Seeds of Violence, Seeds of Hope

THE FRIENDS TESTIMONIES AND ECONOMICS (FTE) project seeks to engage Friends with:

  • Learning more about current economic concepts, policies, and institutions as they relate to our historic testimonies in an ecological context
  •  Supporting advocacy by Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) and other Friends' organizations for a comprehensive reformulation of U. S. economic policy.

We see this as essential if progress is to be made toward any enduring prevention of deadly conflict.

Seeds of Violence, Seeds of Hope

FTE has published Seeds of Violence, Seeds of Hope, a three-volume resource. Its purpose is:

  • To help individual Friends prepare themselves to provide leadership in monthly meetings and other settings to lift up a concern about economics and Friends testimonies within the Society of Friends as a whole; to provide activities of 40 to 60 minutes, each focusing on a single theme, for use separately or in a sequence, in adult religious education classes, after-Meeting discussions, or other settings; and
  • To offer a framework, options for activities, and supplemental materials for an interactive course or intensive workshop involving a number of longer sessions for a group of committed participants.

Volume I consists of a series of core readings about economics in an ecological context, and about more ecologically sustainable economic activities.

Volume II provides a series of interactive exercises to help groups of Friends consider questions about economics and Friends testimonies. They can be used separately or in combination for interactive presentations or workshops. Download Volume I and download Volume II

Volume III is a series of articles on "in depth perspectives" which present viewpoints of individual Friends and others who have contributed to the FTE project, or whose points of view seemed useful to include. Download Volume III

How to get printed copies of Seeds of Violence, Seeds of Hope

We hope that any Friend who is interested in using these materials with other Friends will contact the project by calling or e-mailing Ed Dreby, 609/261-8190, or

One printed copy of Volume I is available at no cost to any Monthly Meeting or church if requested by a member. Printed copies of Volume II are available to anyone for the cost of duplicating and postage.

FTE Oversight

FTE, as a joint project of QEW and the Earthcare Working Group of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, has an oversight group whose current members are Ed Dreby, Mt Holly (N.J.) MM and Donn Kesselheim, Wyoming MM, for QEW, and Keith Helmuth, New Brunswick, Canada, MM, and Hollister Knowlton, Chestnut Hill (Pa.) MM, for EWG.

The FTE Oversight Group thanks Kim Carlyle, Swannanoa Valley (N.C.) MM for formatting and illustrating "Seeds of Violence, Seeds of Hope," and Elaine Emmi of Salt Lake (Utah) MM for procuring grants that enable us to distribute Volume I to monthly meetings at no cost.

FTE Guidance Statement on Policy

AS FRIENDS, we recognize the intrinsic value of the natural world as God's creation, beyond its use by humankind. We are part of an intricate web connecting all of Earth's communities of life. Failure to recognize our interdependence with and responsibility to all life has resulted in activities and institutions that are impairing Earth's ecosystems and their ability to support life. We are called to promote policies, laws, and institutions that respond to these problems.

Restoring balance between natural and cultural systems is an obligation of faith and requires us to recognize that Earth is a finite planet. Friends' historic testimonies on peace, justice and simplicity require us to help curb our society's production, marketing, and consumption of energy and material goods, and the pollution and waste that ensues. Human enterprise cannot continue to expand without continuing to impair Earth's communities of life on which it depends. To prevent this, we must learn to:

  • Limit ecologically disruptive substances in the biosphere such as: heat trapping and ozone destroying gases in the atmosphere, acid deposition from the air in soils and waters, heavy metals, persistent organic pollutants, and radioactive substances. Stabilize and then reduce human numbers, and shape our social and economic institutions so as to accomplish these ends.
  • Limit the amount of land we exploit for human purposes so as to preserve Earth's biological diversity and productivity.
  • Redesign the way we use land, water, and natural resources, and restore degraded land, so our communities relate in mutually enhancing ways to the ecosystems of which they are part.
  • Limit and manage our technologies so as to restore and preserve the integrity of Earth's biological communities and natural cycles.
  • Transform our institutions of government, enterprise, finance and trade so they enable people to live in ways that are ecologically sustainable and strengthen institutions of family and community.

These changes will require both an unprecedented degree of international cooperation and equity, and restoration of greater self-reliance and responsibility to regions and communities. Little of enduring consequence will be accomplished if we do not address the prevalence of violence and extremes of wealth and poverty within the human family, or if we try to manage environmental problems without regard for both local and global ecological limits.

FTE Project Personnel

  • Project Leader: Ed Dreby
  • Editing: Kim Carlyle, Ed Dreby, Gary Lapreziosa, Margaret Mansfield
  • Layout and Graphics: Kim Carlyle
  • Consulting Participants: David Ciscel, Walter Haines, Keith Helmuth, Judy Lumb, David Ross
  • Project Oversight Group: Ed Dreby (QEW), Keith Helmuth (EWG), Donn Kesselheim (QEW), Hollister Knowlton (EWG)