CLAREMONT MONTHLY MEETING
OF THE RELIGIOUS SOCIETY OF FRIENDS

727 HARRISON AVENUE, CLAREMONT, CALIFORNIA 91711
(909) 624-9114
http://www.cyberg8t.com/friends
Meeting for Worship Sundays at 9:30 a.m.
 

Advices and Queries, 1997 - 2000

December 2000


REACHING OUT

Advices
Friends' fellowship begins and is nurtured within the home and Meeting. It reaches greater fulfillment as we carry our beliefs into the wider community.

Share your Quaker faith. Take time to learn about other people's experiences of the Light and, as you learn, give freely from what you have gained. Respect the experiences and opinions of others, but do not be afraid to say what you value. Welcome the diversity of culture, language, and expressions of faith in your Monthly Meeting, Yearly Meeting, and the world community of Friends. Encourage discourse with Friends of pastoral and programmed traditions, and with members of other faiths.

Queries

How does my life reflect Friends' beliefs and thus encourage others to be interested in the Religious Society of Friends?

Do I respond generously to inquires about Quaker experience and belief?

What does our Meeting do to make others aware of Friends' principles and practices?

What are we doing to help people of various races, cultures and backgrounds feel at home among us and we among them?

How do we encourage newcomers to return and participate in activities of the Meeting?

In what ways do we participate in the life of the interfaith community and in the wider fellowship of Friends?

November 2000

Social & Civic Responsibility Read by Jean Walton

Advices

In the words of William Penn, "True godliness don't draw men out of the world, but enables them to live better in it and excites their endeavors to mend it." He added: "It is a reproach to religion and government to suffer so much poverty and excess."

Poverty within a wealthy society is unjust and cruel and often linked to skin color, gender, and language. Friends should be alert to oppression and injustice, and persistent in working against them.

We value our part in shaping the laws of our country.

If, by divine leading, our attention is focused on a law that is contrary to God's law, we must proceed with care. Before acting, Friends should pray for further guidance and speak with the Meeting, family members, and all those who might be affected by the decision. If a decision involves disobedience to the law, we should make the grounds of our action clear to all concerned and be prepared to suffer any penalties without evasion. As a Community, we must care for those who suffer for conscience's sake.

Queries

What am I doing to carry my share of responsibility for the government of our community, nation and world?

Am I persistent in my efforts to promote constructive change?

How do we attend to the suffering of others in our local community, in our state and nation, and in the world community?

Do we try to understand the causes of suffering, and do we address them as a meeting?

How do we, individually, and as a Meeting, support organizations that work to bring the testimonies of Friends into reality in our society?



From an article in the Friends Journal on Elizabeth Gray Vining
I returned to the Quaker meeting of my childhood. It was the silence
that drew me, that deep, healing silence of the meeting at its best, when
the search of each is intensified by the search of all, when the 'gentle
motions,' the 'breathings and stirrings' of the Spirit which is within each
and beyond all, are expectantly awaited and often experienced.
----thanks Margaret Edwards-Brown
Announcements

Musings During Friends Meeting

To write a poem is a kind of meditation;
perhaps meditation is a kind of poetry.
Lifting my pen from a line of verse,
I see men and women, eyes closed,
focusing, I am sure, on the Inner Light.
There is a certain beauty in their quietness,
a wordless poetry.
I join them in their silent chorus.

Elinor Robinson

October 2000


Stewardship & Oneness with Nature

Advices


John Woolman said, "As Christians all we possess are the gifts of God...To
turn all the treasures we possess into the channel of Universal Love
becomes the business of our lives." The principle of stewardship applies
to all we have and are.

As individuals we are called to use our time, our various abilities our
strength, our money, and our material possessions with care, managing them
wisely and sharing them generously.

Friends recognize the interdependence of the natural world. Our task is to
protect the environment for future generations and to live in such a way
that humanity and its technology find a profound harmony with all
creatures.

Queries

Do I live simply, and promote the right
sharing of the world's resources?

Am I a good steward of my talents, time, money, and
possessions, sharing them according to the Light I am given?

Do we cherish the earth and seek to live in such a way that sustains it?

In managing the activities and business of the Meeting,
do we weigh the environmental consequences that
may result from various choices?

From the Preliminary Edition of Faith and Practice

September 2000

Vocation

Advices

Following the leading of the spirit, we discover our particular gifts and discern the service to which they are called. In making choices about occupation or education, consider the way that offers the fullest opportunity to develop your individual abilities and contribute to the community while providing for yourself and your family. In daily work, manifest a spirit of justice and understanding, and thus give a living witness to the truth.

Be ready to limit engagements, to withdraw for a time, or even to retire from an activity that inhibits your ability to follow a higher call. Try to discern the right moment to relinquish responsibility that can pass to others. Be open to changes in your calling in different stages of your life. Welcome the approach of old age, your own and others', as an opportunity for wisdom and greater attachment to the Light.

Meetings should be ready with material and spiritual support for those suffering from unemployment or facing difficult vocational decisions.

Queries

How have I been faithful to the leadings of the Spirit in choosing work or vocation?
Is my conduct at the workplace consistent with my life as a Friend?
Do I act on my principles even when this entails difficult consequences?
How does my daily work enhance my spiritual life?
How does the Meeting help and support members who are making vocational decisions, especially those made for conscience's sake?
How does the Meeting help and support members who are in job transitions?

From the Preliminary Edition of Faith and Practice

August 2000


Advices Meeting for Worship on the Occasion of Business


When a matter is before the Meeting for Business, each person
present contributes to the corporate search for a decision that accords
with the will of God. Silent worship in the Meeting for Business
contributes to the process of achieving unity.


Listen attentively to others' words and use the silence between
messages to reflect carefully on what you might contribute. When you
are clear, speak simply what is in your heart, without repeating what
has already been offered. Inaction is a form of action.


Queries

Is the Meeting for Business held as a Meeting for Worship in which we
seek divine guidance for our actions?

Are we tender and considerate of different views, coming to a decision
only when we have found unity?


From the Preliminary Edition of Faith and Practice

July 2000


Advices Spiritual Life

The life of the spirit gains depth and vigor through devotional practices, prayer, study and medication. Take time regularly for individual and family worship, discussions, and readings from sacred texts and other spiritual refreshment in order to live a more centered life and to bring a
deeper presence to the Meeting for Worship.

