9. Ministry of Outreach

Outreach

What are we doing as a Meeting to communicate our presence and our principles to the community around us? Does our Meeting’s ministry of outreach lead Friends to share their spiritual experiences with others?

What are we doing to invite persons not in membership to attend our meetings for worship and to encourage their continued attendance? How does the Meeting welcome visitors? Are we sensitive to the needs and hesitations of each visitor?

Are we tender to the needs of isolated Friends and Meetings, and to nearby Meetings seeking support?

How do I ground myself in the understandings of my faith? Am I clear about my beliefs? How do I prepare myself to share my faith and beliefs with others?

Does my manner of life as a Friend attract others to our religious society?

Do I seize opportunities to tell others about the Religious Society of Friends and invite them to worship with us?

Is my manner with visitors and attenders to our Meeting one of welcome?

Collaboration

In what ways does our Meeting respond to opportunities to join with other faiths in worship, in social action, and in spiritual dialogue?

How does our Meeting encourage its members to seek opportunities to meet and work with Friends world wide?

What opportunities have I taken to know people from different religious and cultural backgrounds, to worship with them, and to work with them on common concerns?

What opportunities have I taken to know, to work, and to worship with Friends outside of my own Meeting?

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.