Below are the queries for Fifth Month from my local Quaker Meeting. I thought you might enjoy these questions. Those of you who are familiar with the Mo rhetoric about our ‘stewardship’ over the earth might particularly appreciate the way that considering our “right relationship with the earth” can change the way we think about our role in environmental issues.
It would go a long way to caution and
direct people in their use of the world,
that they were better studied and knowing
in the creation of it. For how could [they]
find the confidence to abuse it, while they
should see the Great Creator stare them
in the face, in all and every part thereof?
William Penn, 1693, in “Some Fruits
God is revealed in all Creation. We humans belong to the whole interdependent community of life on earth. Rejoice in the beauty, complexity and mystery of creation, with gratitude to be part of its unfolding. Take time to learn how this community of life is organized and how it interacts. Live according to principles of right relationship and right action within this larger whole. Be aware of the influence humans have on the health and viability of life on earth. Call attention to what fosters or harms earth’s exquisite beauty, balances and interdependencies. Guided by Spirit, work to translate this understanding into ways of living that reflect our responsibility to one another, to the greater community of life, and to future generations.
Advice and Queries for all individuals:
In what ways do I express gratitude for the wondrous expressions of life on Earth?
Do I consider the damage I might do to the Earth’s vulnerable systems in choices I make of what I do, what I buy, and how I spend my time?
Advice and Queries for the meeting:
In our witness for the global environment, are we careful to consider justice and the wellbeing of the world’s poorest people?
Does our way of life threaten the viability of life on Earth?
Advice and Queries especially for children:
We are part of the community of life on earth and need to work to understand it.
How do I thank God for this world?
Did someone harm the earth so I could have what I want?
Do we understand that people in other parts of the world live differently and may see things differently than we do?
Does the way we live hurt or help the earth?