Category: BeFriending Creation

QEW’s quarterly newsletter

  • Candles placed on floor to create the numbers 1.5 degrees celsius

    Keep 1.5° Alive The U.N. Climate Change Conference

    by Hayley Hathaway. “For those that have eyes to see. For those that have ears to listen. For those that have a heart to feel. 1.5 is what we need to survive. 2 degrees is a death sentence for the people of Antigua &…

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  • River with sign labeling Miskwaagamiiwizaaga'igan-ziibi Red Lake River

    Red Lake Treaty Camp: At The Crossroads

    How do you ask a community to be the last to sacrifice their land to support the dying fossil fuel industry? by Shelley Tanenbaum. In September I had the privilege of spending about a week on the frontline at Red Lake Treaty Camp, a spiritual and ceremonial…

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  • Cove with water and kelp, trees in background

    North America the Beautiful: 30×30 Conservation Efforts

    by Joseph Cotham. The United States and Canada have committed to the conservation of 30% of the land and waters of the United States by 2030. The U.S.’ 30×30 initiative has evolved into the America the Beautiful campaign, a national call to action that is noteworthy for its goal and…

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  • Two people standing in front of building with signs. One says "Stop Fossil Fuels." The other says, "Solidarity with the US Hunger Strike"

    Canadian ClimateFast

    by Lyn Adamson. I’m the co-chair of Canada’s ClimateFast, a volunteer-based non-profit dedicated to building strong, informed public pressure to take urgent, substantial and just action on climate change. Our group fasted on the first full day of COP26, November 1, outside of the U.S. Consulate in Toronto as…

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  • Finding Your Family—In the Forest

    BOOK REVIEW by Tom Small. Suzanne Simard, in her first book, Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest, has a story to tell. She tells it very well, with a keen sense of the dramatic. And she plays many roles. Foremost, she’s the mystery-story detective. She follows…

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  • Wooden sign with green paint: We must protect what little old growth remains" with a picture of a tree and a heart painted on

    Fairy Creek Blockade

    by Hayley Connors-Keith. Content warning: police violence and sexual abuse On August 21, my partner and I went to the Fairy Creek Watershed on Vancouver Island in British Columbia to support the land defenders on the frontlines and protect the last 2% of old-growth forests.

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  • Light shining through trees

    Opening to Our Direct Connection with the Divine

    by Marcelle Martin. When I was in my mid-twenties, my graduate school program was not meeting my great longing to understand the nature of reality. I began to seek inwardly. Yearning to know what life was about, I paid attention to my inner experience in a new way. I would…

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  • Quilt with wind mills and trees and sun

    Loving Earth Project: Climate Crisis Textile Art for COP26

    A series of exhibitions of textile art was on display in a variety of venues in and around Glasgow during COP26, including at the city’s Quaker meetinghouse. Made by people and communities in many parts of the world, the Loving Earth Project depicts places, people, and things that the artists…

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  • Black and Indigenous people holding sunflower and corn wearing masks. One person is holding sign "Keep it in the ground! No 'Net Zero'". Across the top is "It Takes Roots Frontline Delegation COP26 Glasgow, Scotland"

    Frontline Communities & Workers Demand Real Climate Solutions, ‘No Net Zero’ and an End to Fossil-Fuels at COP26

    It Takes Roots is a multiracial, multicultural, intergenerational alliance of alliances representing over 200 organizations and affiliates in over 50 states, provinces, territories and Native lands on Turtle Island (known as North America). It is led by women, gender non-conforming people, people of color, Black and Indigenous Peoples. This November,…

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  • Path with green grass and trees with light coming from behind the trees

    From the Clerk’s Table

    by Mary Jo Klingel, Clerk. “Art thou in the Darkness? Mind it not, for if thou dost it will feed thee more. But stand still, and act not, and wait in patience, Till Light arises out of Darkness and leads thee.” – James Naylor I know that…

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  • Bird over field

    A Vision From Our Divine Source

    by Jennie Ratcliffe. Any and all of us who’ve held a vision of transformation grounded in what really sustains us—remembering that we don’t live by bread alone, but by the divine All That Is, that bread is sacred too, and there is no ultimate separation between them—are being called to…

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  • Red sycamore buds with green background

    Homecoming

    by Mey Hasbrook. Stirring, sap rises into burgeoning buds whose edges unfurl, like fingers opening in friendship. Leaves reach between gaps, become mounds. Earth caresses every curve, sings across seasons: Awaken Love! Open wholly! Embrace Beauty! From slumber, undulate in…

