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Quaker Culture: Queries

Friends’ Queries started early in the history of Quakers, and the primary focus of monthly Meeting for Business was once to to examine and respond to them corporately. Today Queries are sometimes used to prod us into a reexamination of our faith and how we practice it daily. Queries can be used as daily devotional readings. The Advices sometimes provide helpful suggestions as we try to put our faith into practice. We read the Advices and Queries in our Meetings for Business as a reminder and to open ourselves to the possibility of receiving useful ministry on that month’s topic.

On Deception (November 2013)

The Wrong Kind of Silence

We simply can’t always speak out. But there are critical times within Friends’ communities when failing to speak truth can cause great damage. Trying not to offend, trying to maintain a surface calm, can cause a disastrous loss of trust and can betray our commitment to answering the Light in everyone. Often it enables cruel behavior to continue. When problems remain unnamed, it can threaten our ability to address them. This kind of silence can undermine integrity, cause profound personal hurt, and splinter community. Much is lost when we fail to say what we think and when we fail to help each other speak up when serious interpersonal issues develop. Therefore I want to name self-silencing of truth as a significant threat to the ability of Friends to live our testimonies and a threat to the Religious Society of Friends.

On Deception (November 2013)

Raising Children in a Quaker Home

Quakerism is a spiritual journey. It is a search for understanding. It is a search to find The Way. This search expands into our parenting. Parenting is a search for understanding of how to live with and guide our children.

On Home (September 2017)

Holy Silence (review)

Brent Bill – a writer, photographer, and Quaker minister – considers silence to be “the Quaker sacrament.” In the first chapter of this small volume, Bill makes clear that holy silence “. . . is something we do, not something done to us. It is a participatory act. It engages our heart, mind, soul, and body in listening for the voice of the Beloved. Quaker silence is not passive.”

On Bosses (July 2018)

Quaker Discernment about Technology

My life is shaped by computer science and by my Quaker faith.

On Tech (July 2024)