Advices and Queries for the First Month*

Meeting for Worship


The heart of the Religious Society of Friends is the Meeting for Worship. In direct communion with God, we offer ourselves for God’s will. Our daily lives are linked with the Meeting for Worship, the Meeting for Worship with our daily lives.

Come regularly to Meeting for Worship, even when you are angry, tired or spiritually cold. Bring your joys and your hurts, and the needs of other people. Accept and support each other in the community where God dwells among us. As you do so, you may find the grace of prayer.

At times the Spirit may prompt you to speak in Meeting. Wait patiently to know that the sense and the time are right. When you are sure, have confidence that the worlds will be given to you. Listen to the ministry of others. After a message has been given, allow time to ponder its meaning and to let the Meeting return to silent worship. In speech and in silence, each person contributes to the Meeting.


  • Do I come to Meeting with heart and mind prepared for worship?
  • In both silent and vocal ministry, do I respond to the leadings of the Holy Spirit, without pre-arrangement and in simplicity and truth?
  • Am I careful not to speak at undue length or beyond personal spiritual experience?
  • Do we meet in expectant waiting for the promptings of the Divine Spirit?
  • Are we drawn together in a living silence by the power of God in our midst?


Advices and Queries for the Twelfth Month*

The Meeting Community


Meetings for Worship and Business are the center of our spiritual community. There, as we come to know each other in the Spirit, we build the “beloved community.”

Mutual respect and care in the Meeting form the foundation from which we can test, support, and exercise leadings of the Spirit. At its best, the Meeting community provides a framework for us to learn and practice mutual care, which strengthens us as we act in the world.

All members of the Meeting community should share in the care of one another. While respecting privacy, we must be aware of and sensitive to each other’s needs. We must also be willing to ask for assistance when we are in need.


  • Do I strive to be inclusive in my relationships within the Meeting?
  • Do I care for the reputation of others, refraining from gossip or disparaging remarks?
  • Am I committed to the difficult work of forgiveness, and affirming God’s love for the whole community?
  • How are love and unity maintained among us?
  • Do we practice the art of listening, even beyond words?
  • How have we been sensitive to the personal needs and difficulties of members and attenders, young and old?
  • Do we visit one another in our homes and keep in touch with distant members?

*From Pacific Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice, pp. 58-59

News from Quaker Center (updated 1/7/2023)

Quaker Center, a retreat and conference center located in Ben Lomond, California, offers annual calendar of in-person programs that explore spiritual growth and deepening, the faith and practice of Quakerism, peace and social justice, environmentalism, and much more. Here’s what’s coming in January, February, and March:

Quaker Mystical Experience: Science, Sharing, and Vision
Weekend In-person Retreat
January 27-29th, 2023

This highly interactive program explores Quaker mysticism and offers a broad, inclusive understanding of all types of mystical experience. It draws on the Quaker mystical tradition, as well as the broader study of mystical experience that comes from the psychology of religion, neuroscience, and philosophy of religion.

Facilitator Don McCormick is a member of Grass Valley Friends Meeting. His interests include Quakerism & mystical experience, minfulness & Quakerism, and Quaker spiritual autobiography. He also trains mindfulness teachers for Unified Mindfulness, which he co-founded. As a professor, he taught psychology of religion (among other things). He is a regular contributor to Friends Journal. His articles include “The Mystical Experience:Reclaiming a Neglected Quaker Tradition” and “Mystical Experience: What the Psychological Research has to Say.”

Embodying the Light Within
Online, pay-as-led
Tuesdays, Feb 7,14,21,28, Mar 7 5:30-7:30PM Pacific

Take a deep dive into Thomas Kelly’s essay “The Light Within” in order to grasp and embody its mystical message using Brother Lawrence’s practice of the presence, sacred reading and writing, Centering Prayer, discursive meditation, and sharing reflections.

Barbara Birch is a member of Strawberry Creek Meeting, a board member at Ben Lomond Quaker Center, and the author of a forthcoming book called Eating with Christ: Feasting, Fasting, Food, Fun and Friends from Barclay Press. She is married and has three daughters.

