I think that it is a shame how infrequently PYM Friends use their books of Faith and Practice.
At the first and last meetings of my clearness committee, we benefited a great deal from the judicious reading of the sections on what is a clearness committee and what is its purpose. Had any of us read them before? Some.
But what really bothers me is how little we use the advices and queries. A committee spent over ten years of time and talent and spiritual lifeforce preparing them. We read them out in meeting for worship once a month. We don’t actually answer them in any coherent way. I have suggested that they ought to be used more explicitly in writing our State of the Meeting reports, but other Friends said it would be too much work to answer so many questions.
And when I suggest using them for worship sharing, I am always shushed by people who would rather write their own for the occasion. Why do we bother reinventing the wheel? Is it an innate distrust of the authority that anything more than 15 minutes old might have?
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