Friends believe that the spiritual path is best found in community. Create opportunities in your Meetings for people of all ages to explore and express their evolving relationship with the Divine, their spiritual highs and their doubts. If different metaphors and language interfere with communication, listen more deeply, honoring the spirit in which the thought and words have their beginnings.

Queries


Do I live in thankful awareness of God's constant presence in my life?

Am I sensitive and obedient to the leadings of the Holy Spirit?

When do I take time for contemplations and spiritual refreshment?

What steps am I taking to center my life and to open myself to continuing revelation?

Do we share our spiritual lives with others in the Meeting?

Does the Meeting provide religious education including study of the Bible and Friends' history and practices?

June 2000

Advices Meeting for Worship

The heart of the Religious Society of Friends is the Meeting for Worship. In direct communion with God, we offer ourselves for God's will. Our daily lives are linked with the Meeting for Worship, the Meeting for Worship with our daily lives.
Come regularly to Meeting for Worship, even when you are angry, tired, or spiritually cold. Bring your joys and your hurts, and the needs of other people. Accept and support each other in the community where God dwells among us. As you do so, you may find the grace of prayer.
At times the Spirit may prompt you to speak in Meeting. Wait patiently to know that the sense and the time are right. When you are sure, have confidence that the words will be given to you. Listen to the ministry of others with an open spirit. If it is not God's word for you, it may be for
others. After a message has been given, allow time to ponder its meaning and to let the Meeting return to silent worship. In speech and in silence, each person contributes to the Meeting.

Queries

Do I come to Meeting with heart and mind prepared for worship?

In both silent and vocal ministry, do I respond to the leadings of the
Holy Spirit, without pre-arrangement and in simplicity and truth?

Am I careful not to speak at undue length or
beyond personal spiritual experience?

Do we meet in expectant waiting for the promptings of the Divine Spirit?

Are we drawn together in a living silence by the power of God in our midst?

May 2000

Advices: The Meeting Community

The Meeting for Worship is the center of our spiritual community. There, as we come to know each other in the Spirit, we build the "beloved community".

Mutual respect and care in the Meeting form the foundation from which we can test, support, and exercise leadings of the Spirit. At its best the Meeting community provides a framework for us to learn and practice mutual care, which strengthens us as we act in the world.

Queries:

Do I strive to be inclusive in my relationships within the Meeting?

Am I committed to the difficult work of forgiveness, and affirming God's love for the whole community?

Do we practice the art of listening, even beyond words?

from Faith and Practice, PYM, Preliminary Edition, 2000

April 2000


Advices: PEACE

Friends oppose all war as inconsistent with God's will. Every person is a child of God. We recognize God's Light also in our adversaries. Violence and injustice deny this reality and violate the teachings of Jesus and other prophets.

Friends challenge their governments and take personal risks in the cause of peace. We urge one another to refuse to participate in war whether as soldiers, as arms manufactureres, or as taxpayers. We work to end violence within our own borders, our homes, our streets, and communities. We support international order, justice, and understanding.

Become an instruments of peace. At every opporotunity, be peacemakers in your homes, workplaces, and communities. Steep yourself in the power of the universal Spirit. Examine your actions for the seeds of violence, degradation and destructiveness. Overcome the emotions that lie at the root of violence and nurture instead a spirit of reconciliation and love. In experiencing God's unity, come to know the oneness of all creation and so to oppose the destruction of the natural world.

Queries:
Do I live in the virtue of that life and power that takes away the occasion of all wars?

How do I nourish peace within myself as I work for peace in the wrold?

Do I confront violence wherever it occurs, even when my personal relationships are involved?

Where there is distrust, injustice, or hatred, how am I an instrument of reconciliation and love?

What are we doing to remove the causes of war and destruction of the planet, and to bring about lasting peace?

Do we reach out to all parties in a conflict with courage and love

from Faith and Practice, PYM, Preliminary Edition, 2000



For us, there is only
the trying.
The rest is not
our business.
from East Coker - T. Eliot


In the modern world where the serene forests are not always available,
confusion worry , hurry and noises take their toll. Peace lives in the
hearts and minds of those who seek the silent places of the spirit.


Jamie Sams, The Sacred Path


Thanks to Miriam Ades:

"...An educated person is one
who understands the implications of
his beliefs.... for being "educated"
is not the same as being erudite,
or scholarly, or filled with facts
and knowledge and information.

It is not a state, but a process -
the ability of the mind to move freely
from premises to consequences
..........most people have certain
religious beliefs that bear little relation
to their beliefs in other areas;
they do not understand the social
and psychological implications of their
religious creed. This is a fundamental lack
of education, and it explains in part
the grave inconsistencies in our behavior.

Society is a chorus
in which each man
sings his own part,
and few are capable
of hearing the melody
as a whole."
Sidney J. Harris (Daily Report 4-29-64)

Show up.
Pay attention.
Speak your truth without criticism or blame.
Let go of the outcome.

March 2000


Stewardship
Advices:


The principle of stewardship applies to all that we have and are.

"To turn all the treasures we possess into the channel of
Universal Love becomes the business of our lives" --- this,
in the words of John Woolman, is the meaning of
Christian stewardship.

Queries:

Do we regard our time, talents, energy, money, material possessions and other resources as gifts from God, to be held in stewardship and shared according to the Light we are given? How do we express this conviction?


What are we doing to work toward a right sharing of the world's resources; toward a balance between human life and the limited resources of our earth, so that all may have an opportunity to fulfill their lives?


How do we cherish and protect the natural world, of which all people are a living part?

from Faith & Practice Pacific Yearly Meeting, 1985


Prayer Lives Key to Reviving Meetings shared by Steve Smith

The most important hhting I learned from my work with the PYM Long Range Committee was that there are two hallmarks of a thriving Meeting: a vibrant meeting for worship with a living ministry, be it in words or in silence; and a strong, energetic, noisy First-Day School. They are results. But they both start in the same place---with the earnest commitments of Friends to the spiritual growth of the Meeting. A Monthly Meeting has a life-cycle of its own. It waxes and wanes, pushed the limits of its meeting house sometimes and dies back to a small core at others. The answer to the loss of membership is not aggressive "outreach" (as unprogrammed Friends call evangelism). The answer to the loss of membership, the key to reviving Motherly or Quarterly or Yearly Meetings, will not be found in any kit, any gimmicks, any textbook. The key lies in re-focusing our prayer lives, as individuals Friends and as meetings. Without that, all of our outreach activities are like the seed that fell on sand---any roots that sprout are so shallow that the least wind will blow them away. But with strong prayer lives, with lives that witness our faith to the worlds, with lives that make others ask, "What makes that person different. I think lI like the difference"....if we truly live in the Life and Power that taketh away the occasion of all wars, if we remember that we are, after all, a religious organization, and act on that realization, we can turn ourselves around.

