New England Quakers Respond to Climate Change: Faithfulness & Jutice

Last spring met at Woolman Hill Quaker Retreat Center in New England and spent time in silent contemplation and worship regarding our current climate crisis. These Friends released an epistle based on this spring gathering discussions. It is a beautifully worded letter that communicates a faith-centered and justice-centered view of global warming.

They write:

IMG_2182It is clear to us that our precious earth is facing enormous destruction as a result of human over-consumption of fossil fuels and other resources, particularly in our own country and other highly developed nations. The consequences of the earth’s systemic response are already exacerbating issues with which Friends are concerned, including peace, justice, equality, and right use of resources. Climate change now permeates our societies, our politics, and our moral condition. The poor and marginalized are and will be the most deeply affected by the climatic and ecosystem changes under way, and the social instability and conflict which is resulting.

God is calling us to respond as a community of faith. Climate change is not just one concern among many to be carried by only some among us. We all live on this planet and are contributing to its destruction. It is incumbent upon every Friend and every Friends Meeting to seek actively to discover how God is leading us to do our part to reverse this great crime. Recognizing that we, gathered here, are shaped and limited in our understanding by our economic and social position, nevertheless the divine Witness challenges us, in compassion and in love for our brothers and sisters, and for the beautiful earth, to pray, wait, and act with a focus and fearlessness appropriate to the urgency of the times. Truth requires it of us.

They go on to list specific ways that we can act including:

  • Friends are feeling led under religious concern to travel among us, to provide prophetic ministry around these concerns and to help meetings prayerfully reflect on climate change. We ask Friends to open their doors to such visitors and provide opportunities for them to share their witness amongst us and with our surrounding communities. To encourage these leadings to travel, meetings can provide minutes, elders, and financial support to such Friends.

  • Growing numbers of Friends are led to engage in civil disobedience and other forms of prophetic witness against the destruction of the earth, such as voluntary carbon tax. When Friends act they are not alone. They act for the whole community. We can provide minutes of support and help with legal fees, fines, jail support, and support for the families of those carrying out such actions.

You can read the entire epistle on the New England Yearly Meeting website: Epistle from the Second New England Climate Spring Gathering: A Call to Corporate Faithfulness in a Time of Climate Change