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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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iii: testimony and experience of friends

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Living Our Faith

pym in context
quaker faith & spiritual practice
testimony & experience of friends
organization of the society
activities & organization of the YM
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.



102 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.

john 15:12

103 And now also some ancient women-friends did meet together, to consider what appertained to them as their most immediate care and concern to inspect the circumstances and conditions of such who were imprisoned on truth’s account, and to provide things needful to supply their wants. And what did or might more immediately concern menfriends, the women would acquaint them there with. These women did also inquire into, and inspect the wants and necessities of the poor, who were convinced of the truth. And they sat not still until the cry of the poor came to their houses.

william crouch, 1712

104 A care has lived in my mind that more time might be employed
by parents at home, and by tutors at school, in weightily attending to the
spirit and inclination of children, and that we may so lead, instruct, and
govern them in this tender part of life that nothing may be omitted in our
power to help them in their way to become children of Our Father who is
in Heaven.

john woolman, 1758

105 That divine Light which enlightens man, I believe, does shine often in the minds of children very early; and to humbly wait for Wisdom that our conduct toward them may tend to forward their acquaintance with it and strengthen them in obedience thereto appears to me to be a duty toward them.

author unknown

106 To watch the spirit of children, to nurture them in Gospel Love,
and labor to help them against that which would mar the beauty of their
minds, is a debt we owe them; and the faithful performance of our duty not
only tends to their lasting benefit and our own peace, but also to render
their company agreeable to us…

john woolman, journal, 1758

107 Is Christianity capable of contributing to the overcoming of tensions and showing the way to their solution? I am convinced that we can find a clear, positive answer by investigating how Christ himself met the tensions of his time; for him tensions which separate people simply do not exist. Jesus knows no fear, nothing holds him apart from other people. His fearlessness, however, flows from his communion with God. But this communion with God can be achieved by all men. Thus he sees in the other man only his brother, his neighbor. Next to the love of God, the commandment “Love thy neighbor as thyself” is for Jesus the most essential of all commandments.

margarethe lachmund, 1958

108 Friends are most in the Spirit when they stand at the crossing point of the inward and outward life. And that is the intersection at which we find community. Community is a place where the connections felt in the heart make themselves known in bonds between people, and where tuggings and pullings of those bonds keep opening up our hearts.

parker palmer, 1977

109 The meeting must be at heart a spiritual quest and the people who are members must be seekers after a life of the spirit. This doesn’t mean that they will do nothing else, but, everything else should be grounded in this spiritual seeking.

robert griswold, 2000