--Robert F. Tatman, Upper Dublin (PA) Meeting


The Friendly Question Corner

What is most important about Friends' beliefs and practices to you?
What attracts you to Friends? What is the range and similarities and
differences among our answers to these questions?

You are invited to send your answers to the editor in a short paragraph, so we can share the answers from different Friends - with the answers considered on the basis of the ideas, not on the writer. Please sign your answer, but it will be printed anonymously. We will include a short paragraph, with the hope of stimulating and focusing thought on these important elements, and sharing our reflections and conclusions. One answer is included here:

The aspects of the Friends that are most important and attractive to me are their beliefs that each person can connect directly with the Creative Source in the universe, that all persons are equal in worth, and the rational, understandable nature of Friends' other beliefs; Friends'balance of the mystical spiritual with practical action, their balance of conviction and humility, their acceptance, respect, and support of all persons, Friends' practice of worship including quiet and sharing in both an individual and corporate manner, their simplicity, and their being a friendly community.

February 2000
Advices and Queries

CIVIC RESPONSIBILITY

We value the part we have in shaping the laws of our country. It is our task to see that these laws serve God's purposes. Our aim is the building of a social order which works toward the kingdom of God. We affirm our unchanging conviction that our first allegiance is to God, and if this conflicts with any conpulsion of the state, we serve our country best by remaining true to our higher loyalty.

Are we conscientious in fulfilling obligations to the state and society while opposing those contrary to our understanding of the leadings of God?

What are we doing as a Meeting to carry our share of responsibility for the government of our community, state and nation, and for the development of needed international organizations? To work for changes in government when change is needed?

From the Children's Meeting Committee:


Parents and committee members have decided to participate in the Families Against Violence Advocacy Network's program "Circles of Peace" with the goal of "eliminating violence, one family at a time, starting with our own." The program offers resources for families, churches, and schools that want to promote peace as a daily way of life. We will be using a small workbook that includes a family pledge of nonviolence and suggested activities over a 14 week period focusing on the seven aspects of the pledge for two weeks each, starting with the first Sunday in February.

"Making peace must start within ourselves and in our families. Each of us, members of the _____________ family, commit ourselves as best we can to become nonviolent and peaceable people.
To respect self and others
: To respect myself, to affirm others, and to avoid uncaring criticism, hateful words, physical attacks, and self-destructive behavior.
To communicate better: To share my feelings honestly, to look for safe ways to express my anger, and to work at solving problems peacefully.
To listen: To listen carefully to others, especially those who disagree with me, and to consider others, feelings and needs rather than insist on having my own way.
To forgive: To apologize and make amends when I have hurt another, to forgive
others, and to keep from holding grudges.
To respect nature: To treat the environment and all living things, including our
pets, with respect and care.
To play creatively: To select entertainment and toys that support our family's values and to avoid entertainment that makes violence look exciting, funny, or acceptable.
To be courageous: To challenge violence in all its forms whenever I encounter it, whether at home, at school, at work, or in the community, and to stand with others who are treated unfairly
This is our pledge. These are our goals, we will check ourselves on what we have pledged once a month for the next 12 months so we can help each other become more peaceable people."
Family members sign this pledge.


Rufus Jones used to like to tell this story about himself. Once when he was a young man he began a vocal ministry by saying, "I was thinking..."
He said that he learned a lot when after meeting, an older woman Friend said to him, "Rufus, what was thee doing thinking in Meeting?"

The best advice one Friend ever received about testing ministry before standing up was, "Does what you are about to say begin with the word 'I'? If so, you may wish to reconsider the nature of your leading."

January 2000

Advices and Queries: Witness

Our witness is characterized by humility and a willingness to learn from others so that differences can be transcended. The experience of others, especially those in circumstances different from our own, help us to discover what is true for us and may help us sense real kinship. We are constantly reminded that Truth is greater than the knowledge anyone of us has of it.

How do our lives testify to our convictions as Friends?

What are we doing to share our faith?

How do we practice listening to the Truth which may be revealed by others?

December 1999

Advices and Queries: Equality

People everywhere are children of God and members of one family. We have regard for the worth of each person. We cannot be easy in our lives when others suffer indignity, injustice, or want. In the Spirit of Christ are we ready to put ourselves at one another's side and share each other's burdens. As we are true to the divine within us, we respond to the divine in others.

Do we speak to and answer "that of God " in everyone?

In all our relations with others do we treat them as equals?

Do we avoid being drawn into violent reactions against those who are destructive of human dignity?

Do we reach out to the violator as well as the violated with courage and love? Do we search diligently for ways of assuring the right of every individual to be loved, cared for, and properly educated, to obtain useful employment, and to live in dignity?

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." --- Gandhi

"It isn't enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn't
enough to believe in it. One must work at it." ---Eleanor Roosevelt

"In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies
but the silence of our friends." ---Martin Luther King Jr.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change
the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has ---Margaret Mead

November 1999


Advices & Queries: PEACE

Peace is the state in which we are in accord with God, the Earth, others
and ourselves. It comes to us only when we submit to the Spirit found
within us.

We know that true, lasting peace among us can finally be attained only
through unity in the life of the Spirit. We work to create the conditions
of peace, such as freedom, justice, cooperation and the right sharing of
the world's resources.

As we work for peace in the world, we search out the seeds of war in
ourselves and in our way of life. We refuse to join in actions which lead
to destruction and death. We seek ways to cooperate to save life and
strengthen the bonds of unity among all people.

Do we live in the virtue of that life and power which takes away
the occasion of all war?

Do we retrain from taking part in war as inconsistent with
the spirit of Christ?

What are we doing to remove the causes of war and to bring about
the conditions of peace? Where three is hatred, division and strife,
how are we instruments of reconciliation and love?

How do we communicate to ourselves an understanding of the
basis of our peace testimony?

As we work for peace in the world, are we nourished by peace within
ourselves?



