Much of UWN’s activity since the 2014 annual gathering has been described in our Report to Representative Committee.
We are presenting two proposals to plenary. The first is signing ”Facing the Challenge of Climate Change: A shared statement by Quaker groups” which was developed by QEW, QUNO, and FCNL. At of early June, at least five PYM monthly meetings have joined their voices to this inspiring statement of Unity. The five meetings are Palo Alto Friends Meeting, Sacramento Friends Meeting, Strawberry Creek Monthly Meeting, Humboldt Friends Meeting, and Honolulu Monthly Meeting. The statement will be available on our PYM website and on our information table at annual session.
The second proposal is a minute advocating divestment of fossil fuel energy stocks as a strategy for slowing climate change. We are aware of at least two PYM monthly meetings, Strawberry Creek and Sacramento, who have come to Unity on a divestment statement or minute. We understand from Treasurer Roy Allen that
“PYM has no investments in fossil fuel companies, either directly or indirectly. Our investments at Friends Fiduciary are in their Green Fund.” So, we will be asking for a statement of unity to the effect that “PYM has no investments in fossil fuel companies and will not be making any investments in fossil fuel companies in the foreseeable future. We urge other Quaker groups to consider doing the same, taking, if necessary, up to five years to do so. We further encourage individuals to consider divesting their own portfolios of fossil fuels.”
Our offer, of developing an optional DIY carbon tax as part of the 2015 annual gathering registration process, was accepted by Representative Committee. We thank the Registrar for including this in the online procedure. Friends were able to select the tax they felt to be appropriate for them, based on approximate estimates of CO2 (typically several hundred pounds) generated by individuals’ travel for annual gathering. These funds will be used for Earthcare purposes according to UWN committee unity.
We received no responses to our invitations to apply for a 2015 UWN mini-grant. We share a report on the outcome of our 2014 mini-grant to Casa de los Amigos in support of their rainwater storage system, on our information table this week. Friends can also find there other Earthcare information and homemade items for those wishing to donate to future mini-grants and other UWN efforts.
We are very excited that Jose Aguto, FCNL’s Legislative Secretary of Sustainable Energy and Environment Program, is joining us this year and will give a plenary talk on Friday at 3:30 PM. UWN is sponsoring an interest group given by Jose Aguto called, ‘The Climate Change Challenge: Legislative Possibilities and Earthcare Action’ – on Wednesday right after lunch. We hope that his advice and counsel is inspiring and useful to Friends.
We offer two other interest groups this year:
- Walking the Land: Listening to Nature, Tuesday 1:30pmGetting to know the flora and fauna of Walker Creek while opening our senses and centering down into our bodies, a part of nature. Through directed experiment to centering in silence, we Worship in Unity with Nature.
- Greening the Meeting, Greening Our Lives: Discerning and Living Our Earthcare Testimony, Saturday at 8am
A presentation about levels of sustainability will be followed by queries and discussion about what we may be called to do, individually and collectively. Queries will include the ‘Three Challenges’ developed recently by QEW’s Sustainability, Faith, and Action Working Group, as well as reports from participants about what they and their meetings have already accomplished, and their hopes for the future.
Our mission statement and proposed charter revision of October 25, 2014 will be posted on our PYM website. We are in unity that the two PYM representatives to QEW are also ex officio members of Unity with Nature Committee. We thank PYM for supporting the work of QEW—the unfolding of the Earthcare testimony—by continuing to support PYM’s two representatives to attend the twice yearly QEW conferences.
We are dedicated to continue giving support for and information about living our felt Earthcare testimony.
We sponsored Interest Groups at College Park Quarterly Meeting. At spring quarterly at Ben Lomond, Robin Keeler and Cedar Selenite presented exploring embodiment in nature using non-violent communication processes.
As outgoing co-clerks, we devoutly hope that PYM will seek discernment about how the committee can best support Friends’ future Earthcare ideas and sustainability goals.
Friends who are interested in Earthcare may be interested in the fall conference of Quaker Earthcare Witness [QEW] – Thursday October 22nd to Sunday 25th at beautiful Ben Lomond Quaker Center which is open to all. Friends are especially encouraged to come on Saturday the 24th for a day of inspiring speakers, workshops, and worship in Unity with Nature. On Wednesday the 21st and the morning of the 22nd, QEW is planning some hands-on projects for wise stewardship of the land.
We are honored to have had the privilege of this service.
Respectfully submitted by:
- Muriel Strand, co-clerk
- Catya de Neergaard, co-clerk
Strawberry Creek Meeting