Burlington Friends Meeting Minute on Our
Relationship with Nature
Our experience and unfolding understanding of Quaker
traditions and testimonies tell us that right living goes
beyond the human-centered considerations of science and
economics. It requires building a relationship with the
natural world that is as caring as the peacework we do with
Increasing evidence of environmental imbalance indicates
that we have not met this duty. Examples of this imbalance
exist at various levels. On a global level, we see climatic
warming, loss of ozone layer, and species extinction.
Nationally, we see continuing overuse of wilderness areas,
loss of agricultural topsoil, and increasing environmentally
caused cancers. Locally, land-use decisions are marked by
development of prime farmland, reliance on the automobile
for general transportation purposes, and disregard for
wildlife habitat. We are concerned that these issues are
reaching crisis levels.
We recognize that these issues are interconnected by
human behaviors that are the result of a spiritual crisis
which overemphasizes material affluence at the cost of
social well-being. We hear a calling to look to that of God
in all Creation for guidance in being better participants in
the natural systems. We feel the Quaker tradition calls us
and other Friends to witness to this concern.
To this end, Burlington Friends Meeting calls on Friends
to join us in:
- Considering and acting on this concern as one of
critical importance in our lives.
- Looking into our daily habits and their entanglements
for the seeds of the damage humans cause to the health of
the natural world.
- Challenging ourselves to change our personal habits
and lifestyles as we are led.
- Working to assist natural processes in returning to
health those ecosystems damaged by human activities.
We are encouraged by the efforts that already have been
made in this direction and thank all who make the
significant commitments required to contribute to the health
of our planet.