The following information was distributed:

PROCEDURES FOR EMERGENCIES DURING MEETING FOR WORSHIP OR OTHER TIMES
Anyone experiencing serious difficulty is encouraged to let someone
nearby know about the problem. Please do not think of leaving without
asking for help.
Those who notice someone in distress should notify the person in
charge--i.e. the person closing Meeting for Worship, or clerking or hosting
a gathering.
If needed, the person in charge should seek help from someone
present who is trained in first aid or cardio-pulmonary resuscitation
(CPR), and/or arrange for 911 to be called. Whenever possible, the wishes
of the person in difficulty should be ascertained.
If 911 is called, the person in charge should send people to the
driveway and [to] immediate cross streets to direct emergency vehicles.
After the immediate crisis is past, the person in charge should use
discretion either to
return the group to its activity or discontinue the activity , as appropriate.

October 1999


Advices and Queries: SIMPLICITY

From earliest days, Friends have cherished the value of simplicity. Simplicity shows itself in sincerity. It results in a life and speech of integrity, free of sham and artificiality, unencumbered by unnecessary things and excessive activity. Writing of simplicity, Thomas Kelly reminds us: "Life is meant to be lived from a Center, a divine Center --a life of unhurried peace and power. It is simple. It is serene. It takes no time, but occupies all our time."

Do we center our lives in an awareness of the presence of God so that
all things take their rightful place?

Do we keep our lives uncluttered with things and activities, and avoid
commitments beyond our strength and ligh

Is the life of our Meeting so ordered that it helps us to simplify our lives?

Do we order our individual lives so as to nourish our spiritual growth?


from Faith and Practice,
Pacific Yearly Meeting, 1985



THE PURPOSE OF A MEETING FOR WORSHIP IS:
To turn our attention to the source of all love and joy and truth, to be led by that source in the tasks of life, to know one another in the fellowship of those seeking to turn to that ultimate source to learn to love one another, to take joy in one another, and to do the truth in mutual support.
THE PURPOSE OF A MEETING FOR BUSINESS IS: Exactly the same as
above.

A NEPALI GOOD LUCK TANTRA TOTEM

INSTRUCTIONS FOR LIFE

0. Eat much brown rice.
1. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
2. Memorize your favorite poem.
3. Don't believe all you hear, spend all you have, or sleep all you want.
4. When you say, "I love you", mean it.
5. When you say, "I'm sorry", look the person in the eye.
6. Be engaged at least six months before you get married.
7. Believe in love at first sight.
8. Never laugh at anyone's dreams.
9. Love deeply and passionately. You may get hurt but it's the only way
to live life completely.
10. In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling.
11. Don't judge people by their relatives.
12. Talk slowly but think quickly.
13. When someone asks you a question you don't want to answer smile and
ask,"Why do you want to know?"
14. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
15. Call your mum.
16. Say "bless you" when you hear someone sneeze.
17. When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
18. The three Rs: Respect for self; Respect for others; Responsibility for all your actions.
19. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
20. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
21. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice.
22. Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. As you get older, their conversational skills will be as important as any other.
23. Spend some time alone.
24. Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values.
25. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
26. Read more books and watch less TV.
27. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll get to enjoy it a second time.
28. Trust in God but lock your car.
29. A loving atmosphere in your home is important. Do all you can to create a tranquil harmonious home.
30. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a stroke of luck.
31. Learn the rules then break some.
32. Share your knowledge. It's a way to achieve immortality.
33. Be gentle with the earth.
34. Pray. There's immeasurable power in it.
35. Never interrupt when you are being flattered.
36. Mind your own business.
37. Don't trust a man/woman who doesn't close his/her eyes when you kiss.
38. Once a year, go some place you've never been before.
39. If you make a lot of money, put it to use helping others while you
are living. That is wealth's greatest satisfaction.
40. Remember that the best relationship is one where your love for each other is greater than your need for each other.
41. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
42. Remember that your character is your destiny.
43. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.

September 1999

Advices and Queries: Home & Children

The Meeting can only support, not replace, the family in the care of
children. Parents should make sure that their commitments outside the home
do not encroach upon the time and loving attention the family needs for its
health and well-being.

Yet every member of the Meeting is responsible in some measure for the care
of the children. When this spirit of common concern is present, our
children gain a sense of belonging and commitment to the larger community
and to their heritage. The family, whatever its composition, is a precious
and often tenuous bonding of people. It is through our family and the
Meeting ties that God's presence among us is most clearly felt. In the
eyes of our children, in the loving expression among adults, in the concern
we have for the well-being of all in the Meeting
family, we feel God's love at work on earth.

Does our home life support our need both for a sense of personal
identity and for spiritual fulfillment?

Do we share our deepest beliefs with our children and one another
and bring such influences among us which tend to develop our
religious life?

How does our Meeting sustain families?

from Pacific Yearly Meeting's 1985 Faith and Practice

August 1999

Advices and Queries:


Our need for love and care, and our response to this need in others, make up a rich part of our lives. In an exchange truly grounded in love, each of us is both giver and receiver, ready to help and to accept help. Neither pride nor fear keeps us from the unconditional love and care of God
manifested through others. Neither comfort nor self-centeredness blinds us to need in others.

We listen to one another with openness of heart and in good faith, aware that greater wisdom than our own is required to meet our human needs. We lift up our hearts to the Source of all wisdom and power.

In what ways are we bringing together members and attenders, young and old, in love and mutual care?

Do we visit one another in our homes and keep in touch with distant members?

Are we sensitive to the personal needs and difficulties of members and do we assist in useful ways?

Are we charitable with each other?
Do we avoid hurtful criticism and gossip

Do we practice the art of listening to one another, even beyond words?

How well are we able to love each other?

July1999

Advices and Queries: UNITY

Different ways of understanding the divine life may occur among us. These differences should not be ignored for the sake of superficial unity. They should be recognized and understood, so that a deeper and more vital unity can be reached. Convictions which might divide or disrupt a Meeting, can, through God's grace, help to make it creative and strong. Friends should keep faith and fellowshipwith each other, waiting in the Light for that unity which draws them together in the love and power of God

Are love and unity maintained among us?

Do we manifest a charitable, forgiving spirit and care for the reputation of others?

When problems and conflicts arise, are timely endeavors made to resolve them in a spirit of love and humility?

How do we use our diversity for the spiritual growth of the Meeting?

Are we prepared to let go of our individual desires and let the Holy Spirit lead us to unity?