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  • Climate Change 2021 IPCC Report with colorful image of lines that create Earth's country's borders superimposed over bright background

    Human-Caused Climate Change is “Unequivocal”

    by Shelley Tanenbaum. If the catchword for 2020 was “unprecedented,” then 2021 follows as “unequivocal.” That is how the 2021 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports scientific evidence that human activities are the cause of climate change, that the climate will be getting worse for several decades, and that…

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  • Drawing of bodies of water, trees and animal silhouettes along the top with words "Red Lake Nation" at bottom

    Red Lake Nation’s Path to Solar Energy

    by Ralph Jacobson. The people of Red Lake Nation, in northwestern Minnesota, had been talking for over a decade about ending their dependence on electricity generated from coal. This is a story about their journey toward renewable energy. Mercury falls into the water of midwestern lakes from plumes of smoke…

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  • Man with glasses holding up cardboard sign that says "Save the Earth"

    Philadelphia Yearly Meeting’s Climate Sprint

    At Philadelphia Yearly Meeting’s annual sessions this July, Friends came under the weight of the climate emergency as a yearly meeting priority and accepted and approved the Climate Sprint Report, “Moving Together in the Face of Climate Change,” excerpted below. 
To read the full commitment, visit PYM.org. This statement…

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  • Grassy field with trees and blue sky and mountains in background

    Awakening for Earth: An Earth-Body Meditation

    by Bill Cahalan. Bill Cahalan is an eco-psychologist. His booklet, Awakening for Earth, is currently being updated by Quaker Earthcare Witness and will be available to share and download. This meditation is an excerpt. Bill writes, “Here is one version of a guided experience which I have used with weekend…

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  • George Lakey and friends during June’s Walk for Our Grandchildren.

    Fresh Energy for Our Witness

    by George Lakey. Judging from news accounts of the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, we can expect a fresh dose of anxiety about the future to show up among Friends, even while some of us are reeling from the effects of Covid-19. The report is partly about…

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  • Blond child in blue shirt, hat and red pants sits at base of huge redwood

    Wildfire Lessons: QEW’s Work in 2021

    By Shelley Tanenbaum. Dear Friends, Last year’s wildfires were different than in years past. In California, forests have evolved to not just live with fire, but to thrive because of it—fires clear brush and release seed for the next generation. Mature trees survive mostly intact. Yet this past…

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  • Smoky purple skies behind green trees

    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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  • Quaker Advocacy on Sustainable Energy & Environment: Interview with FCNL’s Clarence Edwards

    Clarence Edwards leads Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL)’s work on sustainable energy and environmental policy as Legislative Director. He brings to FCNL extensive experience in government relations, issue advocacy, and strategic communications. Clarence joined Quaker Earthcare Witness for our April Steering Committee Meeting. Here Clarence answers questions from…

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  • QEW Poetry and Prayer

    Poem: Prairie Prayers

    By Allen McGrew Keen-eyed at dusk, the owl o’er the prairie glides as though on the wings of prayer, and the prayer she prays is a prayer for prey. And the prey? Furtively, he through the tall grass slides like…

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  • QEW Poetry and Prayer

    Poem: Hope Springs Eternal for The Flimsy Soul

    By John Heimburg You know him…. but not really.  The one who never knew Unconditional Love. For whom the siren song      of Transactionality calls………… a never-ending   Quest         for Acceptance…

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  • Highways

    Rebuilding Infrastructure

    By Muriel Strand Many people believe we must rebuild our infrastructure. Unfortunately, almost everyone believes we must rebuild our fossil fuel infrastructure—roads, bridges, dams, ports, rail, pipelines, etc. What we need instead is to rethink our relationship with energy and return to a human-scale infrastructure that puts our real…

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  • Peak Oil Has Come and Gone!

    By Bob Bruninga For decades, peak oil has been a term used to describe the anticipated dwindling supply of oil with anticipated skyrocketing prices due to scarcity and competition for resources. It turns out that the opposite has occurred as the demand for this obsolete, inefficient commodity has…

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  • A pile of earthcare-related books

    QEW’s Favorite Books

    We asked QEW members to share their favorite books. Happy reading! Books to Read for These Times: Climate: A New Story by Charles Eisenstein. “How changing the ‘climate’ of our thinking and rhetoric can influence how we deal with physical climate change.” The Parable of the Sower by Olivia Butler. “About empathy/race/environmental…

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  • Photo: “This is a photo from a socially distanced action where we were very nimble. The other side of the banner says ‘PECO: Forgive Bills Now.’”

