"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.
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.
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.
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.