Family

It is important to live in the sense of assurance that all are children of God. In the eyes of our children, in the
loving expression among adults, in the concern we have for the well-being of all in the Meeting family, we feel
God’s love at work on earth.
Ideally, family is an expression of deep emotional and spiritual unity. Whatever its composition, it is a precious
and sometimes tenuous bonding of people, and may bring anguish as well as joy.
We usually think of family as including parents and children. But family may also include aging parents in
increasing need of care, persons not related by blood who are intimately connected with one’s household, and
persons joined together to satisfy a common need. Families also include single parents and their children, couples
without children, and couples, heterosexual or homosexual, living in committed relationships. For those without
families, including those made single after years of marriage or other life commitment, the Meeting may provide
some sense of family. The Meeting may be a source of love and care for all those associated with it.
The Meeting can support, yet does not replace, the family in the care of children. At the same time, every
member of Meeting is responsible in some measure for the care of families and their members, including children.
Given this sense of common concern, our families may gain a sense of belonging and commitment to the expanded
family of Quakers, and to our heritage.
Do we take care that commitments outside the home do not encroach upon the time and loving
attention the family needs for its health and well-being?
Does our home life support our need both for a sense of personal identity and fully shared living?
How do we make our homes places of friendliness, peace, and renewal, where God is real for
those who live there and those who visit?
Is there a climate of love and trust in our Meeting which invites and encourages everyone to be
open about individual and family lifestyles, including their satisfactions and problems?
How does the Meeting support families of all kinds in their attempts to improve communication,
family life, and the rearing of children in a context of love?
Do we accept and support Friends in their efforts to have stable, loving relationships, whether
heterosexual or homosexual? Do we acknowledge and support all relationships based on love?
How do we offer strength and support to the aging, the widowed, the separated or divorced, and
others in families that have been affected by disruption of some kind?
How do we help the Meeting give a sense of spiritual kinship to those who participate in it?

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