The spiritual journey is a series of fallng down, getting up, dusting oneself off, looking sheepishly at God, and taking the next step. thanks to Miriam Ades

June 1999

PARTICIPATION IN THE LIFE OF THE MEETING

From the 1985 edition of PYM's Faith and Practice

The life of the Meeting depends upon varied gifts. The Meeting is enriched when all members take an active part. The working of the Holy Spirit in our lives is expressed in prophetic ministry, in pastoral caring for each other, and in the example provided by lives lived in the Light.

Queries


Do we recognize the varied skills and spiritual gifts of our members and attenders? How do we nurture their use and growth? Do we all take an active part in the life of our Meeting?


How are strangers made to feel welcome in our midst? How do we encourage members and attenders to share in Meeting activities and to consider membership when they are ready?

May 1999


Queries: Worship

The heart of the life of the Religious Society of Friends is the meeting
for worship. Its basis is direct communication with God and it calls for
us to offer ourselves body, mind, soul for the doing of God's will.

In all out meetings for worship, including those for consideration of
Meeting Business and on the occasion of marriage and death, we gather in a
spirit of silent prayer with a willingness to give as well as receive. In
speech or in silence, each person contributes to the meeting. Worshiping
God together, we strengthen one another, and our bodies and minds are
refreshed in the Life of the Spirit. Our daily lives are linked with the
meeting for worship, the meeting worship with our daily lives.

Friends are encouraged to give adequate time to study, meditation, and
prayer, and other ways of preparing for worship, and to arrive at meeting
with an open and expectant spirit. During the meeting for worship, some
people may feel moved to speak, to share an insight, to pray, to praise.
Those who feel led to speak should do so, clearly and simply. When another
speaks, we should listen, not in a critical attitude, but with an open
spirit, seeking the thought behind the words and holding the speaker in
love. After a message has been given, Friends allow time to ponder its
meaning and to search themselves before another speaks.

Do we come to meeting with hearts and minds prepared for worship?

Do we meet in expectant waiting for the promptings of the Divine Spirit? Is there a living silence in which we are drawn together by the power of God in our midst? Is this inspiration carried over into our daily living?

Is the vocal ministry exercised under the direct leading of the
Holy Spirit without prearrangement, and in the simplicity of truth? As we listen, or as we speak, are we guided by the Inner Light and sensitive to one another's needs? Are we careful not to speak at undue length or beyond personal spiritual experience?

1998 Epistle to Friends Everywhere, from the
FRIENDS COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL LEGISLATION

The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) is a Quaker
lobby in the public interest. We advocate in the nation's capital for peace
and justice on behalf of many Friends. FCNL's witness has been effective
because it has grown from the spiritual life of Friends. It will continue
to prosper only as it reflects the life of the Spirit.

Quakers have long held that the ends and the means are of one
piece. The outcome is shaped by the means. In 1998 Friends' practices of
faith - telling the truth, living simply, answering to that of God in
everyone, speaking plainly - seemed more relevant than ever. The year was
filled with numerous events of historic proportions many of which had
implications for public policy. Throughout the second session of the 105th
Congress, FCNL tried to respond to these important matters which bear on
deeply held concerns of Friends.


Promoting Disarmament and Reducing Military Spending
If the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, soon all problems begin
to look like nails. Under the 105th Congress and the Clinton
administration, the military is becoming the only real tool left in the
U.S. government's foreign policy toolbox. Their support for cooperative
international institutions and processes and for non-military approaches to
foreign policy has waned.

Shifting Budget Priorities to Promote Economic Justice
Over 35 million people remain in poverty in the United States,
including one of every five children. Millions of low-income families
continue to lack access to quality, affordable child care, health care, and
housing. In 1998 FCNL asked policymakers to consider how they might
assure, through national legislation, the basic human security of poor
children, displaced workers, disabled people, and the elderly ... security
in all its elements: income, nutrition, health care, housing, education and
training, and meaningful work.

Promoting Institutions and Processes for International Cooperation
Much of the violence that we observe and experience in the world today
stems from the failure of our government and society to address root causes
and act in timely ways to prevent escalation to violence. Issues of
fundamental human security must be addressed within a framework of
international law and policy to avoid a future of continuing injustice and
war.

Native American Advocacy

Upholding Rights of Conscience


FCNL's lobbying on Capitol Hill cannot be effective in isolation. We
depend on the response of Friends and others to FCNL calls for grassroots
actions on various issues. In most cases it is calls and letters to policy
makers from their constituents that make the difference when votes are
cast.
Our mission, as from the beginning, continues to be to help shape
the nation's institutions find policies for the well-being of God's
children and the rest of creation. The support of Friends and others around
the country make FCNL's work possible and gives life to our ministry to the
Members of Congress and their staff who face such interesting and
challenging times.
--Supplied by Myron Chapman

April 1999


Queries: Meeting for Worship

DO WE COME TO MEETING WITH HEARTS AND MINDS PREPARED FOR WORSHIP?

DO WE MEET IN EXPECTANT WAITING FOR THE PROMPTINGS OF THE
DIVINE SPIRIT?

IS THERE A LIVING SILENCE IN WHICH WE ARE DRAWN TOGETHER BY
THE POWER OF GOD IN OUR MIDST?
IS THIS INSPIRATION CARRIED OVER INTO OUR DAILY LIVING?

IS THE VOCAL MINISTRY EXERCISED UNDER THE DIRECT LEADING
OF THE HOLY SPIRIT WITHOUT PREARRANGEMENT, AND IN THE
SIMPLICITY AND SINCERITY OF TRUTH?
AS WE LISTEN AND AS WE SPEAK, ARE WE GUIDED BY THE INNER LIGHT AND SENSITIVE TO EACH OTHER'S NEED?
ARE WE CAREFUL NOT TO SPEAK AT UNDUE LENGTH OR BEYOND
PERSONAL SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE?

March 1999


Advices: Civic Responsibility

We value the part we have in shaping the laws of our country. It is our
task to see that these laws serve God's purposes. Our aim is the building
of a social order which works toward the kingdom of God. We affirms our
unchanging conviction that our first allegiance is to God, and if this
conflicts with any compulsion of the state, we serve our country best by
remaining true to our higher loyalty.

If, by divine leading our attention is focused on a law contrary to divine
law, we must proceed with care. Before making a decision, we pray for
further divine guidance; we speak with our Meeting, our family, and all
those who might be affected by our decision. If our decision involves
disobedience to the law, we make the grounds of our action clear to all
concerned. If there are penalties, we must suffer them without evasion.
We care for those who suffer for conscience's sake.

