Below is a statement I wrote to share with other members of my Meeting, as we worked on structure and curriculum for religious education. I hope to use it as a reference and beginning point as I develop these and other ideas over time.
There is an inherent value in everyone and everything, which can never be diminished below or increased above the value of another. I find inspiration in the framing of this as “that of God in everyone.” I’m also inspired by the idea of God or the soul as a community: that our soul and/or God only exists in us, and that we each have “a little piece of a great big soul.” Whether this God/soul is a literal being or a metaphor doesn’t matter much to me. What matters to me is that I use it to inform my thoughts and actions.
We can find revelation & inspiration from sources accessible deep inside ourselves, but that those individual leadings must be guided and discerned through community & tradition. That tradition includes the Bible, which has inspiration from that same source. The source of that inspiration is the same across the years, but the context we live in leads us to interpret it differently.
This source guides us to do the work that’s needed to bring about a perfect existence here in the world we inhabit. Jesus called it “the Kingdom of God.” It’s more than a physical kingdom or a far-off realm, though, and it’s our duty to bring it about. It’s both a goal we aim to create permanently and something that we can bring into being for just a few moments of perfect adherence to its values.
The values that bring about the Kingdom of God are those which respect that of God in everyone/everything: peace, integrity, protection of the world we are a part of, and solidarity with each other in times of struggle or oppression. We best practice these by opening our hearts and ears to each other and to that source inside us (which some call God), and then by doing the work of peace-making and doing the work that source leads us to together.