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Queries


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Thursday’s theme is Undoing Racism in Quaker Meetings

Wordsworth has said that we come into this world “trailing clouds of glory.” We remind one another this annual session that many of us have had our corners shaved off so we can fit into round holes, and that our missing corners are all too often part of our glory-selves.

At our best, when Quakers disagree with each other, we undertake appreciative inquiry into one another’s different experiences, looking for the glory-selves of those we disagree with. Our queries today are an invitation to inquire appreciatively into the glory-selves of our neighbors on this planet, who may be white, brown or black, privileged or unprivileged, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, secular, or Buddhist or Hindu.

  1. How do I undertake to learn more about other people’s experiences of having been treated as “other” – that is to say, having had their glory-selves, their that of God within, discounted, discredited, treated unjustly?

  2. How do I invite other peoples in my community to witness and participate in the practice of appreciative inquiry, as a necessary part of coming to see that of God in those we disagree with?

  3. What might be the adaptations of our practice of appreciative inquiry necessary to make it accessible to people whose cultures “hear” words and actions differently? What have I learned about expressing Quaker values in words and actions that “speak” cross-culturally?

  4. Have I been open to incorporating other practices, other words and actions, so that I, too, am accessible to appreciative inquiry cross-culturally? What have I learned?

 


Friday’s theme is Nurturing Children’s Spirituality

Wordsworth has said that we come into this world “trailing clouds of glory.” Our queries today are an invitation to inquire appreciatively how we ourselves may have lost sight of our glory-selves, and from that, how we try to appreciate our children’s glory-selves.

  1. When you were little, how were your corners shaved off so you fit into the round hole? What aspect of self got shaved off so you fit in?

  2. What was a “corner”/aspect of self important to you that was lost or suppressed?

  3. What do you do to reclaim your lost corner? Why is it important to you to reclaim/regrow it? What helps you do the work of reclaiming your selfhood?

  4. How do you try to nurture an aspect of self in a child? Does what you try to do seem to be working?

 


Saturday’s theme is From Empire to Beloved Community

William Penn advised trying what love can do. Our focus in these queries is how we choose to “try what love can do” when we see people dominating others.

  1. What in my experience does going along with a bully look like, and when have I chosen it? Why?

  2. We are taught to love one another. How have I chosen to love a bully without also choosing to go along with the bullying? How did it turn out?

  3. What resources, physical, mental or spiritual, help me choose not to go along with bullying?

  4. What, in my experience, has not choosing to go along with bullying taught me about not going along with dominating as an aspect of our culture?