Queries on Sexuality & Spirituality

These queries are offered by a group of Friends from different yearly meetings and of different ages, to encourage conversation among Friends.

Are you comfortable with your own sexuality as an individual?

Do you treat your physical body and your sexuality with respect, care and gratitude, remembering that they are a gift from God?

Do you recognize the physical, emotional, and spiritual damage that can result from sexual activity outside the bounds of a relationship that is loving, mutually faithful, respectful, and committed?

Are you mindful that sexual activity is most holy within the context of a lifelong relationship of growing love and intimacy?

Do you recognize when there are forces upon you pressuring you toward irresponsible or harmful sexual behavior?

When you consider entering into a sexual relationship, do you look for one that is permanent?

Do you consider the permanent effects, on you and others, of any sexual relationship?

Are you mindful of the physical safety of yourself and your partner when you enter into a sexual relationship? Do you educate yourself about family planning and safer sex?

Are you willing to speak to others when you think they may be engaging in destructive or exploitative behavior?

Are you physically, emotionally and financially prepared to nurture into adulthood any children conceived as a result of your sexual activity?

Do you tell the truth to those you are in relationship with and expect the truth from them?

Are you faithful in keeping the promises with which you began a committed relationship? Do you remain in a process of discernment with your partner about these promises?

Are you mindful of the power of forgiveness, which is a place of wholeness in God?

Are you mindful that, as George Fox said, "we marry none; it is the Lord's work."

Do you affirm and celebrate all marriages made in God? Do you refrain from any word or action that would endanger or undermine them?

Deborah Haines, recorder
June 28, 2007

Note: These queries were written following two sessions that took place during a YFNA (Young Friends of North America) Reunion held in Barnesville OH where a great deal of sharing and reflection was done on how sexual relationships were handled by many Young Adult Friends during the late 1960's and 1970's.
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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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