Jonathan Sprout, a member of Fallsington Monthly Meeting in the United States, and his company Force For Good, have released their first CD, Passions. Once a month, Force For Good will premiere a short film (available for free on YouTube). The 13 initial films were made with Quaker principles in mind and deal with gender and racial equality, climate change and renewable energy, the refugee crisis, sensible gun legislation, organic farming, hope, and grace. Each film is about five minutes long, wordless, and prayer/meditation-like. These films are designed to open hearts and minds and have helped prepare people for worship.
The United States-based Friends Fiduciary Corporation is a Quaker not-for-profit which provides socially responsible investment management for Friends meetings, schools and organizations and recently it announced it will divest from fossil fuel industries. In place of fossil portfolios, Friends Fiduciary will rigorously focus on companies leading the transition to a low carbon economy like clean technology, renewable energy and energy and energy conservation, clean water protection, environmental finance, and low carbon commerce.
FWCC, in collaboration with young Friends from around the world and across the Quaker branches, are hosting a series of 5 online workshops over 10 weeks. These sessions will be run by young Quakers for young Quakers through Friends World Committee for Consultation on 5 Saturdays between August 29 and October 24, 2020.
Each session will explore climate action, peace, and justice in relation to one of the five testimonies: Truth, Equality, Peace, Simplicity and Community. There will be a chance to hear from 2 – 3 speakers (who will be Young Friends from across the FWCC sections), to talk in zoom breakout rooms exploring the session’s theme, and a chance to gather and reflect on our discussions together.
Every year on June 5th the world celebrates World Environment Day. This year the theme is biodiversity, which is a core piece of any healthy environment. Currently we are losing species at the fastest rate ever in human history. The following is a useful resource explaining what biodiversity is, why it is under threat, and what are the direct actions you and I can take to help protect biodiversity.
Kwibuka Yearly Meeting in Burundi engages Friends and non-friends through a wide range of actions to encourage environmental protection and economic development. This happens through the “Christian Action in a World of Distress” Program. Some of the activities include teaching young vegetable farmers to make organic pesticides and fertilizer to prevent environmental degradation, how to transform non-biodegradable plastics into useful tools, and offer retreats to foster youth leadership in climate action. The group is also planning to open three new nurseries to help combat deforestation.
Friends World Committee for Consultation has created a Sustainability Resources list on their website, which includes reports from different meetings around the world, personal testimonies from Friends, and links to publications and podcasts from FWCC as well as other Quaker organizations such as QUNO and Quakers in Britain. FWCC also has an Instagram page where more information and narrative is shared.
Beverly Ward, the Southeastern Yearly Meeting Field Secretary for Earthcare, attended a “Peace Breakfast: an Interfaith gathering” at Valencia College in Orlando, United States. Faith leaders were asked to share touchstones—“a touchstone transcends any one religion, thought, or spiritual tradition and serves as a guide. These touchstones provide examples of specific prayers, passages or scripture, or inspirations from various sacred texts or philosophical writings associated with diverse traditions.” Those present were invited to present a touchstone about how humans are accountable to the care and protection of planet Earth.
As the Climate Change-heightened Australian bush fires continue, Australian Friends have received many expressions of concern from Friends around the world. Presiding Clerk Ann Zubrick has sent the attached letter on behalf of Australian Friends to Friends Everywhere, in response to these messages.
Richard Whiteford, a climate change consultant and member of Downingtown Friends Meeting, published an article in the latest World Ecology Report entitled “Effects of Climate Change Impacts on Humans” which discusses the 2019 Climate Summit and recent climate science and its communication to non-scientist audiences, and calls for unity and ambition to act on climate change before it is too late.
The Friends International Bilingual Center was set up by Quaker volunteers in Bolivia. It offers educational programmes for children, young people and adults focused on social concerns, spiritual growth and stewardship of creation which are all important Quaker Principles. The following document outlines a few actions undertaken and shares the climate change-specific context in Bolivia