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Advices and Queries

Advices and Querie [Australia Yearly Meeting, 2008, 18 pages] contains pieces of wisdom as well as challenging questions on spiritual and temporal issues for us to consider. You can access a PDF of this document here: Australian Advices and Queries and and you may also purchase copies through Quaker publications.

Each week a query is published on Facebook with an accompaying picture. The queries and images are also being gathered on this page, with the most recent post at the top.

 

Australian Advices & Queries 31 (23/2/21) 

Approach old age with courage and hope. As far as possible, make arrangements for your care in good time, so that an undue burden does not fall on others. Although old age may bring increasing disability and loneliness, it can also bring serenity, detachment and wisdom. Pray that in your final years you may be enabled to find new ways of receiving and reflecting God's love.

[image description: a monarch butterfly iwth orange, black and white wings in the lower left of the image is perched on a twig, there are lots of twigs and dappled sunshine in the background.]
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Australian Advices & Queries 23 (16/2/21) 

Do you cherish your friendships, so that they grow in depth and understanding and mutual respect? In close relationships we may risk pain as well as finding joy. When experiencing great happiness or great hurt we may be more open to the working of the Spirit.
[image description: A cup of hot chocolate with chocolate oozing over the top and down the outside of the cup, sitting on a dark grey saucer next to a silver teaspoon. The saucer is on a wooden table and there is a bookshelf in the background]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advices & Queries 9 (9/2/21)

Worship is our response to an awareness of God. We can worship alone, but when we join with others in expectant waiting we may discover a deeper sense of God's presence. We seek a gathered stillness in our meetings for worship so that all may feel the power of God's love drawing us together and leading us.
[image description: coloured ropes tied around poles to hold them together, creating a sculptural web, suspended in a tree, being held up by colourful ropes.]
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Advices & Queries 21 (2/2/21)

Rejoice in the presence of children and young people in your meeting and recognise the gifts they bring. Remember that the meeting as a whole shares a responsibility for every child in its care. Seek for them as for yourself a full development of God's gifts and the abundant life Jesus tells us can be ours. How do you share your deepest beliefs with them, while leaving them free to develop as the spirit of God may lead them? Do you invite them to share their insights with you? Are you ready both to learn from them and to accept your responsibilities towards them?
[image description: a circle of shells and piece of shells on a rocky beach There are several pieces of shell in the centre of the circle.]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advices & Queries 12 (26/1/21)

How do these advices and queries speak to you today on 26 January?
Be honest with yourself. What unpalatable truths might you be evading? When you recognise your shortcomings, do not let that discourage you. In worship together we can find the assurance of God's love and the strength to go on with renewed courage.
[image description: a mass of tangled tree roots of varying sizes and shades of brown. The roots are on the edge of a lake and water can be seen at the top and side of the image and between some of the roots. Sunlight is shining on the roots, but being filtered by the leaves, so the light is most intense in the centre of the image.]
 
 
 
 

Advices & Queries 37 (19/1/21)

Remember your responsibilities as a citizen for the conduct of local, national, and international affairs. Do not shrink from the time and effort your involvement may demand.
[Image description: a green ruby salt bush plant growing red berries, a hand with white skin and a black sleeve is picking some berries and another white hand is upturned waiting to receive the berries.]
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Advices & Queries 36 (12/1/21) 

Are you alert to practices here and throughout the world which discriminate against people on the basis of who or what they are or because of their beliefs? Bear witness to the humanity of all people, including those who break society's conventions or its laws. Try to discern new growing points in social and economic life. Seek to understand the causes of injustice, social unrest and fear. Are you working to bring about a just and compassionate society which allows everyone to develop their capacities and fosters the desire to serve?
 
[image description: photo looking up the trunk of a huge old cyprus pine tree which has a vine growing down and another tree growing out of the centre of the tree whose green leaves can be seen at the top. The sun is above the tree, shining down through the many branches.]
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Advices & Queries 7 (5/1/21) 

Be aware of the spirit of God at work in the ordinary activities and experience of your daily life. Spiritual learning continues throughout life, and often in unexpected ways. There is inspiration to be found all around us, in the natural world, in the sciences and arts, in our work and friendships, in our sorrows as well as in our joys. Are you open to new light, from whatever source it may come? Do you approach new ideas with discernment?
[Image description: spider with a black body and red legs in the middle of the photo, on a rock which has tufts of moss and lichen growing on it.]

 

 

 

 

 

Advices & Queries 43 (29/12/20) 

In view of the harm done by the use of alcohol, tobacco and other habit-forming drugs, consider whether you should limit your use of them or refrain from using them altogether. Remember that any use of alcohol or drugs may impair judgment and put both the user and others in danger.
[Image description: close up photo of three flowers nearly ready to bloom, the inner buds are red and tightly bunched together, the outer buds are white and spread out.]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advices & Queries 28 (22/12/20) 

Do you recognise the needs and gifts of each member of your family and household, not forgetting your own? Try to make your home a place of loving friendship and enjoyment, where all who live or visit may find the peace and refreshment of God's presence.
[Image description: browny green water which is reflecting the eucalyptus trees on the edge of the water, you can see the bottom of the trunks at the top of the photo. In the water are khaki coloured spots, which are turtles.]

