Category: Volume 33

  • 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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  • 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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  • Photo of Cynthia Barnettt

    Environmental Author Cynthia Barnett Talks to QEW

    Cynthia Barnett, the author of three books focused on water: Rain: A Natural and Cultural History, Blue Revolution: Unmaking America’s Water Crisis, and Mirage: Florida and the Vanishing Water of the Eastern U.S., shares her insight on climate and water with QEW Publications Coordinator Hayley Hathaway. You now have written…

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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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