"Queries" is a term that Friends use to refer to questions designed to promote reflection on a particular area of faithful practice.  The "Books of Discipline" of each yearly meeting (regional association) includes queries.  Traditionally these were directed at the meeting as a whole or the group responsible for worship and ministry in the meeting.  In Conservative Meetings, these groups discern together corporate (i.e. group) responses to the queries in writing at regular intervals and forward these to the quarterly and yearly meeting as a form of mutual accountability between the local and regional meetings.  This formal use of queries has been largely abandoned in other YMs.  In these meetings queries may be read in meeting for business or meeting for worship followed by a period of verbal sharing without a formal written response as a group,  read aloud but not answered, or largely ignored by the local meeting.

Excerpts from YM Disciplines on Vocal Ministry provides examples of a number of these official YM queries.

There is a set of similar queries at the close of my (Peter's) article, Nurturing the Gift of Vocal Ministry.

Debbie Humphries' article, Four Pillars of Meeting for Business, includes queries for to help meeting members' deepen the ability of the faith community to discern God's voice for the meeting and act on it.

Holy Obedience: Corporate Discipline & Individual Leading includes a closing set of queries for reflection on this subject.

Experiencing God's Love through Health Changes are a set of queries used for small group reflection in a 2006 gathering on this theme held by Quakers in Pastoral Care & Counseling.

Queries on Confidentiality & Openness were written by a group of Friends wrestling prayerfully with a need for greater balance & deeper discernment by faith communities as they attempt to honor the need for privacy around sensitive personal issues with the need to share and care for each other as fellow members of a spiritual family.  They were written during Quakercamp at Stillwater in 2007.

Queries on Sexuality.  These are 14 sets of queries I wrote growing out of my position paper on faithful sexuality, entitled In the Presence of God and These Our Friends.  They encompass a very wide range of issues relating to sexual ethics.

Queries on Sexuality & Spirituality  These are a quite different set of queries on the same issue that emerged out a couple of lengthy sharing sessions that took place at Olney Friends School during a YFNA reunion in 2007.  They focus especially on the importance of responsibility and preventing harm to individuals, relationships and the faith community as a result of sexual decisions.

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Quote that speaks to me

Death Cannot Kill What Never Dies

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They that love beyond the world cannot be separated by it.  
Death cannot kill what never dies.  
Nor can spirits ever be divided that love and live in the same Divine Principle; the Root and Record of their friendship.
If absence be not death, neither is theirs.  
Death is but crossing the world, as friends do the seas; they live in one another still.  
For they must needs be present, that love and live in that which is omnipresent.
In this Divine Glass, they see face to face; and their converse is free, as well as pure.
This is the comfort of friends, that though they may be said to die, yet their friendship and society are, in the best sense, ever present, because immortal.
 - William Penn, More Fruits of Solitude, 1702.

Note: This passage was quoted by J.K.Rowling as the epigraph of her novel, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Braithwaite on Outreach

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Men & Women with a Message of Power

It is as a "religion of life" that Quakerism will be presented in the future and is being presented now.

Its distinguishing note will be its resolve to bring all this human life of ours under the transforming power of spiritual life.  It will stand out against all divisions and compartments that separate the sacred from the secular, the sanctuary from the outward world of nature, the sacrament from the days' common work, the clergy from the laity. 

It will tell of a Christian experience that makes all life sacred and all days holy, all nature a sanctuary, all work a sacrament, and gives to every man and woman in the body fit place and service.  Its concern will be to multiply men and women who will have a message of power because they are themselves the children of light.  It will claim the whole of man's life, and the whole of life, individual, social, national international, for the dominion of the will of God.

William C. Braithwaite and Henry T. Hodgkin, The Message and Mission of Quakerism (Philadelphia, Winston, 1912), 25-26.

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