Queries:

Are we conscientious in fulfilling obligations to the state and
society while opposing those contrary to our understanding of the leadings of God?

What are we doing as a Meeting to carry our share of responsibility
for the government of our community, state, and nation, and for the development of needed international organizations? To work for changes in government when
change is needed?

To what extent are we interested in the schools of our community
and concerned to establish practices in them consistent with values we cherish as Friends?

Do we share our convictions in a spirit of loving concern?

February 1999


Advices & Queries: Witness

We seek fellowship with others of our own faith and with all people, realizing the oneness of humanity and the kingdom of God.

The experience of others, especially those in circumstances different from our own, help us to discover what is true for us and may help us sense real kinship.

We are constantly reminded that Truth is greater than the knowledge anyone of us has of it.

How do our lives testify to our convictions as Friends?

How do we practice listening to the Truth which may be revealed by others?

Do we reach out with love and respect to those with whom we disagree?


**********

Shed your clerical vestments and wade into the fray!

I 'm not responsible for the sunshine but I may need to open the drapes to let it in.

Transformation is like birth. Pushing won't make it happen. It happens in its own timing.

Opening by William Segal

Silence is deeper than the word...........One's 'center' can vivify all
parts of the circumference--a center that illuminates. When we speak and
listen from this center, a relationship is set up where words have more
meaning......If one lived from one's center, one would speak with more
sincerity, would find unexpected resources within oneself... One would,
while speaking, be quite aware at each moment, of a center which, while
doing nothing, affects all things. Functioning from such a center would
result in more genuine, more effective expression of thoughts and feelings.
Shared by Margaret Edwards-Brown

January 1999



Equality
The Advices

People everywhere are children of God and members of one family. We have
regard for the worth of each person. We cannot be easy in our lives when others suffer indignity, injustice, or want. In the Spirit of Christ are we ready to put ourselves at one another's side and share each other's burdens? As we are true to the divine within us, we respond to the divine in others.

The Queries

Do we speak to and answer "that of God " in everyone?

In all our relations with others do we treat them as equals?

Do we avoid being drawn into violent reactions against those who are destructive of human dignity? Do we reach out to the violator as well as the violated with courage and love?

Do we search diligently for ways of assuring the right of every individual to be loved, cared for, and properly educated, to obtain useful employment, and to live in dignity?

December 1998


Advices & Queries
: PEACE


Peace is the state in which we are in accord with God, the Earth, others and ourselves. It comes to us only when we submit to the Spirit found within us.

We know that true, lasting peace among us can finally be attained only through unity in the life of the Spirit. We work to create the conditions of peace, such as freedom, justice, cooperation and the right sharing of the world's resources

As we work for peace in the world, we search out the seeds of war in ourselves and in our way of life. We refuse to join in actions which lead to destruction and death. We seek ways to cooperated to save life and strengthen the bonds of unity among all people.



Do we live in the virtue of that life and power which takes away the occasion of all war?

Do we retrain from taking part in war as inconsistent with the spirit of Christ?

What are we doing to remove the causes of war and to bring about the conditions of peace? Where three is hatred, division and strife, how are we instruments of reconciliation and love?

How do we communicate to ourselves an understanding of the basis of our peace testimony?

As we work for peace in the world, are we nourished by peace within ourselves?

November 1998

Advices & Queries:

Simplicity


From earliest days, Friends have cherished the value of simplicity. Simplicity shows itself in sincerity. It results in a life and speech of integrity, free of sham and artificiality, unencumbered by unnecessary things and excessive activity. It implies freedom from harmful habits and addictions. Christian simplicity is one of the fruits of a primary commitment to the Spirit of God. Writing of simplicity, Thomas Kelly reminds us: "Life is meant to be lived from a center, a divine Center--a
life of unhurried peace and power. It is simple. It is serene. It takes no time, but it occupies all our time.

Do we center our lives in an awareness of the presence of God so that all things take their rightful place?

Do we keep our lives uncluttered with things and activities, and avoid commitments beyond our strength and light. Is the life of our Meeting so ordered that it helps us to simplicity in our lives? Do we offer our individual lives so as to nourish our spiritual growth?

Are our lives so filled by the Spirit that we are free of the use of tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs and of excesses of any kind? Do we choose recreations which strengthen our physical, mental and spiritual lives and avoid those which may prove harmful to ourselves and others?

Do we keep to a single standard of truth, so that we are free from the use of judicial and other oaths? Are we punctual in keeping promises, prompt in the payment of debts, and just and honorable in all our dealings? Do we refrain from betting and gambling and from practices based on the principles of gambling? Do we keep to simplicity, moderation and honesty in our speech, our manner of living and daily work?


Reminder about the spoken ministry:

In The Life

My piece was pat and all ready to say,
She rose first. I threw my piece away.
My well-turned stuff
Was not so rough
As hers, but easy elegant and smooth.
Beginning middle end
It had and point
And aptly quoted prophet priest and poet.
Hers was uncouth
Wanting in art
Labored scarce-audible and out of joint.
Three times she lost the thread
And sitting left her message half unsaid.
Why then did thee throw it
Into the discard?
Friend, It had head (Like this).
Hers oh had heart.
Robert Hewison, 1965

October 1998


Advices and Queries

Home & Children

Pacific Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice, 1985
As Friends, our first concern for ourselves and our children is to live in the sense of assurance that we are all children of God. Family trust and love strengthen the light leading us to knowledge and the love of God. Study and discussion of the Bible and religious literature in the family are the primary sources of religious training. Yet the written word has little meaning unless it leads to the expression of personal religious experience, which is the work of the Spirit behind the word.

The Meeting can only support, not replace, the family in the care of children. Parents should make sure that their commitments outside the home do not encroach upon the time and loving attention the family needs for its health and well being.

Yet every member of the Meeting is responsible in some measure for the care of the children. When this common concern is present, our children gain a sense of belonging and commitment to the larger community and to their heritage.


Does our home life support our need both for a sense of personal identity and for spiritual fulfillment?

Do we share our deepest beliefs with our children and one another and bring such influences among us which tend to develop our religious life?

How do we help our children and ourselves to strengthen our knowledge and sense of our Quaker heritage and religious beliefs?

"...We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It
is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light
shine, we unconsciously give permission to other people to do the same. As
we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates
others...."

