Advices and Queries Revised 2019 for Port Townsend Friends Meeting

It is not opinion, or speculation, or notions of what is true, or assent to or the subscription of articles and propositions, though never so soundly worded, that …makes a man a true believer or true Christian. But it is a conformity of mind and practice to the will of God, in all holiness of conversation, according to the dictates of this Divine principle of Light and Life in the soul which denotes a person truly a child of God.

William Penn, 1692

FRIENDS BEGAN TO USE QUERIES to ascertain the state of Society only a few years after its founding in England. The first set of such questions to be asked of monthly meetings read as follows: Which Friends in service to the Society, in their respective regions, departed this life since the last Yearly Meeting?
Which Friends, imprisoned on account of their testimony, died in prison since the last Yearly Meeting?
How among Friends did Truth advance since last Yearly Meeting and how do they fare in relation to peace and unity?

By 1700 the practice of answering in writing had begun. The list of queries soon was enlarged to make inquiries concerning the conduct of meetings. In 1791 the first general advices were adopted. Periodic revisions occurred in various Yearly Meetings; queries and advices were developed on discipline, evangelical soundness, moral and spiritual instruction,social responsibility, and ministry. Thus the queries and advices represent a continuing exploration of our common faith and practice.

The advices and queries are a reminder of the basic faith and principles held to be essential to the life and witness of the Religious Society of Friends. Each of us is therefore asked to consider how far the advices and queries affect us personally, and where our service lies. We may be disheartened at times because the ideal of Christian discipleship seems impossibly demanding. However, we should all remember that we are to seek it, not with our own strength, but with the strength of the Guide whom we follow.

The advices and queries are intended for use in Monthly Meetings as well as for personal devotions. Their use varies in Meetings according to the needs of the members. Many Meetings read and consider one or several of the queries, with appropriate advices or other material, once a month during business meetings or in other meetings. Meeting committees may find certain queries helpful in evaluating their activities. Meetings often publish the queries regularly in their newsletters. They offer a basis for Monthly Meeting’s annual report on the state of the Society.

While the advices and queries are divided into categories for convenience of consideration, Friends are reminded that the sections are part of a whole, as life itself is a unity. All aspects of life are holy; distinct lines cannot be drawn between secular and religious

  1. January: Vocal Ministry, Silence, Prayer
  2. February: Discernment, Ministry
  3. March: Participation in the Life of the Meeting
  4. April: Community, Unity and Mutual Care
  5. May: Family and Sexuality
  6. June: Religion, Study and Creativity
  7. July: Peace, Be Not Afraid
  8. August: Equality
  9. September: Witness, Integrity
  10. October: Civic Responsibility
  11. November: Stewardship
  12. December: Simplicity


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 … Continue reading


Different ways of understanding the divine life may occur among us. These differences should not be ignored for the sake of a superficial agreement. They should be recognized and understood, so that a deeper and more vital unity can be … Continue reading

Civic Responsibility

We value the part we have in shaping the laws of our country. It is our task to see that these laws serve God’s purposes. Our aim is the building of a social order which works toward the kingdom of … Continue reading


We are glad to tell in words as well as deeds the faith that is in us. We seek fellowship with others of our own faith and with all people, realizing the oneness of humanity under God. Our witness is … Continue reading


People everywhere are children of God and members of one family. We value the worth of each person. We cannot be easy in our own lives when others suffer indignity, injustice, or want. In the Spirit of Christ, we are … Continue reading


The heart of the life of the Religious Society of Friends is the Meeting for Worship. It calls for us to offer ourselves, body, mind, and soul for the doing of God’s will. Worship is the adoring response of the … Continue reading


Peace Friends’ peace testimony arises from the power of Christ working in people’s hearts. Since there is that of God in every person,Friends believe that every person is worthy of infinite respect. Our words and lives should testify to this … Continue reading

Religious Education

The Bible and other religious literature are the rightful heritage of us all, and study and discussion in the family are a valuable source of religious training. Yet the written word has little meaning unless it leads to the expression … Continue reading