Chapter 13 » 13.01
It is part of our commitment as members of the Religious Society of Friends that we try to live our lives under the guidance of the Spirit. Whatever the service to which we are called, whether it be great or small, our meeting can uphold us in prayer and other ways.
Our service may be in the home, an unpaid job, a vocation or a lifetime’s career. For some there will be service in the local meeting, in one of the many roles that help to make our meetings true Christian communities. Some of these are explained later in this chapter. Britain Yearly Meeting itself offers people opportunities for service both as members of staff and on our various Quaker committees.
Personal leadings can be tested in a variety of ways. Other Friends and those with special responsibilities in the meeting will be ready to listen and to encourage. Where important and difficult decisions have to be made it may be appropriate to ask for a meeting for clearness (12.22–12.25).
Quakers have long been involved in a wide range of action rooted in our faith: in the cause of peace and reconciliation, local, national or international; on behalf of oppressed or deprived people; in furtherance of our testimonies to honesty and integrity. The diversity of Quaker activity has been remarkable. In all these areas, however, there have been particular Friends who have felt themselves at certain times to be singled out to act in response to a spiritual compulsion. This we call concern and we distinguish it from those things that we are concerned about.
Matters which we are ‘concerned about’ are often very important. They might include changing the way that Britain Yearly Meeting does something or hoping that it will undertake a particular service. These matters are best brought to our meetings for church affairs and dealt with under our well-tested business method, as outlined in chapter 3.