---NELSON MANDELA ,
The Power of Flow by Charleen
Belitz and Meg Lundstrom


On Attending a Friends Meeting with my Husband

Perhaps, you said, this is a Sunday service
we both will find congenial: a compromise.
So here am I sitting beside you.,
listening uneasily to the silence.
I try to meditate, but soon get fidgety.

You know that I am accustomed to processions,
to vestments, acolytes, sermons, a blue-robed choir.
Still, I like sitting beside you on a Sunday morning.
I shall learn to like silence.

---Elinor Robinson


ARRANGE WHATEVER PIECES COME YOUR WAY
--Virginia Wolf


There is no cure for birth and death
save to enjoy the interval.
--George Santayana


Perhaps they are not the stars,
But rather openings in Heaven
Where the love of our lost ones
Pours through and shines down upon us
To let us know they are happy.

--inspired by an Eskimo Legend

SEPTEMBER 1998

Mutual Care


Our need for love and care, and our response to this need in others, make up a rich part of our lives. In an exchange truly grounded in love, each of us is both giver and receiver, ready to help and to accept help. Neither pride nor fear keeps us from the unconditional love and care of God manifested through others. Neither comfort nor self-centeredness blinds us to need in others.

We listen to one another with openness of heart and in good faith, aware that greater wisdom than our own is required to meet our human needs. We lift up our hearts to the Source of all wisdom and power.

Queries:
In what ways are we bringing together members and attenders, young and old, in love and mutual care?

Do we visit one another in our homes and keep in touch with distant members?

Are we sensitive to the personal needs and difficulties of members and do we assist in useful ways?

Are we charitable with each other? Do we avoid hurtful criticism and gossip?

Do we practice the art of listening to one another, even beyond words?

How well are we able to love each other?

August 1998


Advices and Queries

...Queries and advices represent a continuing exploration of our common
faith and practice...and are a challenge and inspiration to Friends in
their personal lives and in their corporate life as a Christian community.
They remind of the basic faith and principles held to be essential to the
life and witness of the Religious Society of Friends. Each of us is
therefore asked to consider how the advices and queries affect us
personally and where our service lies. Many may be disheartened at times
because the ideal of Christian discipleship seems impossilby demanding, but
we should all remember that we are to seek after it not with our own
strength, but with the strength of the Christ within.

Unity

Different ways of understanding the divine life may occur among us. These
differences should not be ignored for the sake of a superficial unity.
They should be recognized and understood, that a deeper and more vital
unity can be reached. Convictions which might divide or disrupt a Meeting,
can, through God's grace, help to make it creative and strong. Friends
should keep faith and fellowship with each other, waiting in the Light for
that unity which draws them together in the love and power of God.

Are love and unity maintained among us?

Do we manifest a charitable, forgiving spirit and a care for the reputation of others?

When problems and conflicts arise, are timely endeavors made to resolved them in a spirit of love and humility? How do we use our diversity for the spiritual growth of our meeting?

Are we prepared to let go of our individual desires and let the Holy Spirit lead us to unity?



An empty room is silent. A room where people are not speaking or moving is quiet. Silence is a given, quiet a gift. Silence is the absence of sound and quiet is the stilling of sound. Silence can't be anything but silent. Quiet chooses to be silent. It holds its breath to listen. It waits and
is still.

"In returning and rest you shall be saved," says God through the prophet Isaiah, "in quietness and confidence shall be your strength." (Isaiah 30:15). They are all parts of each other. We return to our deep strength and to the confidence that lies beneath all our misgiving. The quiet there, the rest, is beyond the reach of the world to disturb. It is how being saved sounds.

WHISTLING IN THE DARK by Frederick Buechner
Pat Smith read this at Meeting for Business . A request was made that it be included in the notices.

July 1998

Advices and Queries

from Faith and Practice (1985), Pacific Yearly Meeting.

Participation in the Life of the Meeting

The life of the Meeting depends upon varied gifts. The Meeting is enriched when all members take an active part. The working of the Holy Spirit in our lives is expressed in prophetic ministry, in pastoral caring for each other, and in the example provided by lives lived in the light.
In the active life of the Meeting an individual,s leading is tempered and strengthened by the corporate body. The responsibility for participation in and the financial support of the Meeting is assumed by all members and attenders.
Attenders are encouraged to become acquainted with Friends, ways, and to apply for membership when they are ready.
When meeting for worship has a central place in one,s life, regular and punctual attendance follows. We hold in the Light those who are unable to attend by reason of infirmity, or imprisonment, distance or other stresses in their lives.

Do we recognize the varied skills and spiritual gifts of our members and
attenders?
How do we nurture their use and growth. Do we all take an active part in the life of the Meeting?
How are strangers made to feel welcome in our midst?
How do we encourage members and sttenders to share in Meeting activities and to consider membership when they are ready?

For Contemplation


The necessary discernment of leading can only be done after the manner of Friends from the deep centering that can arise in an atmosphere of worship. That is why we begin our meetings with a time for recollection of ourselves and re-center ourselves to listen and to speak in the Light rather than in passions or intellect: to remember that we are engaged together in a search for the will of God rather than in discussion, argument or persuasion. Information and reason are to serve that higher purpose rather than to be ends in themselves. The process also requires of the members tremendous openness, sensitivity and tenderness to one another.

Patricia Loring, Spiritual Responsibility in the Meeting
for Business.

June 1998


Advices and Queries
from Faith and Practice (1985), Pacific Yearly Meeting

Worship
Advices


The heart of the life of the Religious Society of Friends is the meeting for worship.

In all our meetings for worship, including those for consideration of Meeting business, and on the occasion of marriage and death, we gather in spirit of silent prayer with a willingness to give as well as to receive. In speech or in silence, each person contributes to the meeting. Our daily lives are linked with the meeting for worship, the meeting for worship with our daily lives.

Friends are encouraged to give adequate time to study, meditation and prayer, and other ways of preparing for worship, and to arrive at meeting with an open and expectant spirit. Those who feel led to speak should do so, clearly and simply. When another speaks, we should listen, not in a critical attitude, but with an open spirit, seeking the thought behind the words and holding the speaker in love. After a message has been given, Friends allow time to ponder its meaning and to search themselves before another speaks.

Queries

Do we come to meeting with hearts and minds prepared for worship?

