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Queries for State of Society
State of Society Report
At the end of each calendar year, the Committee may set a process to prepare and report on the state of the Monthly Meeting for the calendar year just passing. After approval, the Committee may forward the State of Society report to the Meeting for Business during the second month of the new year.
The report should be a searching self-examination by the meeting and its members of their spiritual strengths and weaknesses and of the efforts made to foster growth in the spiritual life. Reports may cover the full range of interest and concerns but should emphasize those indicative of the spiritual health of the Meeting. Meetings may wish to consider one or more of the following:
- quality of worship and spiritual ministry;
- efforts to foster spiritual growth;
- stands taken on Friends’ principles;
- personal and family relations;
- relations with community and other religious groups;
- participation in general activities of Friends;
- significant activities, outreach, or concerns of the local Meeting;
- youth of the Meeting;
- Meeting community.
Previous State of Society reports available online:
- State of Society, 2016
- State of Society, 2015
- State of Society, 2014
- State of Society, 2013
- State of Society, 2012
- State of Society, 2011
- State of Society, 2010
SPIRITUAL LIFE AND WORSHIP
In your search for spiritual understanding and expression, what has recently been of help to you?
Do you practice any spiritual discipline, such as meditation or devotional reading?
Should our meeting offer you more guidance and support?
Over the last year, what have been the most valuable aspects of our meeting for worship?
Have you been troubled by any aspects of our meeting of worship?
- How might our meetings for worship be strengthened?
- In your experience, in what ways is our meeting growing together in affection and in what ways are we drifting apart?
- If differences exist between us, do you find us capable of using these differences creatively in our search for truth?
How far are we forthright in speaking face to face to anyone who causes us discomfort?
- Do we consistently welcome visitors and respond to inquires?
Beyond any initial welcome, how far do we help new seekers?
- Do we all seem to be taking a fair share in the business of our meeting, including committee service and financial support?
PERSONAL AND FAMILY LIFE
- Friends are advised to practice moderation and simplicity.
Is our meeting sufficiently concerned with this advice?
- How far does our meeting seem to be offering spiritual guidance to our children and to their parents?
- How far is our meeting helping you with any concerns you may have for your health and for the loving preservation of our environment?
- Does our community seek to revere all life and the splendor of God's continuing creation?
- Do we try to protect the natural environment and its creatures against abuse and harmful exploitation?
- Does our community life encourage us to regard our possessions as given to us in trust, and do we part with them freely to meet the needs of others?
- Are we frugal in our personal lives and committed to the just distribution of the world's resources?
- How could our meeting help you more in dealing with conflicts in your working world?
- In summary, how do you perceive the state of the Society of Friends, especially in our Meeting?
If you so desire, kindly print your name _________________________________
Adapted from a questionnaire used by Mount Toby Meeting in 2000(?) and Concord Friends Meeting in 2005(?)