Live Oak Friends Meeting Handbook is our best attempt, based on the discernment and experience of Friends, to set down guidelines for sharing the life and work of the meeting. These guidelines are merely human devices designed to aid us in living in a way that points to Truth. Followed with love and checked and revised by the continuing revelation of the Light as discerned by the Meeting, the contents of this handbook will hopefully help LOFM members and attenders to live together as a supportive and caring community.
Live Oak Friends Meeting began in 1954 with a small group of worshippers that met together in homes. As we grew, we began meeting in larger spaces until we built our own Meetinghouse in the late 1990’s. We have developed from a group that could do business as a committee of the whole to a group that works together through functional committees that report to–and are guided by–our meeting for worship with attention to business. In that process, we seek the guidance of Spirit to ensure that our decisions and actions honor the fundamental Quaker belief that there is “that of God in everyone.” We strive to remain mindful of this, listening, looking for and responding to ‘that of God’ in each other as we worship together, conduct business together, do committee work together. We try to test our leadings and decisions against the Quaker testimonies of integrity, equality, simplicity, peace, community and stewardship. We also rely on Philadelphia Yearly Meeting’s Faith and Practice for guidance when we are unclear about how to proceed.
As times and situations change, we recognize that this Handbook will need revision. Nominating Committee is currently in charge of shepherding the various committees and others in keeping the Handbook up to date with current policies and practices.
We unite with the spirit of those elders of our religious society who met together at Balby in 1656 and concluded their epistle of advices with the following postscript: