Category: Individuals Taking Action

  • Engaging with Ecological Grief

    By Gayle Matson. Recently a Friend in my Quaker meeting spoke movingly of her sadness upon visiting a favorite place that had been ravaged by fire last year. Many of us can relate to that shock and dismay of discovering that a landscape or ecosystem we dearly love has…

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  • Spiritual Ecology: My Journey and Our Journey

    A Talk by Shelley Tanenbaum I am deeply grateful to the Southern Appalachian Yearly Meeting’s (SAYMA) planning committee for bringing me here – and for asking me to talk about eco-spirituality and my personal journey. I’ve been asked to talk about what it has meant to me to connect on…

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  • Sunset over lake

    Practicing Earth Activism

    To become more active on behalf of Earth, start by making yourself aware of the issues. Learn from sources in addition to the conventional news reports. Begin examining ways you can reduce your purchases, buy local, rather than transported, goods, walk or carpool or use public transportation more. Buy second-hand…

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  • Photo of people during a protest, a man holding a sign that says "Power Local Green Jobs"

    Love & Political Power

    By Bruce Birchard I WANT TO LIFT UP  two sentences from Martin Luther King’s 1967 address to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference about the relationship between love and power: “What is needed is a realization that power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and…

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  • Hands working at computer laptop

    Congress, Climate, & the Desktop Lobbyist

    By Bob Schultz. THE U.S. CONGRESS MAY BE one of the most foot-dragging institutions on the planet with respect to addressing climate disruption, yet we can find some hope in the emergence of the House Climate Solutions Caucus, a bipartisan group of U.S. Representatives that meets regularly to advance climate…

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  • A NSNP Youth Saves Seed from Cilantro Plants

    Praying on Seeds: Solidarity for Puerto Rican Sovereignty

    By Marian Dalke. SUNDAY MORNING’s soft light casts through deep wooden windows. The light shifts and picks up the soft cotton of milkweed seeds, sailing over the heads of those gathered for Quaker Meeting for Worship at Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting. Grace Gonglewski shares a message about “praying on seeds,”…

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  • Pink sunset clouds above mountains

    Sweet Balance with Earth

    By Ann Marie Klaus. I have to admit, I do not harbor a wish to save Earth or reverse the process she is undergoing. Nor do I worry for her. Earth, in my mind, is a powerful, exquisite being, undergoing the same process of expansion that every bit of the…

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  • Alan Wright in Veracruz

    Spiritual Ecology Center Opens in Mexican Cloud Forest

    By Paula Kline. For more than a decade, my husband and I have hosted high school students for an annual Environmental Leadership Workcamp in the cloud forest of Veracruz, Mexico. A project of Westtown School’s Quaker Leadership Program, students return home transformed by their hands-on experiences with sustainable agriculture, living…

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  • Population: A Controversial Witness

    By Stan Becker. FRIENDS COMMITTEE on Unity with Nature (FCUN) was born in 1987 at the Friends General Conference gathering plenary. There, Marshall Massey outlined all the environmental threats we faced on planet earth. Except he missed one. He did not mention the rapid growth in numbers of our own…

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  • Sacramento Capitol

    Green in Sacramento

    By Shelley Tanenbaum. I TOOK A DAY OFF from QEW work to join ‘Green Lobby Day’ in my state capital, Sacramento. I highly recommend that you do the same in your state. As much as we want to see strong national legislation, significant government action, at least in the near…

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  • Clean Jobs Act Protest

    Organizing for Community and Climate

    By Jaime DeMarco. I RECENTLY HELPED CO-FOUND the Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Initiative, a new non-profit working to pass legislation in Maryland that will do three things. It will expand renewable electricity in Maryland to 50% by 2030, invest in renewable energy companies owned by women and people…

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  • Climate Pilgrimage

    Rooted in Reverence: Reflections on the Climate Pilgrimage

    By Honor Woodrow. I AM WRITING TO SHARE a reflection on my experience of the recent Climate Pilgrimage, where Friends from New England and fellow travelers spent six days walking the 60 miles from the Schiller Station (which burns both coal and wood) in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to the Merrimack…

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  • Photo of Standing Rock encampment by Shelley Tanenbaum

    A Call for More Radical Witness

    By Tom Small. “THERE’S A CALL, from both within and beyond FCUN, for a more radical witness.” That’s the first sentence of an article I wrote twenty years ago for BeFriending Creation. What was true for the Friends Committee on Unity with Nature in 1996 holds true again for the…

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  • Photo of Andy Burt

    Down to Earth: Interview with Quaker Filmmaker Andy Burt

    “I didn’t set out to make a film,” says Andy Burt, the creator and director of the new documentary film, Down to Earth: Climate Justice Stories. “I set out to go collect stories.  It was young friends who said ‘you should do a video.’ So that’s why you have…

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  • Man holding sign outside of Chase bank

    One Dollar at a Time: Defunding DAPL

    By Jeff Kisling. IN INDIANAPOLIS we have been working on defunding the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) for several months. On November 15, 2016, a crowd of about 200 of us alongside Native Americans in traditional dress marched through downtown Indianapolis with our signs about defunding the pipeline. We stopped in…

