‘It’s a bit more complicated than that’

Paul Parker discusses the decision to revise the Book of Discipline

Just before Yearly Meeting, a colleague made me, as a joke, a badge which says: ‘I think you’ll find it’s a bit more complicated than that.’ I’d wanted one for ages; it’s a phrase I use a lot.

The periodic revision of our Book of Discipline is something which distinguishes the Religious Society of Friends. It marks us out as a community open to new light and continuing revelation; God still speaks to us today. The revision process recognises the fundamental uncertainty we find in articulating our relationship with the divine. What is it to be faithful today? What words can describe our inward spiritual experience? How can we connect that inward experience with the outward expressions of witness that mark a faithful life?

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