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Readings for Reflection: November 2016
from the Committee on Ministry and Counsel

The Three-Legged Stool

Last year, when writing the State of the Meeting report, Lisa Klopfer and I considered this passage as an introduction, as our Meeting seemed to us to approach the tripodal balance described here. Achieving such balance as an individual is, at least for me, much more of a challenge.       ~ Jeff Cooper


Quaker faith and practice has been described as a three-legged stool. The legs are the inner, personal relationship with God and the spiritual disciplines that support an interior life; corporate life in a meeting community that worships, works, hurts, and heals together; and social testimonies acted out in the wider world that speak of what we are learning inwardly and together. Some Friends are drawn more strongly to one leg than another, and at different times in our lives one leg may predominate over another. But if any leg is completely ignored or cut off, the stool will topple. All three legs are needed by both individual Friends and by each meeting for worship and for business.

Martha Paxson Grundy, Foreword to Nudged by the Spirit: Stories of People Responding to the Still, Small Voice of God, by Charlotte Lyman Fardelmann (Pendle Hill Publications, 2001).


All Readings for Reflection
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