Advices and Queries have been important to the Religious Society of Friends since the beginning of Friends in the 17th century. Though they have been changed since that time they still are an important part of a statement of who we are. New York Yearly Meeting, by directing us to question our understanding of how we express ourselves verbally or in our actions, prepares us to hold our spiritual beliefs in the Light through statements in our Advices and Queries.
Advices and Queries provide counsel and guidance on spiritual formation of one’s life by directing the attention of Friends to specific aspects of beliefs and behaviors. They invite open, vulnerable, personal consideration of one’s understanding of one’s own self. Advices and Queries are intended as a challenge and as an inspiration to us, as Friends, in our personal lives and in our life as a religious community. They encourage meditation to ascertain if the truths are our truths with the hope we may be more faithful and find deeper joy in God’s service.
Orchard Park Monthly Meeting has accepted the process of reading a selected Advice and Query once a month."
ADVICE FOR SEPTEMBER
Friends are advised to work toward removing the causes of misery and suffering. They are urged to support efforts to overcome racial, social, economic discrimination; to bear testimony against all forms of oppression; to exert influence for such treatment of prisoners as may help reconstruct their lives; and to work for the abolition of the death penalty.
QUERY FOR SEPTEMBER
Do our vocations provide instructive and beneficial service? Do we observe integrity in our business transactions? Do we avoid involving ourselves beyond our ability to manage? Are we careful to conduct our affairs punctually, justly, and honorably? Do we avoid participation in lotteries, betting, and gambling?
ADVICE FOR OCTOBER
Friends are earnestly advised to refrain from practices that are detrimental to the mind or the body, for example, the use of intoxicants and tobacco, and the misuse of drugs.
QUERY FOR OCTOBER
Have we confronted our own decisions about the use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs, and do we encourage others to do likewise? Have we considered the cost in human suffering that might result from such use?
ADVICE FOR NOVEMBER
Care should be taken that all our members avoid participation in lotteries, gambling, and betting, including such schemes of chance that appeal as benevolences. Friends should refrain from hazardous speculation and are cautioned against engaging in business that may be questionable. They are responsible for the manner of acquiring , using, and disposing of their possessions.
QUERY FOR NOVEMBER
Do we participate actively and intelligently in the political life of our country? Are we conscientious in fulfilling all obligations of state and society that are not contrary to the leading of God? Do we do all in our power to secure civil rights for all? Do we emphasize the single standard of truth, and are we free from the use of oaths?