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Readings for Reflection: April 2013
from the Committee on Ministry and Counsel

Advices as an Addition to Queries

In February, I attended San Francisco Friends Meeting, the Meeting John and I first joined in the early 70s. I picked up the San Francisco Friends Meeting newsletter during my visit and found the Advices and Queries printed below. The words were familiar to me but long for-gotten and I realized that the practice of joining Advices and Queries each month had been instructive to me for learning practices of the Meeting. The Handbook of the Ann Arbor Friends Meeting also has Advices, but they are printed separately from the Queries.
                                                                                                   Christa Williams

From Pacific Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice *

Advices and Queries: 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 Godís 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 the 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 Godís 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 or in silence, each person contributes to the Meeting.

- 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
- 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?

(Queries in ordinary type are directed to individuals. Queries in italics are directed to the Meeting in its corporate integrity.)

* Friends can read the Pacific Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice online at www.pacificyearlymeeting.org/faith-and-practice/.

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