 

 

 

 

 

Advices & Queries 10 (15/12/20)

In worship we enter with reverence into communion with God and respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Come to meeting for worship with heart and mind prepared. Yield yourself and all your outward concerns to God's guidance so that you may find "the evil weakening in you and the good raised up".
[Image description: big grey rocks, most of which are covered in red lichen in the bottom half of the photo, the sky is light blue with lots of friendly white and grey clouds.]
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Advices and Queries 4 (8/12/20) looking up a hill, a winding path in the centre disappears behind some yellow-grey bushes. The hill has a dense understory and a sparse covering of eucalyptus trees with very white trunks. The sky is bright blue with a few fluffy clouds.]

The Religious Society of Friends is rooted in Christianity and has always found inspiration in the life and teachings of Jesus. How do you interpret your faith in the light of this heritage? How does Jesus speak to you today? Are you following Jesus' example of love in action? Are you learning from his life the reality and cost of obedience to God? How does his relationship with God challenge and inspire you?

[image description: looking up a hill, a winding path in the centre disappears behind some yellow-grey bushes. The hill has a dense understory and a sparse covering of eucalyptus trees with very white trunks. The sky is bright blue with a few fluffy clouds.] 

 

 

Advices and Queries 32 (1/12/20) 

Are you able to contemplate your death and the death of those closest to you? Accepting the fact of death, we are freed to live more fully. In bereavement, give yourself time to grieve. When others mourn, let your love embrace them.
[image:  jacaranda flowers lying on the road, in varying states of decay, from bright purple and plump, to brown and shrivelled.]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advices & Queries 41 (24/11/20)  two rocks, each with a tree made out of metal that has rusted. The roots of the tree are sprawling over the rock as though searching for the earth beneath. There is a gravel path in the foreground and a big blue sky with wispy clouds above

If pressure is brought upon you to lower your standard of integrity, are you prepared to resist it? Our responsibilities to God and our neighbour may involve us in taking unpopular stands. Do not let the desire to be sociable, or the fear of seeming peculiar, determine your decisions.
[image description: two rocks, each with a tree made out of metal that has rusted. The roots of the tree are sprawling over the rock as though searching for the earth beneath. There is a gravel path in the foreground and a big blue sky with wispy clouds above.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advices & Queries 46 (17/11/20) 

The land of Australia is not our possession. We are no more than temporary guardians of it; neither the first nor, probably, the last. In the brief time of European settlement, vast areas of this country have been damaged. Do you try to live in harmony with the land, knowing that you are part of it? Do you protect and husband its water and other resources? Do you look with respect on the claims and rights of others to share in the wealth and freedoms of Australians?
[image description: tall gum tree growing in the middle of a suburban road. There is just enough space for a car to get past the tree on each side. There are footpaths on either side of the road and a telegraph pole in the near distance on the left.]
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

Advices & Queries 18 (10/11/20)

For thousands of years before 1788, this country was lived in by various aboriginal peoples, at one with the land. Through colonisation, much of their land and culture has been lost to them and their children have been taken from them; they have suffered the injustice of racism, and material, psychological and spiritual deprivation.
Can we acknowledge with sorrow the loss of life and the on-going destruction of their languages, families and communities, appreciate the depth and strength of aboriginal beliefs and values and learn from aboriginal people and accept the gifts they have for all of us?
Can we all as Australians work towards living together as equals, with mutual understanding and respect?
[image description: photo taken through shallow water with gentle ripples on the surface, looking at a sea star on sand, top left corner is dark with tiny shells, the sea star has 11 arms, is on one third from the left edge and blends with its surrounds.]

 

 

Advices & Queries 42. (3/11/20)

Consider which of the ways to happiness offered by society are truly fulfilling and which are potentially corrupting and destructive.Be discriminating when choosing means of entertainment and information. Resist the desire to acquire possessions or income through unethical investment, speculation or games of chance.
[image description: a rear vision mirror in a car showing a golden sun setting over land that looks red and the sky has a band of yellow topped with a band of orange. The view through the windscreen behind the mirror shows grey could and a bluey grey sky]

 

 

 

 

Advices and Queries No. 14 (27/10/20)