    EQAT AT 10: Finding Resilience in an Unimaginable Year

    By Lee McClenon. In the last few decades, some social scientists studying organizations have recognized that organizations are healthiest when they embrace a bit of unpredictability. In this model, networks are more powerful than individuals. Resilience is more important than brute strength. And a groundbreaking idea can come from anywhere.

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  • Quote from Canada Yearly Meeting

    Examining Institutional Racism

    By Lauri Langham. The intersection between environmental justice and racial justice is a busy one. We recognize how Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC) and low-income people are the frontline communities that suffer the first and worst effects of planet destruction and climate change: from the placement of toxic dumps…

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  • Equality -> Equity -> Justice: The Transportation Case Example

    By Beverly Ward “Our equality testimony flows inevitably from our belief that there is that of God in every person. If we believe in Equality, we must work for Justice. British Friends remind us: ‘Are you alert to the practices throughout the world which discriminates against people on the basis…

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  • Flock of birds flying in front of moon and light purple sky

    Pleasing the Divine with Evolutionary Love

    By Jose Aguto History is littered with the graceless exits of despots clinging to the chimera of the temptation of secular power for personal glorification above the good of others. We know this from the Gospels as one of the three temptations the devil offered to Jesus, which he in…

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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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  • Community member El Ha Ghan sort herbs as part of the Diaspora Earthcare Coalition’s medicinal herb production project.

    Selfcare Freedom Through Plant Medicine in Diaspora Communities

    By Pamela Boyce Simms. ENVIRONMENTAL resilience- building at its best reflects nature’s magnificent, layered interconnectedness. Imagine if local resilience-building against the backdrop of accelerating climate change were to take place in neighborhoods, towns, cities, states, regionally, nationally and among allied countries, facilitated by a constant communications flow among all scales…

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  • Bee on yellow flowers

    Permaculture: The Art of Designing Beneficial Relationships

    By Carol Barta. Permaculture is said to be “the art of designing beneficial relationships.” Permaculture is a design science rooted in the observation of natural systems, the wisdom of traditional farming methods, and systems thinking. It uses both ancient wisdom and modern scientific and technical knowledge to create sustainable habitats…

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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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  • Stormy clouds behind tree branches

    In the School of the Shipwreck

    by Noah Merrill. Editor’s Note: Noah wrote this piece in spring 2020 and his reflections speak to us still. These are the only genuine ideas; the ideas of the shipwrecked. All the rest is rhetoric, posturing, farce. —José Ortega y Gasset JUST OFF THE shore…

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  • Crosswalk in long exposure in Chile, Santiago

    Caring About Population

    By Richard Grossman. Most Friends are careful stewards of our environment. Indeed, more than half of Yearly Meetings have added “Stewardship” (or the equivalent) to their short list of Testimonies. However, sometimes we don’t make the connection between our stewardship of Earth and human population. OK, I admit it: the…

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  • Photo by Kathy Barnhart of rippling water

    A Prayer for the New Year

    By Pamela Haines As we head toward a new year, let us: Take in the environment around us with relaxed awareness—appreciating beauty and opportunity, noticing threats, staying grounded in the midst of both; Cultivate gratitude, for spaces that have opened in our society, for all the forces of goodness around…

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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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  • The CZU Lightning Complex fire was stopped here, along the Fawn trail at Ben Lomond Quaker Center. Photo: Bob Fisher.

    Redwood Renewal

    By Shelley Tanenbaum. THE STORY OF redwood renewal through fire gives me hope in a world gone mad with doom and gloom. What can we learn from one of nature’s most elegant ecological systems that evolved to not just cope with adversity, but to turn adversity into rebirth? The few…

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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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  • A stop sign in water

    Sharing Love and Knowledge in the Time of COVID-19

    An Interview with Beverly G. Ward. “IT’S LIKE PEELING an onion: layer after layer of pandemics and it all makes you cry,” shares Beverly Ward. She’s referencing the built-in injustice of her home state of Florida, where she works as Field Secretary for Earthcare for Southeastern Yearly Meeting (SEYM) and…

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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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  • The colorful diversity of plant species is preserved in the restored, Schulenberg Prairie, at the Morton Arboertum.

