Category: Theme

  • 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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  • Build Back Fossil Free

    By Hayley Hathaway and Ruth Darlington. “If we’re going to Build Back Better, we need to do better. And that starts by putting Indigenous people and their voices first, before any [fossil fuels] project is put in place…It is our Indigenous right to protect what little we have left,” shared…

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  • What I’m Learning From the Pandemic

    By Shelley Tanenbaum. EVERY YEAR WE Friends ask ourselves, “How has truth fared for Thee?” It is a way of refreshing ourselves, of self-evaluating personally and in our Meetings. It gives us an opportunity to change course and to respond to emerging leadings. What if we see the coronavirus pandemic…

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  • Black Butterfly: Interview with Artist Damita Hicks

    Damita Hicks is a Bahai artist living in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Her paintings center on Mama A’free’ca, Nature, and racial unity. Kirsten Bohl of Durham (NC) Friends Meeting speaks with Damita here. How did you get started with painting? I’ve been painting almost all my life. In terms of…

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  • Durham Friends Meeting Install Solar Panel

    Durham Friends Install Solar Panels

    By Dale Evarts. IN AUGUST 2019, following a spiritual leading to live in harmony with Creation by harnessing the energy of the sun to power our meetinghouse, Durham Friends Meeting (DFM), a member of the North Carolina Yearly Meeting Conservative, began generating electricity from solar panels installed that summer. After…

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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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  • Bobbi Block holding up Rockwool protest poster next to country road

    A Toxic Factory Will Create a Toxic Future

    By Bobbi Blok. Children deserve clean air, water, soil, and a safe healthy area where they can play and grow. But a factory that manufactures wool-like insulation from spun-melted rock in Ranson, Jefferson County, West Virginia, will make that impossible. Rockwool, a Danish company, is constructing a factory that will…

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  • Cedar Green holds up greens as part of mutual aid project

    Pacific Yearly Meeting’s Mutual Aid Experiment

    By Keith Runyan and Rebekah Percy. WHEN the shelter-in-place order took effect throughout California earlier this year, a small group of Young Adult Friends from Pacific Yearly Meeting organized a mutual aid project with the goals of sharing resources and creating greater equity and self-sustainability within our communities during the…

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  • Seeds sprouting in rows

    Weeding out Systemic Oppression in Our Garden

    By Katie Breslin. THIS YEAR, I started a garden at a local farm. I didn’t know what I was doing when I signed up, just the basic principles like make sure the plants have water and to pull weeds, but that was about it. Thankfully friends and my plot neighbors…

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  • QEW Population

    Population is Personal

    By Stan Becker. Here Stan Becker shares his spiritual and professional journey initiated by his early concern for the growth of human population on Earth. It is a story of his initial “vivid visual experience” in Mexico, which led him to search for an academic program that would allow him…

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  • Photo of Live Oak Tree with green grass

    Love in the Wilderness: A Path for Climate Action

    By Mey Hasbrook. LOVE SPEAKS OUT to me from the Biblical account of Exodus as a way to face climate breakdown. I hear this as someone of Cherokee Celtic-Irish descent and a Quaker carrying a ministry about Right Relationship, connecting care of the Earth and human communities. The mythology tells…

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  • Master Chinese herbalist Joe Hollis with young apprentice in his apothecary at Mountain Gardens, Celo, North Carolina.

    Mutual Aid & Local Food Sufficiency in the Era of COVID-19

    By Bob McGahey. South Toe Mutual Aid is an organization of people in the South Toe/Celo, North Carolina area who are collaborating in a variety of activities with intent to strengthen our community’s capacity to meet our resource needs for overall well-being. As a hub of Co-operate WNC, a regional…

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  • Screen capture from Resource Generation's sharemycheck.org

    How Will I #ShareMyCheck?

