Category: Spirituality

  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Truth Is Something That Happens

    by Louis Cox DO YOU SWEAR that the testimony you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you, God?… Early Quakers were known for their refusal to take such oaths in a court of law (often at the…

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  • Sunset over lake

    Practicing Earth Activism

    By Ruah Swennerfelt (Updated 2021 by Hayley Hathaway). 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…

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  • Earthcare, Energy, and the Right Use of Things

    Visualizing the Better World That Is Possible by Louis Cox TURNING OVER A NEW LEAF. While casting about for ways to introduce this article about changing wasteful lifestyles, one of my favorite movies broke to the surface: A New Leaf (1971, **½) is about a middle-aged playboy…

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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Book Review: Our Life Is Love

    By Judy Lumb. I have admired and been inspired by the writing of Marcelle Martin in Friends Journal, so I was very happy to learn that her book was released. It is a very effective juxtaposition of vignettes from the lives of early Friends and contemporary Friends. She divides the…

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  • Sustainability and Truth

    By Louis Cox. 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…

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  • Peace on Earth, Peace with Earth: Living in a Radically New Way

    By Kim Carlyle. Living in a Radically New Way SINCE 1955 when he registered as a conscientious objector, Karl Meyer has been an activist for peace, advocating nonviolence, organizing demonstrations, and refusing to pay taxes to finance war. Over the years, he has come to realize that an…

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  • Drawing of John Woolman

    Living in Right Relationship

    EIGHTEENTH CENTURY QUAKER John Woolman called for living in the “right relationship” as he witnessed to his generation against the evils of slavery, oppression, and materialism- which he warned were causing injury to future generations. We discern a similar dynamic of greed and thoughtlessness in today’s global environmental crisis.

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