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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

iii: testimony and experience of friends

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Corporate Search and Practice

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.

 

unity

140 And oh! how sweet and pleasant it is to the truly spiritual eye, to see several sorts of believers, several forms of Christians in the school of Christ, every one learning their own lesson, performing their own peculiar service, and knowing, owning, and loving one another in their several places and different performances to their Master, to whom they are to give an account, and not to quarrel with one another about their different practices! For this is the true ground of love and unity, not that such a man walks and does just as I do, but because I feel the same Spirit and life in him, and in that he walks in his rank, in his own order, in his proper way and place of subjection to that. And this is far more pleasing to me, than if he walked just in that track wherein I walk…

isaac penington, 1659

141 In this day and age the place where Friends find their unity is in the kind of God they worship. Their apprehension of the relationship of Jesus Christ to God embraces every orthodox and unorthodox shade of theology from unitarian to trinitarian; but whether we regard Jesus … as God himself or as the supreme revealer of God to man, it is the same kind of God: a spirit of peace, truth, love and redeeming power.We need to feel the influence of this Spirit in our lives rather than to argue about our different modes of apprehending him. Directly we begin to chide each other for orthodoxy or unorthodoxy, we cease to be the catholic body we are; for the logical end of such chiding is sanctions and the excluding of the weaker body by the stronger. Let us keep our different modes of apprehension and remember always that it is the same God we serve, revealing himself to each according to his faith, his openness and his need.

beatrice saxon snell, 1961

142 We would wish to unite with all Christians and also with those of other faiths who work for reconciliation and healing in a broken world. Our membership includes those who ‘whilst ill at ease with orthodox formulations of Christian belief and doctrine, are nevertheless counted among those who do the will of God. As Friends we wish to recognise the divine gifts in those who call God by other names or see their commitment to truth in very different ways from those expressed in the Lima document.

london yearly meeting, to lima with love, 1987

143 Unity suggests to us not agreement or sameness of viewpoint, but a oneness of purpose that instructs our life together. And so it is not necessarily completed, but always underway, moving us beyond maintaining images, even our Quaker image.When we are divided, we are challenged to think of where our unity exists. We understand there to be an essential aspect of the Ground of Being that draws us in reverence, and that our coming together is more than accidental.We are called to be people of strong feeling, to know differences, and to discover through exploring our diversity or conflicts a means of truthfully communicating, in order to reach together toward what is both common and holy.

strawberry creek monthly meeting, 1989