Among Friends in Newcastle

Having a great weekend at Young Friends General Conference, a gathering of young adult Quakers throughout England. Although I am far too old for this group, they graciously invited me to present my Homo No Mo play and lead a Bibliodrama.

As a gay guy, I have found so much love and acceptance among Quakers. But not just that, I have felt challenged in my faith and life many times over. It was at the annual gathering of New England Quakers that I first heard the term “skin privilege,” and being with Quakers I have felt convicted many times about how I spend money, my time, my mind.

A lot of it has to do with the willingness to ask questions, or queries as we put it. If I weren’t on a shoddy computer at a Internet bar, I’d give you some links to these queries (Friends help me out here). So often in churches I was given creeds and sermons and talking points but rarely encouraged to ask questions of myself and my faith.

Instead they gave me questions to ponder like, “Have you received Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior? Do you tithe regularly? Have you received the baptism of the Holy Spirit?” Interviewers never ask these closed ended questions that only get a yes/no answer. The questions that really help me to grow are the open-ended questions.

Here is one from the British Advices and Queries: How can we make the meeting a community in which each person is accepted and nutured and strangers are welcome?
See, this requires more than a yes or no.

This post has 7 Comments

  1. Contemplative Activist on May 27, 2007 at 2:54 pm

    Here’s a link to British Yearly Meetings Advices & Queries

    Hope that helps.


  2. Daniel C on May 27, 2007 at 9:10 pm

    Well you know what Peterson…
    Yeah.. I am not religious, but the quaker sound like a nice religious group.
    Even though they got that funny name in the swedish translation

  3. alex resare on May 28, 2007 at 7:40 am

    It is very important to make our community accepting so that everyone is nutured and every stranger feels welcomed. But how can we make sure that only strangers that have received Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior finds us?

    I have read some queries and mostly feel sad and homeless. No church I have found nearby would accept and even less encourage questions like that. Maybe as rhetorical questions followed by a very narrow and close ended question.

  4. Contemplative Activist on May 28, 2007 at 9:42 am

    What are the Quakers called in Swedish Daniel? I am sorry you feel sad and homeless Alex 🙁


  5. Daniel C on May 28, 2007 at 9:50 am

    They’re called “kväkare” wich in direct translation means.. croaker.

  6. alex resare on May 28, 2007 at 12:48 pm

    Contemplative Activist: It is only spiritually I am lost and the happiness in the rest of my life compensate that so all and all I can only be considered one lucky guy.

  7. MaryM on May 29, 2007 at 3:00 am

    there is an excellent series of queries at They are open ended, and are answered annually by the monthly meetings as a way to examine our meetings and share the sense of meeting at our yearly meeting. We also have separate queries for individuals and Ministers and Overseers.

    One thing that has impressed me over the years in North Carolina Yearly Meeting (conservative) is our willingness to examine our corporate selves. Are love and unity maintained among us? is one of my favorite queries.

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