Friends General Conference

Together we nurture the spiritual vitality of Friends

Query for Third Month

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3. Spiritual Nurture, Ministry, and Religious Education

  • Does our Meeting encourage the ministry of both word and deed? How does our Meeting recognize, develop, and nurture the gifts of our members and attenders of all ages?
  • Does our Meeting prepare all its members and children for worship and for a way of life consistent with the principles of the Religious Society of Friends? How do we teach about Quaker practices in business and worship and their importance to the functioning of our Meeting community?
  • In what ways do we support each other in order to seek God’s will and act upon our understanding of truth? Is there opportunity in our Meeting to share the excitement of religious discovery and the possiblity of religious transformation?
  • Does our Meeting provide opportunities for all in the Meeting to learn about:
    • the Inner Light, the living Christ within, the Bible, the writings of Friends, our Christian heritage, other religious traditions and their respective roles in the history and formation of Friends’ principles?
    • the common testimonies Friends declare?
    • the variety of expression Quaker faith takes today?
  • Do I maintain as part of my personal and family life those daily practices that focus on continued spiritual growth, with disciplined worship, inward retirement, and communion with the divine spirit?
  • Do I frequently read the Bible and other religious literature, including the records of the lives and experiences of Friends? Do I take the time to explore these resources with others, and likewise encourage my children?
  • Do I share my own faith and spiritual journey, and encourage such sharing within my family?
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Ellen Deacon - ellen.deacon's picture
Submitted by Ellen Deacon - ... on

It may sound corny, but truly my "heart lept up" as I read through this query this early morning.  I found myself realizing that our Chestnut Hill meeting community has been showing a consistent desire to heed and follow the encouragements in this Query over the past years I have been a member.  I know that I personally have had a strong hunger for us to keep learning more about being members of the Society of Friends and to offer good information to new folks, but I have been one of many with that hunger.  It is one of the things I deeply love about our meeting.  We always have more to learn about being Friends and also about how to share what we know and practice, but we also have a strong desire to keep toing that.

I wonder what others' experience has been?

EstherGrace Gilbert - graceworks.00's picture
Submitted by EstherGrace Gil... on

I am grateful for the opportunities we have to share on the discernment of vocal ministry, in fact, of all ministry. It's been my journey to read the Bible and to continue studying the work of earlier as well as contemporary Friends. That's important to me. 

I would like to know what others have to say. I hope others will use this forum to share their views and reflections.

Philip Jones - Phil Jones's picture
Submitted by Philip Jones - ... on

I am posting the following for our member Jorge Aráuz, who does not have a website account (yet), but wrote to offer some thoughts on this query:

Reading the queries on Spiritual Nurture, Ministry, and Religious Education, I was struck by the thought that the first section of the queries, directed to the meeting as a whole, dilutes the challenge of individual responsibility in the large cauldron of a collective job description. Reading the following section, oriented to the individual member or attended, did not remove this impression, as the focus of the queries shifts. So I remade the first section queries, paraphrasing them in a personal way. 
I am sharing them with you. With love and gratitude always, 
Jorge

  • How do I encourage the ministry of both word and deed in my meeting? 
  • How do I recognize and how do I help develop and nurture the gifts of fellow members and attenders, younger and older?
  • How do I help fellow members and attenders, both adults and children, prepare for worship? And how do I help them engage in a way of life consistent with the search of truth? 
  • How do I carry Quaker practices in business and worship, and demonstrate their relevance to the functioning of our Meeting community?
  • In what ways do I support others to seek God’s will and act upon an understanding of truth? 
  • How do I create/use opportunities in Meeting to share the excitement of religious discovery and the possiblity of religious transformation?
  • How do I provide/use opportunities to deepen our acquaintance with
  • - the Inner Light, the living Christ within, the Bible, the writings of Friends, our Christian heritage, other religious traditions? 
  • - the foundation and development of Friends’ principles?
  • - the common testimonies Friends declare?
  • - the variety of expression of Quaker faith?

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