Friends have assessed the state of our religious society through the use of queries since the time of George Fox. Meetings use queries as a guide for self-examination, as a framework for periodically examining, clarifying and prayerfully considering the direction of our individual lives and the life of the meeting community.
Meetings apply the general queries in a variety of ways. Some meetings prepare written answers—for example, as background for developing a state-of-the-meeting report; some use them as an aid to inward reflection; some make them part of the meeting for worship or meeting for business—either by reading one of the sets of queries or by reading selections from that set. There may be times when a meeting will reword a query or contemplate a new one to meet its particular situation. Whatever the approach, faithful attention to the queries—open to the Spirit—can enrich the life of the meeting and individual Friends.
Since the last edition of Faith and Practice was published in 2002, our yearly meeting developed a deeper commitment to respond to the challenge of climate change. As one expression of this commitment, the yearly meeting determined that concern for the environment should be addressed throughout the queries.
The following general queries are arranged in sets by topic. Each set includes queries for the meeting and for the individual, the latter printed in italics. There are twelve sets of queries in order to enable meetings, if they so wish, to consider one set each month for a year.