"The Lord bless thee
and keep thee...."

- Numbers 6:24

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Plain Dress Info

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Quaker Anne's
Children's Stories
Stories include:

How Bees Make Honey

A Chicken is Born

A Haircut for Sheep

A Baby Horse is Born

A Baby Goat is Born

Lassie Saves a Lamb

...delightful children's stories about life on the farm, complete with beautiful illustrating photographs...
- The Old Schoolhouse Magazine

Questions for Quaker Anne...

Over the years, I have been asked many different questions about my Quaker faith, plain witness and plain living. Some questions relate to my personal decision to "go plain", and the many challenges that I faced doing so, as well as the challenges which my husband and I faced together when we accepted our Lord's invitation to serve him in unity as plain Quakers. Other questions are more generally about plain, sustainable living, plain dress, the challenges of plain life in a secular society, and more.

William and I prayed about whether we should share answers to some of these questions, and we waited upon the Lord for clearness and guidance.

After a couple of years earnestly waiting upon the Lord, we came to understand that our experiences may provide encouragement for others who feel called to Quakerism, plain living and/or the plain dress witness. So, we offer this information as part of our Christian ministry in service to our Lord. In doing so, I have been very careful to protect the privacy of those who have asked the following questions and have cited and answered questions in general terms.

Let it be clearly known that in answering these questions, I do not propose that our way of living and our Christian testimony is more "right" than anyone else's. Our experiences are as individual to us as another's Christian witness is individual to them. We offer this testimony in peace and to the Glory of God in the hope it may be useful to others.

  • Are all Quakers plain?
  • What is the difference between "Quakers", and the Religious Society of Friends?
  • Have you always been a Quaker?
  • Why do you use the name "Quaker Anne"?
  • What guided your decisions in terms of Quaker plain dress and plain speech?
  • Did going plain affect your children or grandchildren?
  • Which pattern do you use and what fabric is best for making plain dresses?
  • You seem to wear solid colors, what about printed fabrics?
  • Do you drive a car?
  • Do I have to remove my prayer cap when my drivers license photo is updated?
  • Must I remove my head covering going through airport security?
  • Do you use electricity, have modern appliances or a telephone?
  • Do you use the Internet or social media?
  • Should I home school my children to avoid worldly influences?
  • Are there home schooling programs that you recommend?
  • Can I be "plain" and still have a television?
  • I do not live near a Quaker Meeting, can I still become a Quaker?
  • How do I decide which Quaker group to worship with or belong to?
  • How can I offer active Christian service on my own, as an isolated Friend?
  • Are there other Quakers in your area which you worship with?
  • Where do you attend Meeting for Worship?
  • How do you regard the Bible?

    Are all Quakers plain?
    No, Quakers are not all plain. In fact, most Quakers are not plain as regards religious observant dress or plain speech. Quakers also do not have a set of rules, such as an "ordnung" known by Amish and Old Order Mennonite churches, which defines for them matters of dress, education, technology, daily living and more, in absolute terms. So, those plain Quakers who do exist, largely define being "plain" for themselves.

    Quakerism began in the 1600's through George Fox and others. It has evolved into a a diverse faith group which today includes conservative, liberal, independent, plain, and even primitive Quakers in faith and practice.

    Instead of a set of absolute rules, Quaker groups are usually directed and encouraged by what are known as "Advices and Queries". It is a spiritual guide of sorts, specific to the Quaker groups that use such, which generally invites individuals to reflect upon the meaning and application of each consideration as it applies to their own lives.

    Some of the differences between Quaker groups today can be quite stark, especially between liberal and conservative Quaker groups. This is why we clearly identify ourselves as "Christian" Quakers, as Quakers authentically were in their foundational beginning.

    Despite modern day diversity, Quakers as a whole have generally been known throughout their history to be promoters of, and activists for, peace (Quakers are one of the historical peace churches), and humanitarianism. They regarded all people as equal before God. As well, Quakers are involved in matters regarding resource conservation, peaceful social reform, and earth stewardship on local and global levels.

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    What is the difference between Quakers, and the Religious Society of Friends?
    They are one and the same. The Religious Society of Friends is the formal name of the people known more simply as Quakers. Quakers are also known as "Friends".

    Historically, George Fox explains being called "Quakers" in his journal; that one Justice Bennet of Derby "was the first that called us Quakers, because I bade them tremble at the word of the Lord".

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    Have you always been a Quaker?
    I am a Quaker by convincement, not a birthright Quaker, and I am a member of Stillwater Monthly Meeting. Thee may consider further illumination on this topic through my conversion story and Plain Dress Testimony HERE.

