Queries: NYYM Task Group on FUM, 2008

NYYM Task Group on Friends United Meeting

November 18, 2008


Dear Friends,
The FUM Task Group has labored in worship and prayer over its charge to find  ways for all of us in the New York Yearly Meeting to walk with one another so  that we might become open to what truths we have to teach one another. We  have an opportunity, as a Yearly Meeting, to know ourselves better as individuals  and in a loving community. There is tremendous diversity and we can learn  about our own internal responses to perceived differences in this community.
We need to listen in order to gain clarity on how to live in the Light always, and  what this means in our institutional and personal relationships. What we are  about is love, peace, integrity and seeing the Divine in others. As monthly  meetings center with these queries many will certainly seek God’s calling and will  strive to discern whether they have a leading on these matters.
In this spirit we need to become more conversant with different spiritual  languages and worldviews, including the Biblical basis for points of  disagreement. What are our understandings of where Authority resides (Biblical  authority, institutional authority, the “Richmond Declaration,” individual  authority, etc.)?
We are asking each meeting to consider prayerfully these queries in an  atmosphere of sensitivity to the Spirit while carefully and lovingly listening to one  another. After considering these queries in your monthly meeting we encourage  you to broaden the conversation by considering the queries together with  members from other meetings in your quarter or region.
Our Task Group has been called to reach out and seek a way to unity for our  Yearly Meeting. We believe that if there is enough love and compassion among  Friends the way to unity will be illuminated. There are members of the Friends  United Meeting Task Group who are available for support and information and  will join with you in your meetings.


1. How can we as a yearly meeting fully embrace our diversity rather than  seeing those with whom we disagree or have perceived differences as “other”?

2. How can we best have meaningful relationships with other Friends within  the New York Yearly Meeting and Friends United Meeting?
3. How can we create safe environments for those who have kept silent out  of fear or discomfort at being in the minority, that they may share their message  and spiritual experience?
4. How can we respect LGBTQ people in the Religious Society of Friends, in  America and elsewhere?
5. What do we have to learn or can we learn about peace-making through  this process of discernment?
In Peace,
John P. Menzel, Clerk
FUM Task Group
(908) 239-7850
[email protected]