After my doctor's appointment in a few hours, I'll be leading a worship sharing group of Young Adult Friends in the evening. Worship Sharing, in a Quaker sense, is an activity wherein participants are asked a series of open-ended questions (referred to as queries). As would be true in worship, all present enter into a period of centering silence, and those who feel led by the Spirit speak. The intent is not to speak directly to anyone's message, but to aim for the center. Friends are then asked to answer queries Truthfully in a spirit that speaks to their own condition. I've found that worship sharing is also a good way to determine what others in the group feel and is also an effective means to think critically about faith. It's enlightening and often draws people together much closer.
Quakers don't have doctrine or dogma in the strict sense. We do have four Testimonies (Peace, Integrity, Simplicity, and Equality), but each of these is meant to be applied to the self. These aren't uniform beliefs that everyone must follow to a T. I myself am often indebted to the Testimony of Equality, because I have a strong leading to work to achieve gender equality. Many other Friends have interpreted Equality to mean the very same thing. It is interesting because in the past few weeks I notice that someone has put me on the mailing list for both NOW and The League of Women Voters. I have no objections, but I am curious to know who signed me up. Part of me wishes they would've told me first. I assume it's someone from my Meeting, since my vocal ministry during Meeting for Worship and my writings routinely explore Feminist themes.