Do we meet in expectant waiting for the promptings of the Divine Spirit? Is there a living silence in which we are drawn together by the power of God in our midst? Is this inspiration carried over into our daily living?

Is the vocal ministry exercised under the direct leading of the Holy Spirit without prearrangement, and in the simplicity and sincerity of truth? As we listen, or as we speak, are we guided by the inner Light and sensitive to one another's needs? Are we careful not to speak at undue length or beyond personal spiritual experience?



Ten Commandments for Speaking in Meeting for Worship

1. Thou shalt not speak until all have had time to settle into the silence.

2. Thou shalt not speak immediately following another worshiper's message, thus violating the 8 minute 33-second minimum required message reflection period.

3. Thou shalt curb thy impulse to judge, correct, respond directly to or in any other obvious way point out what thou perceiveth to be the error in the previously spoken message.

4. Thou shalt not speak out of vanity but in all humility. Remember that a parable or story often melts the heart.

5 Thou shalt not immediately rush thy strongly felt insights and religious experiences into words. Mystical experience tendeth to be ineffable, requiring much time before it can be communicated, and then perhaps only poetically.

6. Thou shalt not ramble on and on when thou speakest, without the danger of thy message
falling on unlistening ears. Consider the simple elegance of the arrow as it flies swiftly and surely to the target.

7. If many have spoken, thou shalt carefully weigh in thy mind the possibility that thy message is an early arrival intended for the next Meeting for Worship.

8. Thou shalt not speak more than once per Meeting. If thou findest this temptation to persist, consider giving thy messages more time to feather before thou pushest them from the nest.

9. Thou shalt not turn Meeting for Worship into encounter groups or political gatherings.

10. Thou shalt disregard any of these commandments if thou are truly led to do so.


April 1998

Advices and Queries
from Faith and Practice (1985), Pacific Yearly Meeting
Civic Responsibility

We value the part we have in shaping the laws of our country. It is our task to see that these laws serve God's purposes. Our aim is the building of a social order which works toward the kingdom of God. We affirm our unchanging conviction that our first allegiance is to God, and if this conflicts with any compulsion of the state, we serve our country best by remaining true to our higher loyalty.

If, by divine leading, our attention is focused on a law contrary to divine law, we must proceed with care. Before making a decision, we pray for further divine guidance; we speak with our Meeting, our family and all those who might be affected by our decision. If our decision involves disobedience to the law, we make the grounds of our action clear to all concerned. If there are penalties, we must suffer them without evasion. We care for those who suffer for conscience's sake.

Are we conscientious in fulfilling obligations to the state and society while opposing those contrary to our understanding of the the leadings of God?

What are we doing as a Meeting to carry our share of responsibility for the government of our community, state and nation, and for the development of needed international organiza- tions? What are we doing to work for changes in government when change is needed?

To what extent are we interested in the schools of our community and concerned to establish practices in them consistent with the values we cherish as Friends?

Do we share our convictions in a spirit of loving concern?


March, 1998

Advices and Queries
WITNESS

We are glad to tell in words as well as deeds the faith that is in us. We seek fellowship with others of our own faith and with all people, realizing the oneness of humanity and the kingdom of God. Our witness is characterized by humility and a willingness to learn from others so that
differences can be transcended. In discussion, we must not allow the strength of our convictions to betray us into making misleading or contentious statements. The experience of others, especially those in circumstances different from our own, helps us to discover what it true for us and may help us sense real kinship. We are constantly reminded that Truth is greater than the knowledge any one of us has of it.

How do our lives testify to our convictions as Friends? What are we doing to share our Faith? How do hwe practice listening to the Truth which may be revealed by others?

What ways do we find to cooperate with persons and groups with whom we share believes and concerns? Do we reach out with love and respect to those with whom we disagree?

What are we doing to make the larger community aware of our Friends meeting?

February, 1998

Advices and Queries
EQUALITY

Equality is the earliest Quaker social testimony. Even before Friends became pacificists they were dismissed from the army for refusing to treat officers as superiors.
Quaker equality does not imply equality of ability or economic resources, but is based on the concept that each person is due equal respect. This has led to a conscious effort to eliminate all words and behaviour that arise from distinctions in class, race, sex or social status.
The belief that there is that of God in every person, that all are children of the same God, has long led Friends to reject violence, to work for the abolition of slavery, to seek to improve treatment for the offender and the mentally ill, to demand equality for women, and to strive to remove economic inequalities that lead to poverty, illiteracy and starvation. The same conviction that has led Friends to work for such concerns and a long list of others now leads us anew to seek to be more sensitive to the numerous injustices sufered by women both within the Society and in the outside world, and to work to remove them.

Do we speak to and answer "that of God" in everyone?
Do we avoid being drawn into violent reactions against those who are destructive of human dignity? Do we readh out to the violator as well as the violated with courage and love/
Do we search diligently for ways of assuring the right of every individual to be loved, cared for, and properly educated: to obtain useful employment; and to live in dignity?

December, 1997


Advices and Queries
From PYM book of Faith and Practice,1985
Simplicity

Simplicity is closely akin to sincerity--a genuineness of life and speech
in which there is no place for sham or artificiality. The care given by
early Friends to avoid flattering titles and phrases and to aim for
rectitude of speech undoubtedly has done much to turn attention to honesty
in the spoken and the written word....

We need also to speak the simple truth, in love, when occasion requires it.
Such an attitude does not exclude sincere cordiality and kindness. A life of
simplicity and sincerity may be full of activity but it must be a life centered in God.


Do we center our lives in an awareness of the presence of God so that
all things take their rightful place?

Do we keep our lives uncluttered with things and activities, and avoid
commitments beyond our strength and light?

Is the life of our Meeting so ordered that it helps us to simplify our lives?

Do we offer our individual lives so as to nourish our spiritual growth?

Are our lives so filled by the Spirit that we are free of the use of tobacco,
alcohol, and other drugs and of excess of any kind?

Do we choose recreations which strengthen our physical, mental and spiritual
lives and avoid those which may prove harmful to ourselves and others?

Do we keep to a single standard of truth, so that we are free from the use of
judicial and other oaths?

Are we punctual in keeping promises, prompt in the payment of debts,
and just and honorable in all our dealings?

Do we refrain from betting and gambling and from practices based
on the principles of gambling?

Do we keep to simplicity, moderation and honesty in our speech,
our manner of living and our daily work

Claremont Friends Meeting
727 Harrison Avenue
Claremont, California 91711


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