5. Education

What is our Meeting’s role in the life and support of Friends’ education? If supporting or maintaining a Friends school, have we developed an appropriate relationship of Meeting and school? What is our role in the spiritual life of the school and its maintenance of Friends’ principles?

What does our Meeting do to support education in the wider community?

What help do we provide for the children and adults in our Meeting to pursue the education they seek, whether academic, technical, or vocational? Do we make provision for children in our Meeting to attend a Friends school?

How do I show my concern for the improvement of public education in my community and in the world?

Am I aware of what Friends schools are doing and of their plans for the future? How do I show encouragement and support?

What are Queries?

Queries are an approach that Friends use to guide self-examination, using them not as an outward set of rules but as a framework within which we assess our convictions and examine, clarify, and consider prayerfully the direction of our lives and the life of our spiritual community.

Rooted in the history of Friends, the Queries reflect the Quaker way of life, reminding Friends of the ideals we seek to attain. While the text of the Queries has changed somewhat over the years, it has been marked by consistency of convictions and concerns within Friends testimonies – simplicity, peace, integrity, stewardship, equality and community – as well as by strength derived from worship, ministry and social conscience.

Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice includes twelve Queries. Most meetings consider one Query each month during worship and meetings for business. Each Query consists of two sections: one pertaining to the corporate life of the meeting; the other pertaining to individual reflection. Many meetings read the Query aloud during a meeting for business each month and set aside time for corporate discernment and reflection. Other meetings publish the Query in their newsletters for members and attenders to consider on their own.