    Plowing the 
Prairie

    By Pamela Haines Leaning into the plow— an enduring symbol of virtuous work Pioneers breaking virgin ground, bent on mastering the prairie whatever the cost.   The harder the work the more noble the cause.   And subdue the prairie they did— along with all the beings that called it…

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  • Rocky landscape with tree

    I am a tree​

    By Cai Quirk. I am a tree, rooted in the bedrock of divine love. I am no longer trying to be a stone wall or surround myself with one. Walls are strong but they divide, are inflexible, less connected to the earth and the divine. A tree is rooted, grounded,…

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  • Black and white photo of six police officers in Washington DC in riot gear

    Collective Community Resilience: Thinking Through Climate Change and Defunding the Police

    By Sara Jolena Wolcott. ONE OF THE MOST important lessons I learned when working in sustainable development overseas is to listen to the people most impacted by the problems to appropriately co-create viable solutions. Sometimes they would prioritize things that seemed strange to me. But over time, I would realize…

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  • Photo of US Capitol with blue sky

    Connected Crisis: COVID-19 and Climate Change

    By Alicia Cannon. WE ARE LIVING IN A TIME of concurrent global crises. There is the COVID-19 pandemic at the forefront of our minds. It is forcing us to stay home, constantly wash our hands, and wonder when this time of uncertainty will end. Despite this immediate threat, there is…

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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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  • A tall person walks hand in hand with a child in the golden leaves

    If I Were a Poet

    By Allen J. McGrew, for Heidi S. McGrew. If I were a poet,
 I would summon for you the cold creak of the board walk beneath your booted feet, And the  gentle caress of the cool breeze on the back of your neck. My words would paint for you the…

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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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  • Abstract photo of military plane

    Endless War, Endless Environmental Harm

    By Emily Wirzba and Alicia Cannon. THE QUAKER VALUE OF PEACE calls us to advocate for a reduction in Pentagon spending and military interventions abroad. The value of stewardship urges us to address climate change and seek an earth restored. While it might seem surprising, these two issues are intrinsically…

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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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  • Rings of Tree

    Sociocracy, Natural Living Systems, and Emergent Organizational Design

    By Pamela Boyce Simms “That’s good enough to try,” and “It’s good enough for experimentation,” are phrases often heard in organizations that use Quaker process-derived, sociocratic governance and decision-making. “Good enough” [after much discernment] reflects the understanding that predict-and-control organizational strategic planning isn’t relevant anymore as we move deeper into…

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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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  • Nothinkg Lowly in the Universe

    Book Review: Nothing Lowly in the Universe: An Integral Approach to the Ecological Crisis by Jennie M. Ratcliffe

    By Ruah Swennerfelt. MANY, MANY YEARS ago, after having a deep-felt conversation with my father, who wanted to blindly trust his government, I gave him Cadillac Desert by Marc Reisner. I chose that book because Dad lived in Southern California, a desert turned into a false oasis of millions of homes using…

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  • Image of QEW Logo and Poetry

    Poems: “The Earth is Us” and “gifts”

    By Mary Ann Iyer. The cells of this earth are our cells. The wind that blows across its surface is the self same air that we breathe. Our life blood courses through our veins with no less certainty than the rivers cascading…

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  • Photo of Electrical Pilon

    Roadmaps to a Better Future: Analyzing Climate Change Solutions Without Geoengineering

    By Judy Lumb. HOW DO WE ensure a future on Earth for humans and other creatures? Three recent reports analyze solutions to climate change that meet the ambition of the Paris Agreement. The Climate Urgency: Setting Sail for a New Paradigm  Coopération Internationale pour le Développement et la Solidarité (CIDSE)…

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  • Photo of COP25 Sign

    Is (the) Paris (Agreement) Burning?

    By Shelley Tanenbaum. THE MOST RECENT Conference of the Parties (COP), held in Madrid, Spain in December, appeared to balance the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015 on a knife’s edge, a sharpened knife’s edge. Lindsey Cook of Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO) referred to this conference as “the COP25 of…

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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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  • QEW Population

    Considering Limits to Human Population Size

      Friends have long been concerned about how we live on our Earth and how we can best support a good life for everyone and all species. Sustainability requires that we use Earth’s resources at a level that provides a reasonable life for all now and maintains…

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  • Farming for Social Change

    By Sayrah Namaste “To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves,” Gandhi said. The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) has been addressing the impacts of climate change through programs in New Mexico, Los Angeles, New Orleans, and Baltimore, to name a few.

