Friends General Conference

Together we nurture the spiritual vitality of Friends

Program for September 17, 2017: Query on Civic Responsibility

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Sunday, September 17, 2017 - 11:30am to 12:30pm



Because Friends believe there is that of God in all people, we strive for a world of freedom, justice and equality for everyone. Believing that progress toward these ideals is advanced by those who devote themselves to the shaping of a just society, we urge Friends to be active and conscientious citizens. This means staying informed on social issues, and on the opinions and activities of our elected representatives and of those seeking office. It is important that Friends speak truth to those in power. We recognize that, in our world, power in government and private sectors lies disproportionately with those of economic means.  Speaking out on a personal level in our communities may be difficult, even dangerous, yet by doing so we may encourage others to work for justice.

Our first allegiance is to the Holy Spirit. In general, Friends support the laws of the State, but if those laws directly violate our religious convictions, we may be led to oppose them.  When contemplating civil disobedience or unpopular personal testimony, we must carefully consider the spiritual basis for, and honestly face the consequences of, our actions.


  • What conflicts do we perceive between the laws of the State and our religious convictions?
  • How do we resolve those conflicts in our lives?
  • In what ways do we assume responsibility for the government of our community, state, nation and world?
  • How do we share our convictions with others?
  • Do we express our opinions with courage, yet with love, mindful of the Divine Spirit within everyone?
  • How do we maintain our integrity when we find ourselves in a position of power?
  • How do we respond when we feel powerless?
  • Do we really respect and help those we seek to serve?
  • Are we careful to reach our decisions through prayer and strengthen our actions with worship?
  • Are we open to divine leadings?