NYYM Minute on Eco-Spirituality

Eco-Spirituality & Action Minute

Approved by New York Yearly Meeting July 27, 2007, minute # 2007-7-58.

In our 1660 peace declaration Friends declared, “We utterly deny all outward wars and strife, and fightings with outward weapons, for any end, or under any pretense whatever: this is our testimony to the whole world.” That statement is still true, but its meaning has deepened beyond what those early Quakers would have understood. Can we now commit ourselves to ending humanity’s war with the Earth?

The Religious Society of Friends has witnessed for peace for almost 350 years. Over that time, our witness has grown and widened; we have worked for the end of war, for the end of the African slave trade, for equality of women, for civil rights for African Americans, and for human rights around the world.

Now we are led to widen our witness again to work for peace between humans and our sacred Earth community. Our culture has considered the Earth our property to be exploited, and we have all, knowingly and unknowingly, been complicit in this violent appropriation of world resources. We must now search for the seeds of this war in our possessions and in our lives, and work to nurture a new, mutual relationship with the Earth in all of our actions. The spirit is calling us to hold in reverence this miracle that God has given us. If we are connected to our source, our lives are richer and deeper.

We are asking that this minute be forwarded to all monthly meetings and worship groups in New York Yearly Meeting with a “call to action.” We suggest that each monthly meeting worshipfully address the following queries:

  1. What are God and the Earth asking of our meeting at this point in time?
  2. How do we respond in ways appropriate to our meeting, our community, and the wider world?
  3. How does this response build on previous or ongoing Earthcare work our meeting has already done?
  4. What further specific changes are we willing to make in our spiritual practice, meetings and our individual lives to reflect a strong witness for the Earth?

It is our hope that this prayerful consideration of our responsibility to the planet that sustains us will generate the actions necessary to bring us back into harmony with our beloved Earth.