Friends General Conference

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Advices and Queries: July 7, 2019

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Advices & Queries

These advices are drawn from Quaker Faith & Practice: The book of Christian discipline of the Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Britain (Warwick, England: 1995).

Perceptions of Truth

“What is love? What shall I say of it, or how shall I in words express its nature? It is the sweetness of life; it is the sweet, tender, melting nature of God, flowing up through his seed of life into the creature, and of all things making the creature most like unto himself, both in nature and operation. It fulfils the law, it fulfils the gospel; it wraps up all in one, and brings forth all in the oneness. It excludes all evil out of the heart, it perfects all good in the heart. A touch of love doth this in measure; perfect love doth this in fullness” (Isaac Penington, 1663, 26.30).

“I do believe that there is a power which is divine, creative and loving, though we can often only describe it with the images and symbols that rise from our particular experiences and those of our communities. This power is part and parcel of all things, human, animal, indeed of all that lives. Its story is greater than any one cultural version of it and yet it is embodied in all stories, in all traditions. It is a power that paradoxically needs the human response. Like us it is energized by the reciprocity of love.

It wills our redemption, longs for us to turn to it. It does not create heaven and hell for us, but allows us to do that for ourselves. Such is the terrible vulnerability of love” (Harvey Gillman, 1988, 26.31).


  • Do these reflections about love speak to you?
  • Does it make sense to think about love and its meanings in our Santa Monica Quaker community and more widely as well?

Quakerspeak videos addressing these queries:

The Power of Loving Your Enemy

Looking To Let God Out

The Power of Vulnerability