Living Witness Workshop - Advice and Query follow up Sun 25th mar

After a bring and share ‘low carbon lunch’ – bring food as far as possible, local, organic, seasonal, home made and fair trade as appropriate – there will be our monthly Living Witness workshop:

A follow up to the January session on creating an Advice and Query to inspire our living witness towards being a sustainable community.

Please bring, if you can, an object, story, poem, song or whatever comes to mind to express how you feel about this commitment. There will be a chance to share what we bring to help us come together to complete the creation of the advice and query. There is no need to have attended the January workshop – just come and help our witness grow.

Any questions, ask Gordon Ferguson at gordon.ferguson@phonecoop.coop.

From the January workshop:

Questions:
How can we engage the whole of out Meeting and what part can you play? Remember that the world has enough for it’s need, but not enough for it’s greed.
How can we individually and collectively help to move us towards one planet living?
Purchasing decisions [that] contribute to unfair competition and conflict.

Reflections:
How can we inspire each other [helping] with care and tenderness to work co-operatively to achieve our aim of living simply and sustainably?
Do you consider what you consume and what you can share?
What changes must we make to become more equal?
Our current lifestyle puts pressure on the world’s resources, leading to conflict and competition; as a sustainable community we can make changes to reduce this, to foster peace.

Final Statements:
Do you grow your own food or buy locally, and do you live simply in your possessions and way of life? This will take pressure off world resources, the fight over which is a great source of conflict.
Our current lifestyle puts pressure on the world’s resources, leading to conflict and competition. As a sustainable community we must make changes to reduce this, to foster peace.
Do we make ourselves aware of the effects that our lifestyle and purchasing decisions have on the resources of the world, and to the extent to which they might contribute to unfair competition and conflict? Do we share our awareness with each other and encourage cooperation on this journey of changing to becoming a more sustainable community?

Notes on writing an Advice and/or Query:

The purpose of the query is to create a helpful ‘hook’ upon which to hang a conversation; it is intended to provoke reflection, conversation and a sense of being prompted or challenged. It is essential that these queries enable discussion and a sense of ownership and involvement. They should be broad in scope rather than focused on a particular issue and should contain the following three elements:

Reflection: They should begin with a reflective statement about our tradition and the living out of our testimonies: e.g. ‘Friends are called to recognize in all people that which is of God and this has led us to bear testimony to the sacredness and value of all life…’ This roots the discussion and the surrounding issues in our lived faith.

Question: Something that allows Friends to search themselves, individually and corporately, to identify what place this has in their lives, to explore how they have responded to it and lived it out: e.g. ‘How does this understanding shape your response to injustice and inequality…?’ or ‘Are you willing to change some of your own practices to allow more freedom and opportunity to others..?’ or even ‘What aspects of your life and relationships make it most difficult to fully live out this part of our testimony .. ?’ The question can be thought of personally or as a question for the whole meeting.

Advice or prompting: There should be an aspect of prompting or nudging, suggesting that the query is asking something of us: e.g. ‘Look for opportunities for change in your own life…’ or ‘be mindful in your choices and decisions of the effect they may have on the lives of others…’

Note that a single advice or query may not contain all three aspects, or all three in equal weight. Reflection, Questioning and Prompting may be developed over more than one advice or query.