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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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  • Sign of Menominee Nation

    Flows Repeatedly: Learnings from the Menominee Nation

    By Tom Small. NAPANOH PEMECWAN—Menominee for “flows repeatedly.” In nature, there is no foreground or background, no hierarchy, only relations, patterns of change and repetition. Train yourself to see the repeated patterns, to understand, feel, and identify with the flow. With these two Menominee words and their implications, Jeff Grignon,…

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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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  • Beckoned by Living Trees

    By Marcelle Martin THE  FIRST  TREE  that beckoned me silently, long ago, was a sapling on the far side of a lawn. When I investigated, I discovered it was being strangled by an orange plastic band encircling its trunk. After the sapling had been purchased from a local nursery, the…

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  • Seven people stand in soil

    Cultivating the Next Generation of Naturalists

    Fayetteville Arkansas Quakers Create Native Plant Garden for Ozark Natural Science Center By Eric Fuselier. The Fayetteville Monthly Meeting recently planted a native plant garden at the Ozark Natural Science Center (ONSC) located south of Eureka Springs, Arkansas. This native plant garden was a gift to ONSC, which is a…

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  • Emma Condori from Bolivia, Barb Adams from Richmond VA and Hayley Hathaway IMYM

    “We Had Something, Now We Don’t.” Bolivian Friends Face the Climate Crisis

    By Emma Condori Mamani. My name is Emma Condori. I am from Bolivia. I was born near Lake Titicaca. Most of my childhood was very beautiful because I was raised in community life in one of the indigenous communities we have in Bolivia, called Aymara. One thing I really appreciated…

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  • Three people stand in front of light pink house with porch

    Casa Pueblo: Truly the People’s House

    By Liz Robinson. THIS STORY STARTS with Hurricane Maria and our Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting’s decision to select Casa Pueblo as the beneficiary for our 12th month charitable giving. Because of its outstanding reputation, and its amazing hurricane-disaster recovery work providing solar energy to restore power to vital community services…

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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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  • Aerial image of fire and smoke

    When Climate Change Gets Personal

    By Gayle Matson FOR 60 OF MY 65 YEARS I lived in Seattle and Portland, surrounded by snow-capped mountains and lush forests. The natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest is truly spectacular, though climate change has brought even rainier winters to the area. Last year, after pining for sunnier weather…

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  • School’s Out

    Shelley Tanenbaum This past June was the hottest June on record, ever. This July was the hottest month ever recorded. Earlier this summer, temperatures were so high in France that exams were cancelled. You might not realize how significant this is, so let me put it in perspective by telling…

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  • Photo: Jamal Aden, Lorenz Nehma, Sekou Swaray, youth voices of the Somali, Yazidi, Liberian diasporas

    Displaced by Climate Change: Diaspora Communities Share Wisdom

    By Pamela Boyce Simms ON JULY 10, 2019 Lorenz Nehma told the story of the Yazidi people, a religious minority in the Iraqi/Syrian region, during the Quaker Earthcare Witness side event at the United Nations High Level Political Forum (HLPF). He shared their history from early persecution and acts of…

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  • Green sweat bee on New England aster. Photo by Dave Crawford

    How to Help Pollinators in Your Own Neighborhood

    By Dave Crawford. Robin Wall Kimmerer (Braiding Sweetgrass, 2014) suggests humans can restore natural landscapes as a gift to Earth in exchange for the gifts nature provides to humans. She suggests that Earth might say “thank you” to humans for doing this.  I’ve done this in my yard, and Earth…

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  • Super moon over San Francisco bay

    An Easter Reflection with Joanna Macy

    By Sara Jolena Wolcott. “What do you envision for the future?” Joanna Macy—Buddhist eco-philosopher, scholar of deep ecology and systems theory—asked me last night, over a dinner of orange yams and tofu and lemon broccoli. Every time I visit her in her Berkeley home, she feeds me these bright orange…

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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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  • Climate A New Story

    A Story of Interbeing: A Book Review of Climate: A New Story By Charles Eisenstein