    By Hayley Hathaway. MY BANK ACCOUNT looked good after I received my Economic Impact Payment of $1200 this spring. I felt grateful for the money Yet, I still have a job, unlike the 25 million people who have applied for unemployment in the US since the pandemic started. I got…

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  • Yellow Prairie Flower in field

    Quakers Caring for God’s Creation: A Kessler Family Journey

    By Jim Kessler. SERENDIPITOUS moments are transformative intellectually and spiritually. In 1970, close to the first Earth Day, I was finishing a Masters in Biology at the University of Northern Iowa. I bought a Sierra Club book entitled A Moment in the Sun. Its clear description of the environmental crisis…

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  • Unfurling fern photograph

    In Uncertain Times: Wisdom for the Pandemic

    By Mary Jo Klingel. I HAVE HEARD the conventional wisdom that the business community needs certainty to function, and that the stock market needs certainty to grow. When I hear that, I think, “Well, what you are really saying is that you need to know that you will continue to…

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  • Photo of Gulf of Mexico from space at Night

    Collective Evolution in the Face of Climate Crisis

    By Keith Runyan. FROM THE EMERGENT PATTERNS of a monarch butterfly’s wing to the fractal branchings of a mycelial web, we find ourselves, as 21st-century Friends awash in a fundamentally beautiful world, unveiled. We find ourselves not in the universe, but of it, in a state of interbeing. Every day…

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  • Photo of group of people meeting

    Philadelphia Friends Confront Climate Crisis

    By Patricia Finley, Ruth Darlington, Liz Robinson, and the Eco-Justice Collaborative of PYM. MORE THAN 50 FRIENDS gathered on a snowy morning at Germantown Monthly Meeting on January 18 to learn, share, and discern how to effectively address environmental injustice and the climate crisis. Over the course of the Thread…

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  • QEW Logo

    Interfaith Earthcare Touchstones

    Compiled by Beverly G. Ward. “A touchstone transcends any one religion, thought, or spiritual tradition and serves as a guide. These touchstones provide examples of specific prayers, passages or scripture, or inspirations from various sacred texts or philosophical writings associated with diverse traditions.” Last year I joined faith leaders at…

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  • Group sitting in circle at Ben Lomond Quaker Center

    Young and Old for Climate Justice

    By Hayley Hathaway. GEORGE LAKEY, lifelong civil rights activist, and Friend, hosted “Young and Old for Climate Justice: A Dialog” at Quaker Center in Ben Lomond, CA this January. Forty Friends, ages ranging from 15 to 80, joined the weekend-long retreat in the redwoods. Shelley Tanenbaum, QEW’s General Secretary, and…

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  • Haudenosaunee Confederacy

    For the Love of the Land

    By Pamela Haines. I’VE LOVED THIS bit of land for over fifty years. Coming up over the hill, my heart always opens anew to the jewel of a valley spread out below, part of the rolling farmland and woodlots of central New York state. My father bought an old farm…

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  • Photo of root with hand

    Listening to Roots, Walking in Beauty

    By Mey Hasbrook. IN THE MEADOW, I gave thanks beside a beech tree. Sunset neared after a beautiful day with Swarthmoor Area Meeting of Southwest Cumbria, England. This area is called “the cradle of Quakerism” and brings to mind The Valiant 60, the 17th-century law-breaking mystics and traveling ministers from…

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  • QEW Poetry and Prayer

    The Call and Response

    By Mey Hasbrook. THIS SUMMER at the Friends General Conference Gathering’s Earthcare Center, I spoke on  “Transformative Earthcare: 18th-century Benjamin Lay for Today.” I shared how this third-generation Quaker lived a radical life at the intersections of concerns that continue to weigh upon us today. In the 2017 biography The…

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  • Image: Councilman Derek Green (right),a public banking advocate, addresses local lobbyists at Philadelphia City Hall on Lobby Day (Rita in blue and Pamela in teal). Photo: Stanley Shapiro.

    Public Banking, Divine Vocations, and Fertile Ground

    By Pamela Haines. THE ECO-JUSTICE Collaborative (EJC) of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting has endorsed an effort in Philadelphia to create a public bank. Similar to credit unions for individuals, a public bank would hold public funds in the city to be directed toward local needs, rather than paying for big banks to…

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  • Shelley Tanenbaum at FWCC in 2019

    Awaking Across the Branches of Friends

    By Shelley Tanenbaum. SOMETHING SPECIAL happened at the March 2019 Friends World Committee on Consultation Section of the Americas meeting. Friends from across the branches of the Religious Society of Friends came together to express our love for the land and our dedication to environmental justice, with each of us…

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  • So You’re Ready to Take Action Against Climate Change

