Advices 4, 5 & 6 from New England Yearly Meeting

Quakers are generally wary of creeds or other statements of faith in which members are expected to believe.  Instead, Quakers use Advices and Queries.  Here are the second three Advices from the 2014 (Interim) edition of New England Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice. (The first three Advices are here.)

Advices

4 Make space in your daily life for communion with God and for spiritual nurture through prayer, reading, meditation, and other disciplines which open you to the Spirit.

5 No one human being or group has the full measure of the Light. Seek to understand the experience of those whose theology and practices differ from your own. Take opportunities to enter into prayer and work with the wider community of faith. Find ways to articulate your own faith so that it may be shared with others.

6 Ground your spiritual life in your own experience of the Divine. Speak and act from that experience.

New England Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice (Interim Version, 2014) has this to say in general about Advices and Queries:

The advices and queries … help us to discern what God is asking of us in specific areas of our lives. These general advices and queries challenge us to turn to the Inward Teacher and to nurture faithfulness as a foundation for every thought and action. We seek the particular ways we might be led to serve the one common interest of which Woolman speaks, both as individuals and as meetings, “turning all we possess into the channel of universal love.”

Advices convey the wisdom gained from the inward experiences of Friends trying to live faithfully in the Light. They may reassure us, counsel us, or challenge us.

Queries are tools directing us toward the Source of guidance as we reflect on our current condition, as individuals or as meetings. They elicit responses, but not answers. The value of the queries lies in our thoughtful consideration of them, recognizing both the response that rises out of our current condition and the one that expresses our aspirations. Bringing these two responses together is a continuing challenge as we strive to live faithfully. While we may formulate queries related to particular situations, these general advices and queries can be used again and again as a spiritual tool as we grow and change.

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