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Faith and Practice

Pacific Yearly Meeting

of the

Religious Society of Friends

a guide to quaker discipline in the experience of pacific yearly meeting of the religious society of friends.
published 2001



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Contents page

i: Pacific Yearly Meeting In Context

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Introduction

preface
pym in context
quaker faith & spiritual practice
testimony & experience of friends
organization of the society
procedures
activities & organization of the YM
glossary
bibligraphy
appendices
sources of quotations
index of sources
subject index

We gratefully acknowledge the generosity of Friends who have permitted us to use material for this Faith and Practice.

 

 The religious practices of Friends are founded in direct communion with God and the conviction that the Divine Light is accessible to each person; yet it is one Light, one Truth. We wait with hearts and minds open to the Divine so that Truth will be made known among us.

 Our corporate search for God’s word is the heart of the Quaker Meeting for Worship. We believe that God, the Light, the Truth, is part of our being.We say, “there is that of God in everyone.” Truth is continually revealed to us, often through a gathered mystical experience.We learn to recognize the truth by experience.

 We work to develop a relationship between the individual and the corporate body that allows inspiration and leadings to be tested within the Meeting. In this unity, Friends find order and peace in reconciling individual inspiration and corporate wisdom, enabling us to choose right courses of action.

 As God is revealed to us individually and corporately, we are guided in the right ordering of our lives. All Friends practices flow from this faith in the revealed truth: our care for each other, our governing structures and processes, our testimonies and witness to the whole world.

 Through the personal experience of each seeker comes the Light necessary for their guidance. Vocal ministry in a Friends Meeting emerges from the direct relationship between the individual and the Divine. Truth is tested, not by the degree to which it conforms to dogma, but by its power to transform our lives and the lives of others.

 Not by strength of arguments or by a particular disquisition of each doctrine and convincement of my understanding thereby, came I to receive and bear witness of the Truth, but by being secretly reached by the Life. For when I came into the silent assemblies of God’s people, I felt a secret power among them which touched my heart; and as I gave way unto it I found the evil weakening in me and the good raised up and so I became thus knit and united unto them, hungering more and more after the increase of this power and life, whereby I might feel myself perfectly redeemed.

robert barclay, apology, 1676, 11: 7