Stony Run and Homewood Friends Meeting
Minute in Support of Diversity of Life (approved 2001)
The universal processes that establish and maintain the forms we find in nature, including those forms we call “life,” are a manifestation of the Divine in which we are blessed to participate. In the manner of continuing revelation we are becoming aware of the total and sacred interdependence of all things. A new story is unfolding, in which we are an integral part of the pattern of existence rather than its main purpose. We are learning to see the complex patterns of change and exchange that underlie the apparent stability upon which we rely to live, and we are moved to worshipful awe.
Our inherited religious tradition, which states that we have “dominion” over the natural world has been misinterpreted to justify our exploitation and destruction of nature. Our new understanding of the impact of humankind on the rest of nature calls into question traditional assumptions of ourselves, our origins, and our future. The Earth’s bio-system is a living web that maintains our own existence and that of all other life forms, both known to us and unknown. Our new understanding of our place in this web calls on us to live sustainably, which means living simply and contributing to the renewal of nature, so that the diversity of life may thrive indefinitely. Sustainability is a concept that relates to all our Testimonies, relates each of them to the future, and helps to weave them together in our lives.
We accept that a faithful response to the Divine moving in us requires that we re-examine our behaviors and actions, our policies and practices, as they affect Earth’s web of life. We need to do this at personal, community, national, international and corporate levels, and to work to change our behaviors that degrade the processes that sustain the diversity of life. To this end we should adopt long-term sustainability as one measure of the rightness of the practices we live by. God has troubled our hearts, and is showing us that the way to a renewal of our peace is to forge a human way of life in harmony with the sacred patterns of nature in which we participate.