group access so that subscribers to those services can participate in these groups.

CONFERENCES are located only on the proprietary systems that sponsor them, like AOL, Compuserve, IGC/APC.

Usenet Groups and Conferences

A general purpose Quaker discussion group, no subscription required for posting. Very active, usually running 25 -30 messages/day.
This newsgroup mirrors the mailing list Quaker-P, so the focus is on peace and social concerns. Anyone can read bit.listserv.quaker-p. To post, however, you must be subscribed to the Quaker-P mailing list. So why have the newsgroup?


Quaker conferences are available on America OnLine and on IGC/APC (the sponsors of Peacenet, ConflictNet, LaborNet, and now Penn House - still in formation). In order to participate in these conferences, users of these services should consult their membership information and internal listings of conferences. Quaker conferences are similar to Usenet groups - but are restricted to users of a particular service.

Real Time Discussions

One very nice feature of conferences on some of the proprietary systems is the ability to have real-time discussions in a common area. In these, people all sign on at the same time, and chat with each other through the keyboard - usually focusing on some topic of common interest or concern. Some systems have used this to great effect to feature a speaker who then responds to questions/discussion. AOL is particularly noted for these real time discussions - though I do not know if they have held any focusing on Friends' concerns. Penn House apparently plans to sponsor on-line discussions of this sort as they get up and running.

The facility to hold these discussions is theoretically possible on the internet itself - but carriers vary widely in what utilities they have for the discussions - so technically there are some formidable barriers to overcome and large scale chatting has so far not caught on among Friends. There are, however, two Friends in Great Britain working on this project now, in order to sponsor a virtual Meeting for Worship.

WEB Pages

WEB pages are part of what is called the World Wide Web, or WWW. Web pages are sites, established by individuals or groups, that store information - in text or graphic form- that is of interest to that individual or group - and may be of interest to others.

The first general purpose Quaker Web page has been established by Russ Nelson. Its address, using any Web Browser - such as MOSAIC, Netscape - or for non-graphics - LYNX - is:

The page has links to a number of other sites with Quaker resources. link is highlighted text. Using the browser, you click on the highlighted text with your mouse - or hit enter in non-graphics programs - and you are transported to that site and its resources. Imagine the web as literally a spider web, with many centers - each center ties to others. Transportation is fast and intuitive.

The system can be confusing - and there are literally hundreds of thousands of resources and site documents on the web. There are, however, several searching utilities that help you connect to those sites, and locate the information you are looking for.

Several monthly meetings and especially peace and social concerns groups have started to establish Web pages - there has been a real explosion of activity in this area - and the site is a good place to check in and get started.

FTP Site: File Transfer Protocol Site

File Transfer Protocol sites are sites that hold documents that users of the internet can retrieve and then print out. The central FTP site for Quaker resources is maintained by George Amoss at (a private provider). Users can both directly gain access to the FTP site by using an FTP utility to reach: George encourages both the submissions of new materials, and use of the files as resources. There is also a link to this site through the web site. This link makes it easier to download documents for some users. PLEASE NOTE: I have miserably under-represented here the incredible work of several dozen key F(f)riends in maintaining Quaker resources on the Internet. I have failed, in most instances, to mention specific names, both because I am sure I would do a very incomplete job of reflecting those who should be given credit - and because I am just running late in preparing this listing. Please forgive this oversight on my part.
Sylvie McGee
seattle wa