Statement on Unity with Diversity
As both Friends and environmentalists we on the Spiritual Nurturance Committee of Quaker Earthcare Witness hold a variety of personal views, beliefs and approaches based in the variety of our backgrounds, traditions and experiences. We see it as good for QEW to endeavor to work with all who share our basic goals, both QEW participants and others.
For their own personal reasons Friends choose different language as they support and share in the work of QEW. Here are some examples: "In caring for nature we come closer to the Great Mystery." "The creative, beautiful earth is permeated with the sacred Ground of Being, the same Ground within which we dwell." "We are kin to the eagle and the oak and the rain and the sun; in this family we are loved and are called to love in return." "Jesus said the essence of faith is to love the Lord God and to love your neighbor; caring for all of the creation that God has so lovingly given us is an important way to express our love for God and others." "The ecosystem is our home, our body; we seek a life that affirms our unity with nature." Building with the forms of religious expression that speak to us, we unite in seeking a spiritual response to Earth’s needs.
Within the Spiritual Nurturance Committee we have collectively lived out the experience of acknowledging diversity while seeking and remaining in unity. We value inclusivity in our relations with each other. We commit ourselves to trying to focus on the spirit rather than the letter, listening and speaking from the heart, and seeking and sharing from the heart, in the manner of Friends. We recommend this model to QEW for our work with one another and with other organizations. We offer the seeming paradox of diversity within the supportive and inclusive structure of our unity.
Even as we differ in how we characterize these issues, we are in unity on our support of each other individually and collectively and of the purposes expressed in the following words:
Purpose of the organization from the Articles of Incorporation of FCUN, now QEW:
To search and to help others to search for that life which affirms the unity of all creation.
To apply and to help others to apply Friends’ practice to live in deep communion with all life spirit.
To be guided by and to help others to be guided by the light within us to participate in the healing of the earth.
To provide resources, networking, and support to yearly and monthly meetings of the Religious Society of Friends, and to others of whatever persuasion; to help them in their search for effective ways to achieve the above objectives.
To provide a reflective and energetic forum that will strengthen and deepen that spiritual unity with nature which values the integrity, diversity, and continuity of life on earth.
Vision & Witness of QEW from the amended Articles of Incorporation:
We are called to live in right relationship with all Creation, recognizing that the entire world is interconnected and is a manifestation of God. We work to integrate into the beliefs and practices of the Religious Society of Friends the Truth that God’s Creation is to be respected, protected, and held in reverence in its own right and the Truth that human aspirations for peace and justice depend upon restoring the Earth’s ecological integrity. We promote these Truths by being patterns and examples, by communicating our message, and by providing spiritual and material support to those engaged in the compelling task of transforming our relationship with the Earth.
The Spiritual Nurturance Committee
of Quaker Earthcare Witness
December 11, 2012