Sunday, February 28, 2016

Living sustainably, sustaining life

I was really pleased to get to see the minute from the World Plenary of FWCC in Peru on Living sustainably and sustaining life on earth, and just as pleased to see Charlotte's name in the opening paragraph. There is an article in the about to be published Friends Newsletter here that says because of climate change Friends should stop flying people to events like the World Plenary. Unsurprisingly I disagree. No matter how good electronic communication is (and not to mention the environmental impact of keeping servers cool etc), nothing can replace the synergy of being kanohi ki te kanohi, face to face, and without that it is hard to bring about real change.

If everyone went home from Peru untouched by what they were part of, and took no further action to combat climate change and we all totally ignored the minute, then yes there were possibly better ways to 'spend' our carbon footprint, not to mention money, although I am positive there will be many other benefits of the event for individuals and Meetings. But I find it hard to believe that the ripple effect from this won't be huge. Sure some would be making such changes in their own lives, and their Meetings, already but far from all. To go away with a real fire in your belly to be a catalyst for change, and to have a minute like this to back your concern is very empowering.

Sure the list of practical actions will not seem especially challenging for many, especially those who have been campaigning long and hard for change, but imagine if every single person from within the FWCC affiliated YMs, MMs, and international members etc did one extra thing on the list, or stepped things up a level if they felt that they already did them all, and all Worship Groups, MMs and YMs corporately took on the challenge too. That is a huge impact worldwide. And then if we were bold and said we're doing this because we're Quakers and we believe we have a calling to protect the world, to steward it wisely and restore it on behalf of those who are yet to be born, what an outreach message that would be.

It is time to step out of our comfort zones and make those changes as individuals and as faith communities; to justify the investment in sending our representatives to Peru and honor the wero (challenge) they have sent out for us to act, and to do so now.

For me that has meant taking on a bigger role this year with our local EcoCentre which basically covers the entire list for MMs etc, and as three of our small Worship Group are actively involved with it (and we're starting work on encouraging the others!) it does double duty as individual and Worship Group action.

So what will you be doing?

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