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Share Your Vision: Help us with the next BeFriending Creation

Friends,

How are you feeling right now?

We’ve heard from many that they are feeling overwhelmed and scared, but also engaged and fired-up.

How are we doing at Quaker Earthcare Witness? As a mostly volunteer organization, it could be easy for us to feel under-resourced in the face of the mounting challenges to our democracy, our communities, and our planet. Yet as a growing network of Friends across North America, we feel strong and motivated. Thank you.

In times of such turmoil, there is the likelihood of radical change—for better or for worse. We need to hold on to a vision of radical change for the better.

Together we must continue to engage in daily actions that protect the vulnerable and our earth while moving forward toward a world in right relationship with Creation.

What does that look like?

For the March/April issue of our newsletter, BeFriending Creation, we are asking you to ponder and answer this question and the questions below. We want to gather Friends’ voices and serve as a resource for sharing our collective wisdom. We also want our work this year to be grounded in the responses we receive, so please, respond and share widely.

We are looking for letters, articles (300–700 words), quotes, poems, and photographs that respond to the following queries:

• In the context of this current moment, what do the following words mean to you? “WE ARE CALLED to live in right relationship with all Creation, recognizing that the entire world is interconnected and is a manifestation of God.” (From QEW’s vision statement)

• How do we move toward that vision? What are you doing in your community?

• What can we offer as QEW? As Friends? What are you offering?

Help us by sharing your vision and adding your voice to this vital conversation. Send your work or any questions to hayley@quakerearthcare.org by February 15th.

Thank you,

Shelley Tanenbaum and Hayley Hathaway

Read the new BeFriending Creation

Picture of BFC front page

Have you read the new BeFriending Creation?

2017's first issue leads with a call for a "more radical witness:" to take to heart the lessons learned from indigenous land and water protectors in 1993 in Vancouver and today at Standing Rock in North Dakota. We reflect on the dangerous side of environmental activism in the Global South while celebrating news about solar energy's lowered costs. We read about the "wood wide web" in a review of the new book "The Hidden Life of Trees" by Peter Wohlleben. We learn about QEW's plans for 2017. We welcome Beverly Ward, as Southeastern Yearly Meeting's new Field Secretary for Earthcare, and Hayley Hathaway, QEW's new Publications Coordinator. Click here to see more and download the PDF version.

Two Important Petitions for Our Planet

ourvoices

Hi Friends. Please consider adding your name to two important petitions that are now gaining public attention, calling for care for Earth on national and international levels.

  • www.ourvoices.net is an international effort, calling for people of faith to pray for and around the UN Climate Summit in Paris in 2015.
  • And www.faithclimatepetition.org/ is a petition FCNL helped draft with the WISC EEWG, asking U.S. political leaders to address climate change issues.

Please take a look at these two opportunities add your voice as you feel so led!

Quakers Move Their Money to Protect the Planet

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

June 23, 2014

Quakers Move Their Money to Protect the Planet

Philadelphia, PA.: The Eco-Justice Working Group of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting announced today that more than $2 million of assets have been divested from fossil fuels and reinvested in a new Quaker Green Fund offered by Friends Fiduciary Corporation. By doing so, Philadelphia area Friends join a growing number of religious communities, colleges, towns and states across the country, which are bringing pressure to bear on government and industry to act now to slow climate change. Meetings that have already shifted funds include Central Philadelphia, Lansdowne, Westtown, Lehigh Valley, Old Haverford, and Newtown Monthly Meetings. The question of investing with integrity is actively underway at many others. These Quaker Meetings are urging Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, the largest body of Friends in the United States, to divest as well.

“We understand that addressing the climate crisis is a moral imperative,” said Bruce Harrison of Westtown Monthly Meeting. “The divestment movement draws attention to the seriousness of climate disruption and the need to combat the powerful coal, oil, and gas companies, which persist in resisting efforts to curb polluting carbon and methane emissions,” he continued. The movement is based on recent climate and financial analyses by the Carbon Tracker Initiative which makes it clear that 80% of the world’s fossil fuel reserves must not be burned if we are to maintain a hospitable climate.

“By divesting and reinvesting, we communicate the urgency of our concern for protecting a stable climate future for the commonwealth of life. We want to invite meaningful conversation about the transition to clean energy,” said Paula Kline, member of the Eco-Justice Working Group. The decision is consistent with Friends’ values. Friends have a long history of concern for ethical investing and exclude other industries such as tobacco, gambling and arms manufacture because of the harm they do. Quakers understand that money is always an instrument of moral choice. Such difficult times for the future of the Earth, and more particularly its poorest citizens, merit dramatic, but responsible, actions like this.

Friends Fiduciary Corporation excluded coal and coal based utilities from their portfolio in 2013. Stanford University has just followed suit. “We have a carbon budget, with very real limits which must be respected, if we want to survive. We also know about financial bubbles, and the carbon bubble is a concern to any financial manager,” Kline commented.

The Eco-Justice Working Group acts on the Quaker commitment to stewardship including the Friendly Households program, which supports reducing our carbon footprint and promoting renewable energy options. The consequences of unchecked climate change can be described as a theft from our children, be we are all at risk. Climate instability threatens every society on earth and the natural systems on which they depend.

For more information consult Go Fossil Free http://gofossilfree.org/religious-institutions/ Quaker Earth Care Witness Fossil Free Friends http://www.quakerearthcare.org/article/fossil-free-friendsand GreenFaith Divest/Reinvesthttp://greenfaith.org/programs/divest-and-reinvest

Action & Contemplation at the QEW Spring Meeting in Chicago--Going on Now!

Chicago Skyline and Lake Michigan

The Spring 2014 QEW Steering Committee meeting is going on now at the Cenacle Retreat & Conference Center in Chicago, Illinois. QEW Friends come from all over to gather, share stories, participate in committee meetings, and spend time in worship and fellowship. We enjoy wonderful (and Earth-friendly) vegetarian meals, times of silence and celebration, and learn about and discuss a wide range of concerns and emerging responses on behalf of our planet. We hope you join us for one of our upcoming gatherings! We meet in the spring and fall, so keep an eye out for our fall gathering (at Pendle Hill in October 2014). We welcome your involvement, insight, leadings, and effort!

QUNO & Small Farms

Susan Bragdon

Are you a foodie? An urban farmer? Concerned about GMO foods?

QUNO is doing some interesting work in the areas of intellectual property, genetic resources, and food. In February, QUNO hosted a panel discussion that focused on small-scale farms and what they need in order to innovate and manage their operations successfully. Speakers included: Susan Bragdon, QUNO; Shakeel Bhatti, International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture; Isabel Lopez Noriega, Bioversity International; and Antony Taubman, World Trade Organization. The event was moderated by QUNO's Caroline Dommen. If this is an issue close to your heart, read QUNO's 2013 Briefing Note, Small-scale farmers - The missing element in the WIPO-IGC Draft Articles on Genetic Resources to find out more.

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