Dancing with History: a life for peace and justice
Friday March 3rd-Sunday March 5th

George Lakey return to Quaker Center to talk about his new memoir Dancing with History and the growing anxiety around polarization in our country. With lessons he learned as a young man facing violence in the streets and risking his life for human rights, Lakey shows readers how to find hope in even the most challenging times through strategic, joyful activism.

For more information about Quaker Center and its programs, visit its website.

Advices and Queries for the Eleventh Month*



Friends oppose all war as inconsistent with God’s will. As every person is a child of God, we recognize God’s Light also in our adversaries. Violence and injustice deny this reality and violate the teachings of Jesus and other prophets.

Friends challenge their governments and take personal risks in the cause of peace. We urge one another to refuse to participate in war as soldiers, or as arms manufacturers. We seek ways to support those who refrain from paying taxes that support war. We work to end violence within our own borders, our homes, our streets, and our communities. We support international order, justice, and understanding.

Become an instrument of peace. At every opportunity, be peacemakers in your homes, workplaces and communities. Steep yourself in the power of the universal Spirit. Examine your actions for the seeds of violence, degradation and destructiveness. Overcome the emotions that lie at the root of violence and nurture instead a spirit of reconciliation and love. Come to know the oneness of all creation and oppose the destruction of the natural world.


  • Do I live in the virtue of that life and power that takes away the occasion of all wars?
  • How do I nourish peace within myself as I work for peace in the world?
  • Where there is distrust, injustice, or hatred, how am I an instrument of reconciliation and love?
  • What are we doing to remove the causes of war and destructions of the planet, and to bring about lasting peace?
  • Do we reach out to all parties in a conflict with courage and love?


Thee Quaker Project

A Vision for Quakers in the 21st Century

John Watts, the founding director of the QuakerSpeak project, is launching a new venture called Thee Quaker Project, which seeks to disseminate Quaker values through a podcast and other online platforms, as well as to establish a new approach to funding Quaker Organizations. Watch the video below to learn more about the project.

Learn even more about the project here.

Thank you from Friendly Water for the World

A Note of Appreciation

In December 2021, our meeting donated approximately $3000 to Friendly Water for the World, a non-profit organization whose mission is to train and equip communities in sustainable village-scale technologies to safeguard, conserve, and expand essential resources. Our money was used to build two water catchment tanks at Bulovi Friends Primary School (Under Malava Yearly Meeting of Friends) in Kakamega County, Kenya. Because of these tanks, the children at the school no longer need to walk miles to collect water every day.

Below is the text of a thank you letter we received from Eric Lung’aho Lijodi, the Africa Programs Manager for Friendly Water for the World:

Date: 2nd September 2022

To all Friends,
Orange County Friends Meeting,
Religious Society of Friends,
Costa Mesa, California

Dear Friends,

REF: Appreciation

Calvary greetings in Jesus name with an expectation that this letter will find you all well. On behalf of my organization, I would like to express our deepest gratitude for your unselfish contribution towards construction of two Rain Water Catchments at Bulovi Friends Primary School (Under Malava Yearly Meeting of Friends).Your donation was very important to us as it geared us towards our commitment towards serving the community.

Attached to this appreciation note you will find the following documents which I beseech you to find time to read in order to have a deeper understanding of how important your donation has been not only to us as an organization but to the beneficiary community:

We are blessed to have you as our partner and once more thank you very much for your generous support and we look forward to working with you again in the near future. If you have questions or needy clarity, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

Eric Lung’aho Lijodi
Programs Manager

Advices and Queries for the Tenth Month

Personal Relationships


In daily relationships with others, both inside and outside the home, our lives as Friends speak immediately and lastingly. In these relationships, our faith may also be severely tested. We are called to respond to that of God in everyone: we are all children of God.

Friends celebrate any union that is dedicated to mutual love and respect, regardless of the unique make-up of the family. We strive to create homes where the Spirit of the Divine resides at the center and where the individual genius of each member is respected and nurtured.

Human sexuality is a divine gift, forming part of the complex union of body, mind and spirit that is our humanity. In a loving adult relationship in a context of mutual responsibility, sexuality brings delight, fulfillment and celebration.

