Resources for Earthcare
The materials on this page are provided by LEYM’s Earthcare Committee.
July 2019. This update was provided in preparation for the 2019 annual sessions and Lake Erie Yearly Meeting’s action on climate change. At the April 2019 Representatives’ Meeting held at Ann Arbor Friends Meeting, the yearly meeting discerned taking action about the climate crisis. That is why vegetarian meal service was the default for the 2019 sessions. The full minute was to be finalized by the Executive Committee. In brief, the action’s aim was:
“this year to commit as much as possible to a vegetarian food service as a response to the dire circumstances of our planet.”
In preparing LEYM’s action, Monthly Meetings were invited to “host” topics about climate crisis. Topics explore environmental cycles alongside human impact — from harmful to helpful. Select topics were readied for small displays for viewing during meals.
At sessions, Friends are encouraged to respond to displays among table-mates and also to rotate tables across mealtimes for a “tour” of topics. This process is hoped to deepen Friends’ exploration too of LEYM’s recent annual query about Earthcare.
Toward readying ourselves for 2019’s default vegetarian meal service, Earthcare committee member Ken Lawrence shared a reflection for us. We hope as many Friends as possible will take time to sit with Ken’s reflection, inclusive all choices that have been made individually about meal service.
From this reflection, “Reducing meat consumption to reduce contribution to the Climate Crisis”, several resources are offered for further reading:
- Vegetarian Friends, publishes The Peaceable Table, a monthly journal for vegetarian Quakers and other people of faith.
- National Geographic: Eating Meat has ‘dire’ consequences for the planet, says report, by Sarah Gibbens.
- American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Sustainability of meat-based and plant-based diets and the environment, by David and Marcia Pimentel
- Livestrong.com: The Statistics of Vegetarians Vs. Meat-eaters, by Gord Kerr
The LEYM Earthcare Committee encourages constituent monthly meetings and members, committees, and staff to actions based on awareness that current rapid destruction of our planet and its fragile ecosystems is diametrically opposed to Quaker beliefs and values, and that the Religious Society of Friends must take an active stand against these trends and practices, inseparable from our other activities.
“The produce of the earth is a gift from our gracious creator to the inhabitants, and to impoverish the earth now to support outward greatness appears to be an injury to the succeeding age.” — John Woolman, 1700s
A Shared Quaker Statement on Climate Change
At our yearly meeting sessions in 2016, LEYM minuted support of a shared statement on climate change supported by many Quaker organizations and yearly meetings around the world. You can read the text here.
Quaker Environmental Resources
- FWCC Kabarak Call for Peace and Ecojustice
- Sustainability Minute from FWCC World Plenary in Pisac, Peru in January 2016
- Quaker Earthcare Witness
- Britain Yearly Meeting sustainability resources
- Ireland Yearly Meeting: Living Sustainably and Fairly on this Earth
- Quaker Concern over Population
- Earth Quaker Action Team
- Quakers and Climate Change
- Vegetarian Recipes(220 KB)
Other Earthcare resources:
Ubuntu Planet; creating a community of abundance
Earthcare actions by LEYM monthly meetings
Oberlin: In March of 2021 Oberlin Friends Meeting released a minute “We Seek An Earth Restored.” It is available here as a PDF, and presented below in full-text.
Oberlin Friends Meeting joins a broad spectrum of Quaker and other spiritual fellowships in affirming the ecological integrity and sacredness of the Earth and all of Creation. We testify that its bounty should be equitably shared by all humans in this and succeeding generations.
We accept the judgment and urgency expressed by nearly all climate scientists that our individual and collective life styles, our economies, and our public policies threaten our health and our well-being, even the very existence of life on Earth.
We recognize that Black, indigenous, people of color, and low-income people are most impacted by planet destruction and climate change and that the links between racial and environmental injustice must be addressed.
Reversing the threats from “Climate Change” or “Global Warming” calls for dramatic changes in our personal and collective behavior and policies. This will involve:
- Changing community and societal economic and social rules and practices to ensure that every person’s and family’s basic needs are met.
- Assuring that the burden of environmental destruction and damage does not fall upon the poorest and must vulnerable.
- Examining and simplifying our life styles as individuals and as a society, particularly as they draw on scarce resources.
- Reducing energy use, particularly from fossil fuels.
Restoring the Earth will require the active cooperation among all people, communities, and nations, with the greatest contribution from those groups that have both accumulated the greatest resources and contributed the most to our present crisis.
We pledge our support for such leadership, even as we continually examine our own lives for ways we can live in harmony with the earth.
David Snyder, Presiding Clerk
David Finke, Clerk of Peace Building and Justice Committee
Adopted by Oberlin Friends Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends March 20, 2021
Broadmead: Our Earthcare Interest Group meets on a periodic basis to discuss concerns and interests of our members. Since we don’t have a meeting house, we don’t have building issues to address. When possible, most of us carpool to meeting activities when they are held out of town. We try to minimize use of disposables at our potlucks.
Ann Arbor: Ann Arbor Meeting is actively considering the goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2030. We also have a Carbon Footprint Group of members who work together to reduce our individual carbon consumption, and a Voluntary Carbon Tax. The Earthcare Committee distributed the voluntary tax contribution fund for 2019 to three organizations: Michigan Interfaith Power and Light (MIPL), Mayan Power and Light, and the Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT). All of these three emphasize support for racially and economically disadvantaged communities.
For political action, we center our efforts through managing Michigan Quakers for Environmental Action (MQEA), which this year focuses on lobbying in support of bills on clean energy and clean water in the Michigan legislature.
The committee places major emphasis on issues of environmental and climate injustice. Our page on the AAFM website includes a set of readings and film resources, as well as links to climate action organizations, including those that are led by young people. The list emphasizes the spiritual foundations of Quaker environmental action. See our Resources on Earthcare and Environment.
North Columbus Monthly Meeting (NCMM): Our Peace and Social Action Committee meets monthly as is shown on our Columbus Meetup site (Peace & Social Action: NCMM). One current project is work on a proposed video called, “Planning Worlds Without War.” This explores Western inability to population plan consistent with earth care and peace care. It does so while addressing powerful questions raised by Eli Weisel and Oprah about genocide in their Youtube on Auschwitz. Some of us ponder whether earth care is possible as long as “population” remains a “flat earth” taboo?
Bioregional Awareness Booklet
Getting Started! Growing Our Sense of Spirit Home the Bioregional Way is a 29-page booklet prepared by the Lake Erie Yearly Meeting Earthcare Committee for attendees of Lake Erie Yearly Meeting in June, 2008. All are encouraged to read and be inspired by this friendly introduction to our local environment.
Download the booklet here (3.9 MB pdf)
Contacting Government Representatives
Friends are encouraged to contact your government representatives with your concerns about environmental issues.