Miami Monthly Meeting

The Religious Society of Friends

MIAMI MONTHLY MEETING
169 S. Fourth Street
PO Box 731
Waynesville, Ohio 45068

About Quakers

Queries and Advices

QUERY: Do you hold your meetings for business in a spirit of worship? Do you seek the guidance of God, rather than acceptance of a previously formed opinion? Do you help one another in your search for unity by speaking briefly and without repetition? Are you tender and considerate of differing views, coming to a decision only when you have, with Divine assistance, found a sense of unity?

ADVICE: The Society of Friends believes that right and satisfactory decision is dependent upon full mutual understanding and agreement. Therefore it transacts its business by united decision under Divine Guidance, rather than by divisive majority vote, striving to reach its conclusions in a spirit of reasonableness and forbearance.



QUERY: Do you make your homes places of love and hospitality? Do you make a place in your daily life for reading, meditation and prayer? Do you share your deepest beliefs with your children, while encouraging them to develop their own spiritual lives? Do you encourage their interests in constructive, creative activities and their reading of the Bible and other inspirational literature? Do you maintain a constant companionship within your families by sincere and honest communication? When unsatisfactory relationships exist within a family, is the loving, sympathetic counsel of responsible and qualified persons made available to its members?

ADVICE: Every child deserves physical, intellectual, and spiritual nurture. To this end, parents and other adult caregivers must establish themselves as loving and reliable sources of guidance. Caring for children is a life-transforming responsibility, bringing joys, challenges, and experiences of personal and spiritual growth for adult and child. Through good example and consistent teaching, we can counteract many of the negative influences children inevitably encounter. Children are greatly influenced by parents who lead faithful lives, discerning and following the Light Within. Our inward faith is made manifest through practicing simplicity, honesty, nonviolence, service, and love.
QUERY: Do you so order your life as to include reading, meditation and communion, that you may know more of the presence and guidance of the Divine Spirit? Do you remember the need to pray for others, holding them in the presence of God?

ADVICE: Prayer is the aspiration of the soul. It is our communion with God and is essential to religious life. The result of prayer becomes apparent in the nobler lives of those who are constant in its exercise. We should cultivate, individually, the habit of turning to God at all times, and of seeking Diving guidance in all things that we may, in truth, be led by the Light. Vocal prayer, when prompted by a deep concern and a sense of human need, is a vital part of worship and often helps those assembled to come into the consciousness of God's presence.

It is our common experience that communion with God is a fundamental need of the human soul. Constant listening for the promptings of the Divine Spirit and seeking to follow it in every relation of life will lead inevitably to spiritual growth.
QUERY: Do you encourage and support the educational activities of Friends? Are you interested in the schools of your community and concerned to establish practices in these consistent with the values you cherish as Friends? What efforts are you making to increase your understanding of your Quaker and other religious heritages and their relation to other religions?

ADVICE: The purpose of education is to build character and to make an individual a more serviceable instrument in bringing about the kingdom of God. While inspiration, often the stimulus for this effort, is the direct gift of God to the human soul and not a product of education, yet God's revelations are more likely to be perceived and can be used to better advantage if the body has been trained for health, the hand for work, the mind for thought, and if the attention has been directed toward spiritual truth. Powers of observation, thought and expression need training that we may do our work well. Many of us require teaching to overcome a prejudiced and unreasoning attitude toward others and to meet humanity with the reverence that is due the children of one loving Spirit.

QUERY: Do you live in the life and power which takes away the occasion for all wars? Do you, on Christian principles, refuse to participate in or cooperate with all military effort? Do you work actively for peace and removal of the causes of wars? Do you endeavor to cultivate good will, mutual understanding and equal opportunities for all races, creeds and nations? Have you examined your life style and possessions to make sure that the seeds of war are not found within them?

ADVICE: God's law of love, as fully exemplified by the life of Jesus, is applicable to nations as well as to individuals. Because of this application, war as a means of settling difficulties between nations becomes morally unlawful, just as are feuds between groups and duels between individuals. We cannot recognize a double standard of morality, one for individuals and another for nations. The morality which is required of us in our dealings with one another is equally binding upon us when we are called upon to act for our nation.


QUERY: Do you fulfill the responsibility of membership in our religious society by regular attendance and support of its meetings? What are you doing to strengthen the spiritual life of the meeting and to invite others to share in its fellowship? Do you recognize and encourage the development of the spiritual gifts of your members? Are you active in advancing the religious principles of our Society and in applying the social and political implications of those principles?

