Approved August 11, 2007
We of Adelphi Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends recognize
that the earth community is in an increasingly visible crisis. There is a
decline of world resources and biological diversity, and an increase of toxic
contaminants in our soil, air, and water. Human induced climate change is
having catastrophic consequences for many species of life and threatens the
future capacity of some of the most populated areas of earth to support human
life. Irresponsible and short-sighted patterns of energy consumption for
homes, transportation, commerce, and food production are rampant. These practices
are not in accord with good stewardship, which calls for us to care for,
protect, and preserve the earth. Industrial production, over-consumption,
and wasteful living patterns are at dangerous and unsustainable levels. These
are not in accord with our testimony of simplicity. The disparity in right
sharing among people continues to grow. This is not in accord with our testimony
of equality. Overuse and misuse of world resources is an increasing cause
of war which is not in accord with our testimony of peace. These and other
practices are urgently in need of re-examination and change. As we search
for the root of these problems, we recognize that living in harmony with
creation is first and foremost a spiritual issue.
As a first step, we affirm that all beings and elements, beyond humans alone,
are a part of the web of life. We further observe that all of our actions
resonate throughout the symphony of creation, flowing through space and time.
We affirm that our spiritual lives are enriched when we experience ourselves
as being an integral part of creation.
With this spiritual grounding, we are called to walk more gently on this
earth and to live more sustainably. This involves using resources wisely,
increasing biological diversity, health and wellness, finding balance between
human and other life, farming for current and future generations, and designing
our human culture to support life on earth. At a minimum, sustainability
requires our using renewable resources no faster than they can be replaced,
replacing the use of non-renewable resources with renewable alternatives,
and releasing pollutants no faster than they can be recycled by nature.
We minute our commitment to live more sustainably personally, in our families
and neighborhoods, at our workplaces, and within our Meeting community. We
will learn, speak, and act as individuals, families, and as a religious
community, for the cause of sustainability.
We will work individually and through our committees to find ways that our
Meeting's spiritual life, pastoral life, educational life, and physical life
can increasingly reflect awareness of and respect for the spiritual
interconnectedness of all beings in the web of creation.
We will develop a greater "sense of place" where we live, travel, work, play,
and worship by strengthening our local communities and economies, and by
becoming more familiar with our local natural areas and history.
We will stay informed about the effects of climate change and overuse of
world resources and will seek policies and programs that promote right sharing
of resources. We will seek to prevent suffering on the part of people and
other earth mates affected by climate change and destructive human practices.
We will encourage and join with other spiritual and social groups outside
of Adelphi in similar action, and we will strive for policy changes and deep
structural changes in our communities, corporations, and governments.
We take these first steps toward speaking truth to power, even when it is
to ourselves. We trust that Spirit will lead the way. We will strive for
sustainable lives in order that all of creation might flourish both now and
long into the future.
(Adapted and revised from a Sustainability Minute Approved by Ohio Valley
Yearly Meeting August 2, 2002)
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