The Bolder and Deeper Action Group formed at Friends Meeting at Cambridge partly to discern strategic action and partly to act as an affinity group as more Friends were considering breaking the law, so as to follow God’s law.
BDAG consists of 15 Friends who began out of Cambridge Earth Care Witness with a training in nonviolent action in June 2014. We meet twice a month: prayer is central to our group. We sit with questions, like, How can we encourage one another to be authentic witnesses? What is the Holy One asking us to do that is uniquely Quaker?
We laugh, we carpool to reduce carbon footprint. We have fasted and sung together. Yet these are strategies, not addressing our fundamental malaise. We need a structural change, a quality of Light change.
We aren’t satisfied that as the Bolder and Deeper Group, we have lived up to our name. Are we acting bolder? Deeper in what ways? But we are persistent in our quest. And we have worked with radical inclusivity with mutual support for those who are sick and those who are approaching 90.
We decided to go out and cheerfully answer to those who want to turn to the healing of our greed for dirty electricity. On December 6, 2014 about 20 Friends went to Brayton Point in Somerset, Massachusetts, the largest producer of coal power in New England. We held a worship service for two hours on the power plant’s property, under the looming towers of the plant. This was an illegal act—the police watched our every move—but no one was arrested. Despite a cold rain, we experienced a powerful time of worship. Spoken worship included pleas, hopes, prayers for
forgiveness, and recommitments to our goal. We felt connected to the homeless and to the assertion that “Black Lives Matter.” We are all crying for love to be made public. Many went to the nearby town of Fall River, giving out information on how to convert from coal to wind and solar. We aren’t environmentalists; we are humanists, listening to God.
How do we move faithfully in our commitment to repair the rupture made from carbon gas emissions? The famous Quakers, Patience and Preserved Brayton, lived near Brayton Point and were strong abolitionists. They married in 1758 and decided, when wed, to release all their slaves. Do Friends need liberation today? Do we need to be released from the chains of fossil fuels?
“There is a principle…pure and proceeds from God. It is deep and inward, where the heart stands in perfect sincerity. In whomsoever this takes root and grows, [such nations become brothers and sisters.]”
-John Woolman, 1746