    Josephine Ferorelli created this flow chart—a helpful resource for anyone who doesn’t know where to start. Josephine is the co-founder and co-director of Conceivable Future, a women-led network bringing awareness to the threat climate change poses to reproductive justice, and demanding an end to US fossil fuel subsidies. Click…

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  • Pachamana Drawdown Workshop

    Project Drawdown In Practice

    By Ruth Darlington. WHEN PAUL HAWKEN’S book Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming came out in 2017, many hailed it as the “new Green Bible.” I rushed to get a copy. When I held it in my hands, it felt like proof that there really was something…

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  • Climate Disobedience Center Logo

    Finding Peace in Troubled Times

    By Jay O’Hara. ON CHRISTMAS EVE I went out with my in-laws to church service in upstate New York. The big crowd gathered in the chapel on the campus of Cornell University, and the minister hit all the right notes for this presumably liberal crowd: alluding to the occupant of…

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  • Kallan Benson sits on her butterfly parachute

    A Quaker Youth’s Journey in Climate Activism

    By Kallan Benson. AS A 15-YEAR OLD QUAKER, I am accustomed to silence. I understand it is not empty; it can hold profound power. I have felt my spirit resonate in the silence of my Quaker community, but silence has recently taken me outside the meetinghouse to the steps of…

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  • A few people walking ona very straight, flat highway

    First Nation – Farmer Climate Unity March

    An Introduction By Jeff Kisling. Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative) Friends Peter Clay and I recently walked on the First Nation-Farmer Climate Unity March. A group of about thirty that included nearly a dozen Native Americans walked 94 miles along the route of the Dakota Access Pipeline from September 1 –…

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  • Birds, Bees, and Butterflies: Monthly Meeting in Fayetteville, Arkansas Creates New Habitat for Wildlife

    By Eric Fuselier. LAST YEAR FAYETTEVILLE Monthly Meeting’s Quaker Earthcare Witness Committee started a project to improve the grounds at our meetinghouse, the OMNI Center for Peace, Justice & Ecology, to include more habitat for wildlife, with the ultimate goal of the Center becoming certified as a wildlife habitat by…

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  • Jenny Chapman stands in protest alongside five other people

    Stewardship is a Likely Place to Start: Mountain Valley Pipeline Resistance

    By Jenny Chapman Jenny Chapman, a birthright Quaker whose ancestors made the pilgrimage to America with William Penn, lives on a farm on Bent Mountain in rural southwest Virginia and is a member of Roanoke Friends Meeting. She and her husband raised their two sons on the Mountain and now…

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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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  • QEW Logo

    To Address Climate Disruption, Start Here.

    Concrete Steps from Quaker Earthcare Witness’ Sustainability, Faith & Action Working Group Many of these suggestions are based on the work of Paul Hawken and his team of scientists in their book DRAWDOWN and their website, www.drawdown.org. ENERGY Individual/Meeting:  Install solar panels; buy 100% clean and renewable electricity wherever…

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  • Quaker Praying for an Earth Restored

    Meeting for Mourning: New England Friends Worship at Power Plant

    By Hayley Hathaway. ON SATURDAY, JULY 28, 2018 I joined about 30 Friends from five New England states at the gates of the recently opened Salem Harbor Station, a natural gas (methane) power plant on the coast of Massachusetts. We gathered for a Meeting for Worship for the purpose of…

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  • Example of Flyer for Sustainable movie screening

    Building a Community for Change: Hosting A Movie Night

    By Ruth Darlington. WHAT DO YOU DO when you are led to reach out about climate change, but you don’t know who else in your community cares about it? Last September, Medford Meeting in New Jersey co-hosted an all-day climate change film festival with the Pinelands Preservation Alliance, a local…

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  • Orange fire on black background

    Friends Community of Practice Rekindles the Fire of Fox

    By Pamela Boyce Simms WE ARE STANDING at the threshold of a potential evolutionary leap in spiritual consciousness. In our lifetimes, a tipping point of the planetary population will have an unprecedented opportunity to let go of outworn ways of living that no longer serve us and our planet. We…

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  • Shelley giving a mock presentation about QEW to Yearly Meeting Representatives

    Engaging in Earthcare at Yearly Meetings

    DO YOU KNOW who is your Yearly Meeting representative to Quaker Earthcare Witness? DO YOU KNOW who is your Yearly Meeting representative to Quaker Earthcare Witness? Our 31 Yearly Meeting Representatives serve as liaisons between QEW and their Yearly Meetings, sharing information about what is on the hearts and minds…