The presence of children carries a special blessing as well as responsibility. Children bring unique spiritual gifts — wonder, resiliency, playfulness and more. Recognize and honor the Divine Light within children and treat them with the dignity and respect that is due to all people. Listen to and learn from children; share with them those values and practices that are central to our own lives. Special care must be given to resolving problems between adults and children in a manner that gives equal weight to the feelings and needs of both children and adults. Tender parenting is one of the critically important peace vocations in our society. Make every effort to offer all parents the personal and institutional support that this challenging work requires.

Take a strong stand against any form of abuse, whether that abuse is minor or severe, and whether it is emotional, physical or sexual in nature. The terrible impact of abuse on the most vulnerable members of our families creates lifelong suffering for its victims and is a major source of violence in our society. Perpetrators are themselves usually victims of similar violence and should be approached with compassion as well as firmness.


  • Do I make my home a place of friendliness, joy and peace where residents and visitors feel God’s presence?
  • Are my sexual practices consistent with my spiritual beliefs, and free of manipulation and exploitation?
  • What barriers keep me from responding openly and lovingly to each person?
  • Do we open our thoughts, beliefs and deep understandings to our children and others who share our lives and our hospitality?
  • Do we provide our children and young adults with a framework for active, ongoing participation in meeting?

from Pacific Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice (2001), 56-57

Save the Date!

Southern California Quarterly Meeting

Nov. 4-6, 2022 Fall Fellowship
In Person & Online

Dear Friends,

The clerks’ committee is happy to announce that we will be holding Fall Fellowship in a blended, On-site, and Online format.  Please mark your calendars for the first weekend in November to once again gather at Temescal Canyon Gateway Park and from the comfort of your home.  Friday night, Nov. 4 will be on zoom, and Saturday and Sunday will be blended. 

All ages are welcome and encouraged to attend Fall Fellowship. 

This year’s theme, Weaving Ourselves Together, Seeking Wholeness

gives us an opportunity to weave the threads of our individual lives, our community connections, our curiosities and yearnings, our experiences of hurt, healing, and joy, and our spiritual seeking into a tapestry of the whole.  Worship Sharing, often the heart of Friends gatherings, will be a central focus this year with an offering on Saturday morning from Georgia Daniels.  She will guide us into deepening our engagement with Worship Sharing as Spiritual Development.

We are still planning the interest groups and will provide full gathering details soon.

The Children’s Committee is looking forward to creating an intergenerational experience with the help of teachers and volunteers with a wide age range. If you have curiosity, patience, and a joyful soul you may be the person we are looking for! If you’re interested in teaching, or just strumming a guitar so we can sing together, please contact Louise Sherikar by email at

We look forward to seeing everyone at Fall Fellowship!

Jane Blount, Clerk
Southern California Quarterly Meeting

Advices and Queries for the Ninth Month

Integrity and Personal Conduct

From the Faith & Practice of Pacific Yearly Meeting – 2001

Integrity has always been a goal of Friends. It is essential to trust, to all communication between people and between people and God. Integrity grounds our beliefs, thoughts, and actions in our spiritual center and makes us whole.

Friends believe that we are called to speak the truth. A single standard of truth requires us to conduct ourselves in ways that are honest, direct, and plain, and to make our choices, both large and small, in accord with the urgings of the Spirit. It follows that we object to taking an oath, which presupposes a variable standard of truth. Be true to your word.

. . . let your yea be yea, and your nay, nay.

James 5:12 (King James Version)

From early days Friends have opposed gambling and practices based on chance. These activities profit from the inevitable loss of others, promote greed, and conflict with good stewardship. Public lotteries have not furthered their purported benefit to the public good. All addictions are of concern. As the use of alcohol and tobacco all too often entail serious risks to self and others, Friends who serve alcohol at home should be diligent in offering alternatives. Alcohol should not be served at Meeting gatherings.

Find recreation that brings you joy and energy. Be aware of how your choices affect yourself and others.


  • How do I strive to maintain the integrity of my inner and outer lives?
  • Do I act on my principles even when this entails difficult consequences?
  • Am I honest and truthful in all that I say and do, even when a compromise might be easier or more popular?
  • Am I reflective about the ways I gain my wealth and income and sensitive to their impacts on others?
  • Is my life so filled with the Spirit that I am free from the misuse of alcohol and other drugs, and of excesses of any kind?
  • Do we, in our Meeting, hold ourselves accountable to one another, as do members of a healthy family?