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Online Books of Faith and Practice
Compiled by Bill Samuel
Updated May 3, 2013
Friends (Quakers) have books of discipline, most commonly called Faith and Practice but sometimes by other names. These are usually adopted by yearly meetings, which are regional bodies including a number of local meetings/churches. Usually, the yearly meeting will review and revise the book every generation or so.
These books contain descriptions of the faith understandings and accepted practices in and of the yearly meeting. They also usually include a set of queries, which are questions designed to help individuals and groups reflect on their faithfulness.
The contents are not intended to be rules, but rather guides and statements of what is normative. To express this, many such books start with the following quote from a Letter from Meeting of Elders at Balby, in Yorkshire, England, 1656:
Dearly beloved Friends, these things we do not lay upon you as a rule or form to walk by, but that all, with a measure of light which is pure and holy, may be guided: and so in the light walking and abiding, these things may be fulfilled in the Spirit, not in the letter; for the letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life.A number of these books have now been put online, including through this site. I am posting this list to help those interested find these. They are valuable reading for both people who are just learning about Friends and those who are active members. Please email me if you know of such books online that are not included here or are now at a different Web address, or if you can provide me with electronic copies of such books not currently online for me to make available through this site.
HistoricalRules of Discipline of the Yearly Meeting of Friends Held in Philadelphia, 1806 - This will show fairly typical content of books of discipline of a couple of centuries ago. At that time, such books did not differ among yearly meetings nearly as much as they do today.
Current Yearly Meeting BooksQuaker Faith and Practice in Aotearoa/New Zealand Yearly Meeting
Alaska Yearly Meeting Handbook of Faith, Practice & Discipline (PDF)
Australia Yearly Meeting Handbook of Practice and Procedure
Baltimore Yearly Meeting Quaker Faith and Practice
Britain Yearly Meeting Quaker Faith and Practice
Canadian Yearly Meeting Organization and Procedure
Christian Faith and Practice in the Friends Church, East Africa - 2012 bilingual (English/Swahili) version (PDF)
Evangelical Friends Church-Eastern Region Faith and Practice (PDF)
Illinois Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice
Faith and Practice of Indiana Yearly Meeting
Faith and Practice of Intermountain Yearly Meeting
Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative) Discipline (PDF)
Discipline of Iowa Yearly Meeting (FUM) (PDF)
Lake Erie Yearly Meeting Policies and Procedures Booklet (PDF)
Evangelical Friends Church - Mid-America Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice
New England Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice
New York Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice
North Carolina Yearly Meeting (Conservative) Faith and Practice
North Carolina Yearly Meeting (FUM) Faith and Practice
North Pacific Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice
Northwest Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice (PDF)
Ohio Yearly Meeting Book of Discipline
Ohio Valley Yearly Meeting Book of Discipline (PDF)
Pacific Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice
Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice
Rocky Mountain Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice
Southern Appalachian Yearly Meeting and Association Faith and Practice
Southeastern Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice
Evangelical Friends Church Southwest Faith and Practice (PDF)
Spanish version (PDF)
Western Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice
From Other than Yearly MeetingsDiscipline of Fairhope (Alabama) Friends Meeting - an independent Conservative meeting (PDF)
The Book of Discipline containing the Faith and Practice of the Clintondale Friends Christian Church - an independent Friends church in the Hudson Valley of New York State
Faith and Practice of Freedom Friends Church - an independent Friends church in Salem, Oregon
Advices and Queries of Capitol Hill Friends
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