Do not assume that vocal ministry is never to be your part. Faithfulness and sincerity in speaking, even very briefly, may open the way to fuller ministry from others. When prompted to speak, wait patiently to know that the leading and the time are right, but do not let a sense of your own unworthiness hold you back. Pray that your ministry may arise from deep experience, and trust that words will be given to you. Try to speak audibly and distinctly, and with sensitivity to the needs of others. Beware of speaking predictably or too often, and of making additions towards the end of a meeting when it was well left before.
[image description: close up photo of green leaves with a chrysalis that's the same shade of green hanging from the underside of one leaf]
This chrysalis was hard to spot, but time spent sitting quietly helped bring it, and many others, into our vision. It was amazing how many times we 'lost' it when we shifted our position, and then always a delight when we 'found' it again. Image: Emily Chapman-Searle

 

Advices and Queries No. 20 (20/10/20)

How can we make the meeting a community in which each person is accepted and nurtured, and strangers are welcome? Seek to know one another in the things which are eternal, bear the burden of each other's failings and pray for one another. As we enter with tender sympathy into the joys and sorrows of each other's lives, ready to give help and to receive it, our meeting can be a channel for God's love and forgiveness.

[image description: A scrambled egg slime mould which is a yellow blob that looks like scrambled eggs, nestled among new grass shoots. To the left is the remnants of an older scrambled egg slime mould]
Slime moulds are single cells that come together to form multi-cellular structures, especially in times of need. Even though they stay as single cells, they move as a single organism as they search for food. Image: Yarrow Andrew
 
 
 
 

Advices and Queries No. 19 (13/10/20)

Do you respect that of God in everyone though it may be expressed in unfamiliar ways or be difficult to discern? Each of us has a particular experience of God and each must find the way to be true to it. When words are strange or disturbing to you, try to sense where they come from and what has nourished the lives of others. Listen patiently and seek the truth which other people's opinions may contain for you. Avoid hurtful criticism and provocative language. Do not allow the strength of your convictions to betray you into making statements or allegations that are unfair or untrue. Think it possible that you may be mistaken.

 

 

 

 

 

Advices and Queries No. 15 (6/10/20)

Are your meetings for church affairs held in a spirit of worship and in dependence on the guidance of God? Remember that we do not seek a majority decision nor even consensus. As we wait patiently for divine guidance our experience is that the right way will open and we shall be led into unity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advices and Queries No. 5 (29/9/20)

Take time to learn about other people's experiences of the Light. Remember the importance of the Bible, the writings of Friends and all writings which reveal the ways of God. As you learn from others, can you in turn give freely from what you have gained? While respecting the experiences and opinions of others, do not be afraid to say what you have found and what you value. Appreciate that doubt and questioning can also lead to spiritual growth and to a greater awareness of the Light that is in us all.

 

 

 

 

Advices and Queries No. 34 (22/9/20)

Bring into God's light those emotions, attitudes and prejudices in yourself which lie at the root of destructive conflict, acknowledging your need for forgiveness and grace. In what ways are you involved in the work of reconciliation between individuals, groups and nations?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advices and Queries No. 29 (14/9/20)

Live adventurously. When choices arise, do you take the way that offers the fullest opportunity for the use of your gifts in the service of God and the community? Let your life speak. When decisions have to be made, are you ready to join with others in seeking clearness, asking for God's guidance and offering counsel to one another?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advices and Queries No. 2 (8/9/20)

Bring the whole of your life under the ordering of the spirit of Christ. Are you open to the healing power of God's love? Cherish that of God within you, so that this love may grow in you and guide you. Let your worship and your daily life enrich each other. Treasure your experience of God, however it comes to you. Remember that Christianity is not a notion but a way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advices and Queries No. 3 (1/9/20)

Do you try to set aside times of quiet for openness to the Holy Spirit? All of us need to find a way into silence which allows us to deepen our awareness of the divine and to find the inward source of our strength. Seek to know an inward stillness, even amid the activities of daily life. Do you encourage in yourself and in others a habit of dependence on God's guidance for each day? Hold yourself and others in the Light, knowing that all are cherished by God.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advices and Queries No. 30 (25/8/20)

Every stage of our lives offers fresh opportunities. Responding to divine guidance, try to discern the right time to undertake or relinquish responsibilities without undue pride or guilt. Attend to what love requires of you, which may not be great busyness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advices and Queries No. 1 (8/18/20)

Take heed, dear Friends, to the promptings of love and truth in your hearts. Trust them as the leadings of God whose Light shows us our darkness and brings us to new life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advices and Queries No. 47 (11/8/20)

We live in a land of unique grandeur and beauty, harsh and majestic, but at the same time fragile. Have you discovered its wonder and mystery, and has this awareness quickened your spiritual insight and helped you to recognise that of God in everyday life? Rejoice in the splendour of God's continuing Creation.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Advices and Queries No. 33 (4/8/20)

We are called to live 'in the virtue of that life and power that takes away the occasion of all wars'. Do you faithfully maintain our testimony that war and the preparation for war are inconsistent with the spirit of Christ? Search out whatever in your own way of lifemay contain the seeds of war. Stand firm in our testimony, even when others commit or prepare to commit acts of violence, yet always remember that they too are children of God.