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    Why do you use the name "Quaker Anne"?
    Quaker Anne is a pen name I found especially friendly to use when writing children's stories, and it carried over from there. My real name is Kimberly Anne. Read Quaker Anne's Children's Stories about life on Quaker Farm HERE.

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    What guided your decisions in terms of Quaker plain dress and plain speech?
    As regards the plain dress witness: prayer, research, functionality, trial and error. Visit, and scroll down, my plain dress page for more information, pictures and resources regarding my plain dress clothing.

    Plain dress decisions for my husband were a bit easier. Work clothes include pants made of durable denim fabric, and a grey or navy cotton shirt. He tried broadfall pants, but found a zipper to be more serviceable to his condition. Meeting for Worship clothes consist of black slacks, long sleeved white shirt, no tie. He does not wear a hat and while for several years he grew a beard, he does not wear a beard at this time. Neither of us wears jewelery of any kind. We do not wear wedding rings.

    Plain speech is simply honest speech. It does not imply greater value or substance to the single person I might be speaking to than the single person she or he is. William Penn summed this up well in his 1682 book No Cross, No Crown Chapter 10:

    6. But some will tell us, custom should rule us; and that is against us. But it is easily answered, and more truly, that though in things reasonable or indifferent, custom is obliging or harmless, yet in things unreasonable or unlawful, she has no authority. For custom can no more change numbers than genders, nor yoke one and you together, than make a man into a woman, or one into a thousand. But if custom be to conclude us, it is for us: for as custom is nothing more than ancient usage, I appeal to the practice of mankind, from the beginning of the world through all nations, against the novelty of this confusion, viz. you to one person. Let custom, which is ancient practice and fact, issue this question. Mistake me not: I know words are nothing, but as men give them a value or force by use; but then if you will discharge thou, and that you must succeed in its place, let us have a distinguishing word instead of you to be used in speech to many: but to use the same word for one and many, when there are two, and that only to please a proud and haughty humour in man, is not reasonable in our sense: which we hope is Christian, though not modish.

    As a Christian Quaker, I follow the leading of the Lord in all matters of faith, as well as matters of general life, as all are indeed intertwined in one, none separate from the other - faith, worship, life. For life lived in the Lord is a non-stop expression of faith in God. Therefore, my husband and I strive, both individually and together, and as best able, to express, in the our whole of our lives, that ours is a living faith, with each part of it a defined expression of Christian life lived out as our Lord leads. So, this includes the plain dress witness, plain speech, our use of technology and all matters of daily living.

    That in modern Quakerism which does not speak to our condition (as oft is the case to a considerable degree), we consult and find great blessings of edification and clearness, first and most importantly in the Bible (our primary guide), and then through the vast, reasonable, spiritually enlightening writings, journals, sermons and lessons from those Quakers of founding times who sought not to confuse Christian faith, but only to reveal from darkness the brilliant Life of the living Light which caused Quakers to be the heralds of pure truth and worship under the leadership, and in the Light of, the Lord - in their remarkable, Christ directed revival of primitive Christianity. God be praised.

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    Did going plain affect your children and grandchildren?
    The leading to Quakerism and the calling to adopt the plain dress and plain speech witnesses spanned many years as I detail in my conversion story and Plain Dress Testimony. In culmination, it was all part of the natural evolvement of my life which was already deeply rooted in Christian faith, holistic farming, sustainable living and the unremitting persuasion of being plain and practical. Our children, therefore, grew up understanding life from such perspective as normal. However, the final uniform adoption of religious observant dress was not fully realized until our youngest children were grown and on their own.

    I well understood, throughout their childhood, that our children would grow up and establish their own lives and as thy did, I respected their personal life decisions, even if I did not always agree or understand. Whether because of example or by the grace of God, in turn, our children granted my husband and I the great gift of respecting our decisions to go plain. A few years following, a couple of them expressed the fact that they did not completely understand our choice at the time, but that they worked through it, praying on the matter, discussing their thoughts with each other, and even talking to us occasionally until eventually the concern settled in their minds.

    My husband going plain was less dramatic because being plain in a general context was a normal course of life for him personally in so many respects.

    The only time our grandchildren ever seem affected is on the rare morning, during their visits, when I arrive at the kitchen later than usual - without my prayer cap on. A little one will say; "Nana, where's your "hat"?" At which time I ask that one to bring my prayer cap to me and they do so as though it is a very special occupation!

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