    By Ruah Swennerfelt. I’VE JUST FINISHED reading Climate: A New Story by Charles Eisenstein and am so moved by the wisdom I found between the covers. Eisenstein critiques the climate movement, arguing that the reliance on numbers, such as 350, facts, and data will not bring about the changes that are needed…

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  • Southern Appalachian Quaker Youth Respond to Climate Crisis

    By Robert McGahey. ARTHUR MORGAN SCHOOL and Celo Monthly Meeting recently hosted  Southern Appalachian Young Friends (SAYF) for their annual retreat here. The Quaker Earthcare Witness Outreach Committee contacted the organizers to share about our work, leading an afternoon session with the youth. After a rigorous hike to idyllic Strawberry…

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  • Feeding Us with Love and Local Tradition

    By Bonnie Peace Watkins AS THE TWIN CITIES Friends Meeting Fellowship Committee, we were excited about the Quaker Earthcare Witness  Spring  Steering Committee meeting  here  in mid-April.  We have long felt that food and fellowship are vital parts of witnessing, sharing, and caring for our beautiful planet. As we prepared…

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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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  • Group Shot at Inauguration

    Quaker Teachers Take on Climate Change and Restore Mexican Cloud Forest

    By Paula Kline. Alan Wright and Paula Kline first took students to the Mexican Cloud Forest in 2003. Teachers at Westtown School in southeastern Pennsylvania, the couple had initiated the Quaker school’s agriculture program for its bi-centennial in 1999. Inspired by the ground breaking work of John Jeavons’ approach to…

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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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  • The Changing Context of United Nations Climate Negotiations

    By Philip Emmi. It is increasingly clear that we have gotten off on the wrong foot when addressing climate change. It can not be primarily a matter of nation-state cooperation on international policy, as once thought. Rather, addressing climate change requires a multi-pronged approach including attention to climate science, finance,…

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  • The Bare Minimum: COP Climate Change Conference

    By Lindsey Fielder Cook. THE AIM OF THE DECEMBER climate change conference in Poland, known as the Conference of Parties 24 (or COP24), was to define an implementation ‘Rulebook’ for the Paris Agreement.  After two weeks of exhausting, if not ‘fierce’ negotiations, how did it all go? It depends on…

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  • Pachamama Logo

    Pachamama Alliance Promotes Grassroots Drawdown Action

    By Keith Voos. I’M SURE THAT MOST readers of this newsletter hold it to be true that the human race now faces the biggest threat to its survival since its near extinction in the last ice age, when the population of the earth was reduced to between 15,000 and 18,…

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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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  • Little newt in two hands

    Let Nature Teach

    By Dan Kriesberg. AN EXCELLENT MEASURE of how much children are learning is to count the number of times the teacher says “Pay attention.” The fewer “pay attentions” the more learning. In my own experience of 30 years as a science teacher, a 4th-grade teacher, and even as a swim…

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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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  • COP24 Image

    Changing Together? The COP24

    By Frank Granshaw and Annette Carter. IN DECEMBER 2018 the 24th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (COP24) met in Katowice, Poland. Their task was to hammer out the rulebook by which the world could achieve the goals set forth…

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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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  • Energy Choices Front Cover

    Going Green is Easy and Cheaper Now

    A Peek into Quaker Institute for the Future’s new book Energy Choices: Opportunities to Make Wise Decisions for a Sustainable Future by Bob Bruninga Review by Judy Lumb. WE ARE NEVER MORE than a few years away from making a major personal energy decision: • when we pay our electricity bill •…

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  • Global Cimate Action Summit Logo

    Report from the Global Climate Action Summit

    By Larry Strain. I attended the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) in San Francisco this September as a delegate of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). I also attended two affiliated events – The Carbon Smart Building Day and Climate Heritage Mobilization. I’ve been working on reducing Green House Gas…

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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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  • Group of people hawl log

    A Fight for The Yintah

    By Daniel Kirkpatrick. THE THIRTY OF US STOOD in a quiet circle in the gravel on a sunny, cool morning. Wood smoke rose toward the sky from the adjacent lodge, and boreal forests surrounded the clearing. A First Nations elder, Lht’at’en, spoke in her Wet’suwet’en dialect, offering a prayer before…

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  • QEW Poetry and Prayer

    A Simple Freedom or Was it Just a Dream?

    By Avotcja Jiltonilro Once upon a time when the world was green When this Earth was heaven The trees used to sing to us & we sang their praises Danced in honor of their beauty And reveled in the millions of gifts they gave us…

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