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  • Rainbow in green field with blue sky

    Journey to the End

    By J.T. Dorr-Bremme. IN JULY 2009, I had things pretty well figured out. I had, after six years of on-and-off study, achieved a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. I had been hired into a new-graduate program, an increasingly rare opportunity in the post-financial-crisis economy, at a nearby hospital. I…

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  • Map of Indivisible Local Action Groups

    Shock and Awe: Climate Action

    By Bob McGahey. FROM MY PERSPECTIVE as a climate journalist and activist, the ascension of an outright climate denialist as the President, with cabinet choices of a half-dozen more, completes the campaign of disinformation mounted by the fossil fuel industry, aided and abetted by virtually the entire Republican Party. The…

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  • Hundreds of people with red sign that says "Defend the Sacred"

    Reflections on Standing Rock

    Sacred Stone, Clean Water, Gathering People By Shelley Tanenbaum, QEW General Secretary. The gathering at Standing Rock, with more than 280 indigenous tribes represented, is historic and has been an inspiration to all of us. The ongoing gathering is being held to block construction of the Dakota pipeline that threatens…

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  • Bright green spring flower about to blossom with dew

    Live in Possibility: A Voluntary Carbon Tax

    By Alan Eccleston, Mount Toby Friends Meeting. In meeting for worship four years ago I was meditating on climate change and what I was called to do about it. Words rose up, “I live in possibility,” which I attribute to Emily Dickinson. I had a deep realization this is a…

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  • Photo of light shining in forest

    Reflections on Translating the Resistance in Brazil

    By Meg Kidd. Recognition by QEW of the re-emergent sense of the Divine in light of the resistance at Standing Rock continues to breathe air into the indigenous struggle to share millennial wisdom of peoples throughout the world. Noted on October 3 is this struggle from Standing Rock to Bagua…

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  • Reverence and Right Action

    By David Jaber I was not raised Quaker, but instead came to Quakerism after having developed an environmental conscience that has very much shaped my life and how I spend my time. You might take that as one indicator of the compatibility of deep earth ethics with Quaker practice. Let’s…

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  • Buddhists, Friends, and Buddhist-Quaker Harmonic Unity with Nature

    By Pamela Boyce Simms “The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars.” “The Cosmos is in us. We are made of star stuff. We are a way for the…

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  • Light Pink Dahlia

    What’s Emerging?

    By Sara Wolcott. What is it that Quakerism contributes to my ecological journey? I am vexed by this question. Five years ago, when my primary sense of religious belonging was nestled deep within the Religious Society of Friends, it would have been easy for me to answer. My confidence that…

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  • Six cows

    Friendly Farmers & Earthcare

    By Suzanne Lamborn, Little Britain Monthly Meeting, Baltimore Yearly Meeting My husband and I can trace our roots for each generation from the beginning of the colonies in agriculture. Being farmers we were aware that our nation went from over 90 percent farming to the present 1 percent owning farms…

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  • Picture of Peace Pole

    What I Did with My Summer Vacation

    By Katherine Murray. The last week of June, I took four days off with the intention of enjoying a quiet “staycation” full of gardening, hummingbirds, and long walks with my dogs. I envisioned this break as a time of silent retreat, with plenty of room for relaxing into the quiet…

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  • Long highway in marsh

    Young Faith Leaders Rising During GreenFaith Convergence in New Orleans

    By Sara Wolcott. Myself and the other 60 young (aged 20-35) faith leaders from across Canada and the United States who were partaking in GreenFaith’s 2016 North American Convergence eagerly peered out of our bus windows as it turned onto the road leading to Isle de Jean Charles, Louisiana. We…

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  • Group of cheering people in suits

    Youth and a Landmark Climate Case in Court

    By Shelley Tanenbaum, QEW General Secretary. How often do you hear people complain (or rant, scream, and shout) that the U.S. government is not doing enough about climate change, but they don’t actually do anything about it? Last year, twenty-one young Americans and their famous scientist partner joined together to…

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  • Yellow fruit in mesh bag

    Walking Cheerfully Over the Earth: Step by Step to a Greener Lifestyle

    By Marjorie McKelvey Isaacs, Psy.D. FWCC has approved a minute asking everyone to personally make green lifestyle changes. All change, even desired improvements, creates some stress. My psychology clients and I, working together for more healthy lifestyles, discovered research, strategies, and viewpoints that can make change easier. Thanks also to…

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  • Group of four people with sign

    In Solidarity with Those at COP21

    By QEW Friends Some QEW Friends weren’t in Paris but were participating in events in their local areas in support of change for the planet. In this section several Friends share their COP21 experiences with you. = = = = = = = = = =  “I…

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  • Vermont Farm landscape in fall

    Rising to the Challenge: The Transition Movement and People of Faith

    Transitioning Times: An Interview with Ruah Swennerfelt Ruah Swennerfelt, QEW’s former General Secretary, has just published a new book with Quaker Institute for the Future, entitled, Rising to the Challenge: The Transition Movement and People of Faith (QIF Focus Books, 2016). As part of the research for her…

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