For six days at the Friends General Conference Gathering at Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio, our workshop group has considered questions of how to live in harmony with the natural environment. Together with all the Gathering we have listened to Marshall Massey speak about the necessity for a Quaker testimony on unity with nature.
We have concluded from our worship and our study that there is, indeed, a need for Friends to give forceful witness to the holiness of creation and to demonstrate in their lives the meaning of this testimony.
We believe right relationship with our natural environment is basic to the achievement of peace and a just social order, and the equitable distribution of the world's resources, both today and through generations to come
Arising from the Gathering is a continuing organization of Friends concerned for unity with nature. We call upon Friends everywhere to join us in support of this group, and in continuing consideration of, and witness to, a corporate testimony on living in unity with nature.
Epistle formulated collectively by the participants of the 1987 FGC Gathering workshop, led by Bill and Alice Howenstine.
The beginning line-up of officers and representatives:
Clerk: Bill Howenstine
Treasurer: Steven Elkinton
Recording Clerk: Lella Russell Smith
Program Coordinator: Carol Dunbar Kimbrough
Newsletter editor: Jack Phillips
Regional representatives coordinator: Fannie Fonseca-Becker
Midwest: Karen Greenleaf
Southeast: Drew Foster
Pacific Yearly Meeting: Bob Schutz
Pacific NW, Canada: eric maya joy
Mid-Atlantic: Fannie Fonseca-Becker
They began fast and furious and as you can see BeFriending Creation took right off! (There had been a Unity with Nature newsletter published by Pacific Yearly Meeting Unity with Nature committee and edited by Bob Schutz since 1985!) A logo of hands holding the Earth followed soon after in November, 1987, designed by Lucy Sikes of Brooklyn, N.Y. A new logo by Gretchen Barnett was adopted in the late 1990s, and that was the basis of the current watercolor version by Mary Coelho, a QEW supporter from Cambridge, Mass.
Membership in QEW reached a plateau of 300 by 1990 and stayed about the same until 1994, at which point it started to grow again and now we are 1,400. The expenditures budget has grown as follows:
*This does not include BeFriending Creation expenses (can't determine them from the minutes)
**This big jump is due to hiring a general secretary. Until this time all the work was done by volunteers, except editing the newsletter. These amounts do not include the Ann Kriebel/San Luis (AK/SL) project, which raises its own funds.
Past clerks of FCUN / QEW:
Bill Howenstine, July, 1987 to July, 1988
Isabel Bliss and Robert Pollard, co-clerks July, 1988 - October, 1988
eric maya joy, October 1988 - October 1990
Isabel Bliss, October 1990 - October 1992
Bill Howenstine, October 1992 - October, 1993
Ted Bernard, October 1993 - October 1995
Tom Small, October 1995 - October 1998
Lisa Gould, October 1998 - July 1999
Stan Becker, July 1999 - October 2002
Kim Carlyle, October 2002 - October 2004
Barbara Williamson, October 2004 -
Hollister Knowlton, October 2007 - October 2009
Richard Grossman, October 2009 - October 2011
Shelley Tanenbaum, October 2011 - October 2013
Roy Taylor, October 2013 - present
We gathered and acted after hearing an address by Marshall Massey, author of "In Defense of the Peaceable Kingdom," at Oberlin College in July, 1987. We are still in process of defining our mission and activities and name.