Ann Arbor Friends Meeting
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Readings for Reflection: June 2017
from the Committee on Ministry and Counsel

Affirmations about Quaker Faith

Among the rich choice of readings Rick Plewa shared with our Reading & Discussion group in May was a set of affirmations about Quaker faith from The End of Words, by British Friend and author Rex Ambler. This can be seen as an outline of a process of Quaker faith, which includes going deep to connect with Spirit - the source of life, sharing the bond we have with others, learning from them and finding common ground for dealing with conflicts. He suggests that silence is a helpful setting for this inward quest which leads to outward action lived from the heart. I have found Ambler's seven affirmations to be well worth slow and reflective reading.
                                                                                                      ~ Thomas Taylor

I would suggest that Quaker faith affirms

(1) that human beings have within themselves the resources to find life's meaning and to fulfill it;

(2) that life's meaning is found in one way or another in making connection with the source of life, mysterious though it is;

(3) that we can begin to make this connection by becoming aware of the deepest feelings and intuitions within ourselves, below the level of words silence is therefore a deliberate and necessary discipline in the spiritual quest;

(4) that awareness of this depth within ourselves makes us aware also of a deep bond with other human beings, however different they may be in other respects, so that our quest for meaning and truth is best shared with others;

(5) that we best learn from others, including spiritual leaders of the past and of other traditions today, by recognizing in them the same spirit that moves in us: that is, the same spiritual struggle and the same resource of light and liberation;

(6) that we best meet the conflicts and concerns of everyday life by recognizing the spiritual potential of those involved, and by finding practical ways to bring about a mutual recognition between them; and

(7) that we can live in hope because, whatever human beings do to one another, or to the earth, it is still possible that they will come to recognize and love one another, which is the utopian hope of the "peaceable kingdom on earth."

~ Excerpt from The End of Words, by Rex Ambler

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