North Pacific Yearly Meeting

of the Religious Society of Friends (QUAKERS)

Quaker Practice

Conference was held on Thursday, February 12th 2015

Consultation Clerk – Warren Ostrom, University Friends Meeting


The committee recommends reading the first 13 pages of our new chapter on Quaker Practice available on the North Pacific Yearly Meeting website.

1. The NPYM draft Faith and Practice states:

Friends conduct business together in the faith that there is one Divine Spirit which is accessible to all persons, and that when Friends wait upon, heed, and follow the Light of Truth within them, that Spirit will lead to unity. No matter the size of the group, this faith is the foundation for any decision.  [Revised chapters on Practice - July 2014]

 What does this quote bring up for you?

2. Quaker decision-making.

 How do we describe the differences among consensus, unity, and sense of the Meeting?

 How do we know when there is a sense of the meeting?

3. Nurturing meeting harmony.

Different ways of understanding the divine life may occur among us. These differences should not be ignored for the sake of a superficial agreement. They should be recognized and understood, so that a deeper and more vital unity can be reached. Convictions which might divide or disrupt a Meeting can, through God’s grace, help to make it creative and strong. Friends should keep faith and fellowship with each other, waiting in the Light for that unity which draws them together in the love and power of God. (From section on UNITY in Faith and Practice)

 How can we prepare ourselves to let go of our individual desires and let the Holy Spirit lead us to unity?

 How do meetings support Friends, experienced or not, who do not follow Quaker practices?

 How do we use our diversity for the spiritual growth of our Meeting?

4. When common misunderstandings emerge during Meeting for Worship for Business:

 What is the role of the Clerk?

 How do we speak to the Clerk?

 Do we understand the concept of speaking once?

 Do we refrain from repeating responses already made?

 Do we understand the importance of minuting decisions?

5. Newcomers look for indications of who is in charge, and turn to the people they see actively involved.

 Is there an "unofficial" hierarchy or clique within the meeting?

 When does sharing concerns about each other turn into gossip?

6. Nominating Committee

 How do we support Nominating Committee in discerning gifts and talents?

 How do we nurture Quaker process on Nominating Committees?

 Do we have an intentional process for discerning gifts and talents?

 How do we discern who among us is ready for which position?