Meeting Blog

Spirituality - from September 2011 Sparta Friends Meeting Newsletter

posted Oct 19, 2011, 2:24 PM by Dianne Fowler

Spirituality - adapted from website of spirituality and practice by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat plus readings from — J. Brent Bill in Holy Silence

Use Queries

Since Quakers don't have a formal creed or a prayer book against which to measure faithfulness, we developed the concept of asking questions of ourselves, individually and corporately, as a gauge of faith and practice. This method began in the seventeenth century with the now quaint name of "Queries." Queries are sets of questions rooted in Quaker faith and life as informed by Friends' history, collective Quaker wisdom, and the Bible. The Queries are meant to be a form of guided self-examination, but they aren't meant to be an outward set of rules. In that sense, there are no outwardly defined correct answers. Rather, the Queries give us a framework within which we can look at and consider prayerfully the direction of our lives and the life of our worshiping community.

— J. Brent Bill in
Holy Silence

12. To Practice This Today:  These Queries are suggested by J. Brent Bill. He advises that you relax your body and mind, breathe deeply, and think about the Query slowly and gently.

• Do I encourage in myself a habit of relying on God's guidance for each day?

• In holy silence, do I respond to the leadings of the Holy Spirit, without trying to decide in advance what those leadings may be?

• Am I open to the healing power of God's love?

• Am I aware of the Spirit of God at work in the ordinary activities and experiences of daily life?

• Am I ready to yield to God's will?

Spirituality - from August 2011 Sparta Friends Meeting Newsletter

posted Oct 19, 2011, 2:20 PM by Dianne Fowler

Spirituality - adapted from website of spirituality and practice by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat plus readings from — Philip Gulley in Porch Talk


Be Content

I once asked Ruby the secret of her contentment, and she looked at me, thoroughly mystified. Secret? What secret? She smiled and went on about her day.

Why are folks who think the least about contentment the most content?

I suspect Ruby's "secret" is low expectations. She grew up in hardship, assumed most of her life would follow that pattern, and so was surprised and grateful when good came her way. Too many of us approach life in the opposite manner. We believe the world owes us a great deal, are disappointed when it fails to deliver, and think ourselves deprived. If life were mashed potatoes, we'd see the lumps and Ruby would see the gravy.

Perhaps our headlong pursuit of happiness is the enemy. Since Ruby never believed the world owed her happiness, she's found it in small ways, in the slightest things, cultivating the wise habit of seeing the silver lining and not the cloud.

This is a great irony — people who have every reason to be content seldom are. Though happiness is their aim, it seems always out of reach. I wonder if gratefulness is the bridge from sorrow to joy, spanning the chasm of our anxious striving. Freed from the burden of unbridled desires, we can enjoy what we have, celebrate what we've attained, and appreciate the familiar. For if we can't be happy now, we'll likely not be happy when.

— Philip Gulley in
Porch Talk

To Practice This Today: Make a list of little things, small ways, moments that make you happy. Pick out one of them and celebrate it right now.


posted Nov 9, 2009, 10:59 AM by Dianne Fowler   [ updated Sep 5, 2011, 8:46 AM ]

At the upcoming 100 Mile dinner  (On Sept 21, 2011), we are having the usual good quality silent auction. If you have any art or craft work, or other items, that could be included in the auction, please contact Mary Edgar (519-775-9953). Items should be at the Meeting House by Tuesday, September 20th.

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