To me, Gospel order is when people love God with all their hearts, minds and souls and love their neighbor as themselves. It is the right ordering of our lives so that we are available should Spirit call us to act, speak or be. Cornel West says, “Justice is what love looks like in public.” I think Gospel order is just that, justice and generosity and friendliness, all informed by a love of God and a willingness to love one another into our own best places.
-Sue Tannehill Buffalo, NY
Obviously it will mean different things to different people. But so far as “gospel” was originally about “Good news, we’ve got a new world ruler,” it should refer to something like Jesus’announcement that “The Reign of God has arrived. So “in gospel order” would have meant “in accordance with God’s intentions,” which I believe is the gist, whatever differences might exist as to how this should best be implemented.
-Forrest Curo, San Diego Meeting
When we are one with the Living Christ, following the order inherent in His Good News.
-Martin Kelley. Affiliation: “It’s complicated”
Gospel Order? Hmmm. It would mean in one sense a Biblical way of conducting church governance or affairs, of dealing with one another in Christian community. It goes deeper than that, of course; it means realizing true discipleship as a community and waiting on God to direct our actions in business and in life. The ‘gospel’ part would indicate a large measure of grace; the order part would indicate time-tried wisdom in terms of process.
-Anonymous, Seton Hill Worship Group / Homewood Friends
Gospel order is right relationship that comes out of our guidance from God. It’s most often used to describe the way a local Friends meeting operates and seeks the right way forward together.As we relate to each other and work together as He calls us to work together, then we find our way to gospel order. There are Quaker traditions and books of Faith and Practice to guide us to that place. There are scriptures and the wisdom of Friends who’ve been called to lead in particular ways. But most important are the inward leadings of the present Chris.
-Jay Thatcher, Corvallis Friends Meeting, North Pacific YM
Kin-dom, an ordering and quality of our individual relationships and social structures that brings G-d into greater Presence within, between, and among us. G-d grants us our unique gifts as partners in this work. Some signposts by which we recognize Kin-dom include integrity, equality, dignity,peace. Some ways by which we approach Kin-dom and bring it into greater realization among us:listening, discernment of our gifts and work, simplicity that frees us to focus on what is most essential, justice-making.
-Judy Goldberger, Beacon Hill Friends Meeting & Jamaica Plain Worship Group
Humanity is trapped in systems of oppression and domination, yearning for liberation and empowerment. Some will receive a vision of a new world where liberation and empowerment has come. Jesus called this new world the kingdom of heaven, Buddha called it the Pure Land, Marx called it Communism, and others call it the New Age. This desire for complete reconciliation and transcendence of conflict is the heart of healthy religious aspiration. Those who receive the Light of the World to Come, are drawn towards both a desire to live with others who have seen the Light, but also to share the light with those who are still in darkness. Gospel Order is the livingout of the principles of the New World in this present. It is the application of faith and hope in the world to come to our immediate reality
-Anonymous, Northside Friends Meeting Chicago ILYM
The gospel is the power of God. Gospel order is living one’s life under the ordering of the power of God.
-Lu from Rochester, NYYM
Gospel Order is that harmony among all the aspects of Creation that God intended from the start. Jesus taught and demonstrated how human beings can live in Gospel Order with each other and the rest of Creation; the Holy Spirit enables us to do so and guides our efforts.
-Lloyd Lee Wilson, Rich Square MMeeting, NCYM-C
Gospel Order is a short phrase for a process that can take a long time. Essentially it is a processing of meeting with someone that you have a disagreement with with the hopes that the problem can be cleared up. You can go first by yourself, then with one or two other, and then you can involve the Meeting as a whole. It is not a magic solution and if done out a need to control and not out of love matters can get worst. If if done in the right way it has limits. It may be that one will have to move beyond Gospel order as the story of the Footwashing at Marlborough illustrates: (http://www.quaker.org/chestnuthill/marlborough.htm)
Gospel Order means being under the Order of Christ. We are the church after the second coming. Jesus is here, teaching us himself. We have to be transformed by his Life in us to live as the solution. We have to meet all challenges with prayer, rejoicing in God’s power moving through usand outwards into the world. All of our lives are washed through with Jesus’s blood from his sacrifice for us on the cross; we are made new in his covenant, to live redeemed lives in the transformation of that Holy power.
-Alice Yaxley, Britain Yearly Meeting
order created by reading, understanding and living the holy words of the gospel
-Anonymous, sandpoint friends meeting
To me, “Gospel order” simply means practical application of the principles of love in relationship within our community. It may be following a specific example of conduct such as the process for trying to reconcile a difference with another member of the community in which the person is first approached privately, then with witnesses and then before the whole body, or it may be following processes that have been worked out over time within a body of believers, or it may be a new examination of how things are done in an attempt to bring processes into better alignment with the principles. In all cases it is the practical application that is being addressed.
As I understand Gospel Order it is living in right relationship with God and all of creation. Or,expressed another way, to live so that the outer manifestations of my life in word & deed are consistent with my inner condition/awareness of what God requires of me–to live Love in the world.
-Anonymous, Rich Square Meeting (NCYMC)
I understand Gospel Order to mean living in harmony with God’s kin-dom; or with God’s vision for the world. I think that vision is revealed clearly in the Gospels and in Jesus’ life and teaching (aswell as other places that I don’t know as well, perhaps). It also means that I turn to God in allthings. Ideally, that would also be what we do corporately as well as individual
-Mary Kay Glazer, Ticonderoga NY Worship Group
It means doing things as God wants them to be done. Sometimes this is misunderstood to meanfollowing some old Quaker tradition. The old Quaker traditions are good but gospel orderembraces the new and unexpected as well as the old and familiar. When things are in gospel order you can feel it.
Oh, Gospel Order. Difficult. Visionary. Beautiful. Derives from Matthew 18:15, and expands outto fill a community. It’s how the Beloved Community runs. Is it the same as the kingdom of God,the time when the world runs the way God would run it? So, going back to Mt. 18:15, anyone can get a start at living in Gospel Order by solving their conflicts with others by bravely dealing with them directly, or directly with help. However, in theQuaker tradition, it means much more. All the arrangements for living together, for community, for relationships thin and thick… arrangements that let us live in the light of love, those would be Gospel Order.
-Frederick Martin; Monadnock Meeting, New England