Queries suggested by Doug Crawford-Parker
Friends, We had discussed the possibility of using a query in the newspaper ad and/or the brochure: here are some adapted from Catherine Whitmire's book Plain Living: A Quaker Path to Simplicity. It has a host of wonderful quotations. A few other queries in the list are just made up. But we can change them any way we like, so feel free to adapt and suggest new ways to phrase things.
The most alarming sign of the state of our society now is that our leaders have the courage to sacrifice the lives of young people in war but have not the courage to tell us that we must be less greedy and less wasteful. --Wendell Berry
Do I seek to simplify my life by listening for guidance from an inward holy center?
In what ways do I allow my possessions to determine my sense of worth and self-esteem?
Do I make my work, whatever it may be, an avenue for doing good?
Do I have more trust in money or in God?
Do I prize my time as a gift from God?
How do I recognize and deal with moral complexity in daily life?
How do I contribute to the corporate identity of the communities of which I am a part?
Am I living by values that will help create a better, more sustainable future for the world?
Am I swift to hear and slow to speak, avoiding long, heated debates?
Am I careful to say what I mean, avoiding sarcasm, excessive politeness, and self-aggrandizement designed to impress others?
What criteria do I use to evaluate how much financial security ids enough for me?
Do I look at my investments, clothing, furniture, and other possessions to see if they sow the seeds of war and oppression?
Do I prayerfully discern how to use my financial resources for the common good?
Do I seek to make my partnership or marriage reflect my faith and the values I aspire to stand for in the wider world?
Do I convey a sense of hopefulness to the children in my life, and do I foster in them the imagination and confidence that they can change the world?
Am I a grateful recipient of the gifts that life provides? How do I express my gratitude?
Do I live with a grace and lightness that make joy and laughter part of my everyday life?
What would I do if I were not afraid?
In the midst of suffering do I look diligently for points of encounter with God?
During times of despair do I stay present to the feeling of emptiness and wait for God to fill it with new life?
In what ways does my life generate hope for others?
What gives me hope that a brighter future world is possible?
When I listen within to my place of deepest spiritual knowing, what is it I most long for?
How do I distract myself with busyness in order to avoid the One who is seeking me?
Do I live with my eyes and heart open—watching and listening for the One who seeks me?
How does my understanding of God determine the way I live?
What do I know about God experientially?
Do I understand my life as a journey of faithfully seeking Truth?
What process do I use to listen and pay attention to the deepest thing I know?
What texts and literature are holy for me? Why?
Am I willing to obey the still, small voice within when it speaks to my instruction?
Do I stay mindfully and spiritually present to each moment?
Do I listen to the insights that come to me from beyond the margins of my understanding? How do I know when to act on them?
Am I cultivating a discipline of listening and watching so that I recognize the messages that come to me through dreams, prayers, meditations, friends, or my own body?
How open am I to being led by the Spirit in my daily life?
How well do I reach out to the people who are difficult and who live on the margins of our community? What can I learn from them?
During conflict, do I adhere to the discipline of speaking truth in love?
When involved in disputes, do I seek truth and reconciliation rather than victory?
Do I seek to hear the causes of misunderstanding, fear, or defensiveness in others, and do I try to share something of myself that may help explain anxiety and fear around an issue?
How does my unwillingness to accept God’s forgiveness keep me tied to the past?
Do I accept that my forgiveness and healing cannot be dependent on others taking responsibility for their harmful action or apologizing to me?
Do I endeavor to face the pain of the world and match it with forgiveness?
How am I practicing nonviolence within myself, my family, and my community?
Do I treat wrongdoers in loving ways that allow them to rise above their wrongdoing?
Do I look for and recognize that of God in all people?
How do I monitor and challenge the deep-seated prejudices I have acquired from my family, church, community, and culture?
Am I committed to learning the skills necessary to end racism and other forms of prejudice and discrimination?
Do I look for and see the face of God in all creation?
Do I spend time in wild places listening for what I might learn?
Have I mourned the loss of species and harm done by pollution, and am I aware of my part in these losses? Do I endeavor to change my personal as well as societal practices as an expression of hope for the future?
Do I seek opportunities to both provide loving care for my family and do service in my community?
Do I remember that it is the spirit of my service that makes love visible?
Am I faithfully serving God by seeking justice and showing loving kindness to all I meet?