ADVICE: Fuller spiritual life can be fostered by membership in a religious organization. Liberty to choose a religious affiliation exists for every individual. When the choice has been made, responsibility for service follows. Regular attendance at meetings for the promotion of religious interests, such as meetings for worship, First-day schools and meetings for business, will enable us to avail ourselves of the opportunities for service which exist in such organizations. It will also enable us to become more firmly grounded in the faith and principles upon which our Society is founded and will result in our spiritual growth.

QUERY: Do you attend meetings for worship in a spirit of willing service and of prayerful desire to make them profitable to each individual and to the assembled group? Are you prepared for worship expecting that you worship will be a source of strength and guidance? Are you careful not to disturb the spirit of the meeting by late arrival? Do you practice a waiting spiritual worship and a free and open ministry under Divine Guidance?

ADVICE: True worship, whether vocal or silent, is offering ourselves-body, mind, and soul-for the doing of God's will. During the silent waiting, the flow of the Divine Spirit from heart to heart is often felt. "One is your teacher, and all ye are brethren." Worshippers should gather in a spirit of silent prayer with a willingness to give, as well as to receive, so that the full possibilities of the Meeting hour can be reached and its influence extended throughout the community from week to week.


QUERY: Do you endeavor to live in harmony with nature, avoiding pollution and the destruction of our environment? What are you doing about your use of the world's irreplaceable resources? Are you concerned for family and population planning so that future generations will be able to live on the resources available to them?

ADVICE: It is urged that Friends be watchful to keep themselves free from self-indulgent habits, luxurious ways of living, and the bondage of fashion. This freedom is the first condition of vigor in all kinds of effort, whether spiritual, intellectual or physical. Undue luxury often creates a false sense of superiority, causes unnecessary burdens upon both ourselves and others, and leads to the neglect of the spiritual life.



QUERY: Do you keep to simplicity and moderation in your speech, your manner of living, and your pursuit of business? Are you careful to keep your business and your outward activities from absorbing time and energy that should be given to spiritual growth and to the service of your religious society? Are you just in your dealings and careful to fulfill your promises? Do you take care of such members as need aid, and assist them, when possible, to become self-supporting?

ADVICE: Things lawful in themselves may become harmful when used to excess. Friends are advised to observe moderation in everything and to abstain entirely from that which may be the occasion of stumbling of others. In particular, Friends are urged to observe simplicity and moderation in the conduct of social gatherings, marriages, funerals and public occasions.



QUERY: Are love and unity fostered among you? Do you manifest a forgiving spirit and a care for the reputation of others? If differences threaten harmony among your members, is prompt action taken in a spirit of meekness and love? Do you visit one another frequently? Do you keep in touch with inactive and distant members?

ADVICE: Christian ideals need no concealment, nor can the equality which Jesus taught be restricted by any secret ritual or creed; therefore, Friends are cautioned against membership in any organization which will directly or indirectly diminish sympathy with any portion of humankind, or which may lead to the condemnation of the people of any religion, race or nationality. In all human relationships our profession of God's universal love should prevent our making any distinctions of class, station, wealth, color or race which might bar friendly interaction.



QUERY: Do you regard your possessions as given you in trust and do you part with freely for the needs of others? Are your means of livelihood in keeping with your ideals as Friends? Are you concerned that your business be primarily a service to people? What are you doing to foster upright practices in business relations? Do you maintain strict integrity in all business transactions? So you bear a faithful testimony against all forms of gambling?

ADVICE: We are called upon to be stewards not only of the Divine Spirit which God has implanted within us, but also of the rich provision which the Creator has made for the sustenance of all life on earth. If we are true followers of Jesus, we must ever be seeking to bring conditions of life in this world into conformity with the purposes of God. It cannot be God's will that the vast numbers of our brothers and sisters should pass their lives in surroundings that render difficult the quickening of the Divine Spirit within them. Nor is it sufficient that we should be merely kind and liberal to the poor, for the poverty we seek to relieve may be due in part to unjust conditions, intensified perhaps by our own thoughtless conduct.

QUERY: Do you examine thoroughly your behavior in regard to work, leisure, diet and the use of drugs, alcoholic beverages and tobacco, thus trying to avoid and discourage practices that interfere with health, sensitivity or social responsibility? Remembering the parable of the talents, do you exercise fully those that God has given you? Do you endeavor to minister humbly and sensitively to the needs of others that they may attain their full potential?

ADVICE: Time is one of God's gifts which we easily take for granted, and in the use of which we are commonly prodigal. It is rich in opportunities, yet it is relentless in its record of our selection. According to the way we spend the minutes and hours, we will find the Divine Spirit within us either coming into possession or being crowded out of our lives. So Friends wish to lay special emphasis on cheerful and loving persistence in those patterns of living which will allow a larger and fuller experience of God each day.


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