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  • Group of people writing no leaves under a light

    Adding Leaves to the Grove of Life

    By Regula and Michael Russelle. AN ALL-NIGHT, OUTDOOR EVENT. One thousand passersby publicly claim their practices and promises to reduce climate change. Each attaches a paper leaf with a personal, hand-written testimony like “bicycle everywhere,” “no food waste,” “share housing,” “travel by train” to a branch on a small grove…

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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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  • Sign with building behind it

    Peace, Justice and Ecology in Arkansas

    By Eric Fuselier. Friends, we are happy to announce that we recently formed a Quaker Earthcare Committee within the monthly meeting in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Members of the committee have a lot of passion and knowledge about the environment and we’re really excited about the projects we have going on here.

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  • US coins falling out of clear jar on white background

    Money & Soul: Bringing Our Faith Values to the Economy

    By Pamela Haines. TO THEOLOGIAN WALTER WINK, Spirit is at the core of every institution. These institutions, or Powers, are created with the sole purpose of serving the general welfare of people, and when they cease to do so, their spirituality becomes diseased. The task of the church is to…

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  • Potential Surprises

    By Shelley Tanenbaum. A LARGE GULF EXISTS between those who understand the magnitude of the environmental crisis we are facing and those who, willfully or not, remain unaware and disengaged. Just look around your community or your meetinghouse. Most people are not necessarily climate deniers or uncaring about the environment.

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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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  • Quaker House

    Ecological Living at Quaker Retirement Community

    By Elizabeth Boardman. PERHAPS, IF WE HAD ASKED THEM, our grandchildren could have told us before we came here to Friends House what benefits we would accrue by moving out of the big family home to a small apartment.  And now we could tell them the advantages of a communal…

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  • Denali National Park and Preserve, United States

    Juneau’s Journey Toward Renewable Energy

    By Margo Waring. JUNEAU, ALASKA COULD BE A MODEL for cities across the nation.  A new non-profit called Renewable Juneau is trying to make this happen. Our mission is to “Promote local, renewable energy to create a healthy, prosperous, and low-carbon future for Juneau.” We decided to keep our focus…

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  • Quakers At Interfaith Sit-In on Statehouse Steps in Annapolis

    Friends Help Ban Fracking in Maryland

    By Karie Firoozmand. ON APRIL 4, Maryland’s Governor Larry Hogan signed legislation prohibiting fracking in the state. This is a huge success for the individuals and organizations that have been working together for this goal for several years, as well as a precedent for other states. I have been working…

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  • Advice for These Times

    By Shelley Tanenbaum. TWO OF MY RECENT READS have made a strong impression on me as I ponder how I as an individual and how Quaker Earthcare Witness as an organization can best use our resources in these times. Van Jones succinctly sums up the two opposing world views we…

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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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  • Alaskans Demand Climate Justice and Clean Energy

    Fairbanks Climate Action Coalition’s Next Step

    By Cathy Walling, Chena Ridge Friends Meeting, Fairbanks, AK. “I love to feel where words come from.”  I have long loved that quote from our Quaker heritage story of the indigenous man Papunehang hearing John Woolman preaching. He didn’t know what Woolman was saying, but he knew it was coming…

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  • Ecological Guidance and the Sense of the Divine

    By Keith Helmuth. The fate of the human now hangs on our engagement with ecological guidance; the task Thomas Berry calls “the Great Work.” The sense of guidance provided by the ecological worldview is not unlike a new revelation, perhaps even a new sense of the Divine. We may not…

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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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  • 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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  • Our Birthright: The Night Sky

    By Shelley Tanenbaum. I’m not one to believe that the universe owes me (or anyone) anything.  But, after spending five nights camping in semi-remote places between Denver and San Francisco, seeing what appeared to be an infinite number of stars and the Milky Way every night, I am moved to…

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  • Sustainability and Truth

    Sustainability and Truth THE TERM “SUSTAINABILITY” came into fashion with the modern environmental movement, particularly after the 1992 UN Earth Summit. The concept has offered hope in the face of relentless bad news by highlighting things that ordinary people can do that would make a big difference if enough of…

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