A word about Quaker Queries
Quakers don’t have creeds or formal statements of things all Quakers must believe. Quakers use
various names for the Divine – including God, the Light, the Seed, the Inward Teacher, and the
Living Christ. We have found that there is “that of God” in each person, meaning an innate need
and ability to connect to the Divine and spiritual reality. We often refer to “that of God” in each
person as the “Inner Light.” Each person can have direct contact with this Divine Presence
without needing a minister or priest to intercede. Instead of a creed, Quakers put their faith in a
continuing relationship with God, or the Inner Light, that reveals truth and prompts action. We
call this “ongoing revelation.”
Queries are questions that guide personal and group reflection on how our lives and actions are
shaped by Love and Truth. The emphasis is on how to live a life more completely aligned with
the life of the spirit.
Quakers often find Queries a powerful spiritual discipline. Returning again and again to the
same prompt for deep reflection can set the stage for new understandings, changes of heart, and
a rising sense of loving action that needs to be taken. If you can answer a Query with a “yes” or
“no,” try to grapple a bit more adding “why,” “how,” and “when” to the original query.
On the reverse side are Queries for you to try. Post them in a place you will see them every day
and try to ask yourself the Query at least once a day for several days. As you do so, look at your
life for a sense of some inward changes: a deeper call to kindness, a more forgiving perspective,
or an imperative to act.
A word about Worship Sharing
Worship sharing is worship while expressing our own experiences and listening to others, sometimes in response to a query, a series of questions, or a poem or image. Usually the group gathers in a circle and sometimes centers on an object such as a candle, a work of art, or an object from nature. We speak only from our own knowledge and experience.
Prior to worship sharing the leader should explain some guidelines, reminding the participants that sometimes what is shared is very personal, even painful, but always confidential.
Go around the circle and share names if the group is new in working together
Start with a period of silent centering then present the query, questions, poem, or image
Allow silence during and after each contribution
Noone is required to speak
Each contribution should be welcomed as a gift
Be aware of the needs of each person in the group
Everyone’s contribution is of equal value
Respect confidentiality, whatever is said in the group stays within the group
Be serious but not somber, laughter can make your group feel frivolous
Do not ask follow-up questions
End with handshakes or held hands or another gesture that feels appropriate and supportive