Minutes on Right Relationship

Unity With Nature Committee

Baltimore Yearly Meeting embraces the Unity with Nature Committees request for each Local Meeting to discern on climate change, resource depletion, and environmental degradation. We believe a mindful discernment process will lead us to the hope, inspiration and strength we need. This will be in preparation for 2015 Annual Session with the theme "Right Relationship". Unity with Nature's emphasis is "Right Relationship with Creation".

The Unity with Nature Committee is encouraging all Local Meetings to deliberate as a community on these dilemmas. To be sustainable we must meet our needs in a way that maintains or enhances the value of the resources and environmental resilience available to the future. Are we called to find such a standard? Our search is for a path to living in peace with the creation. To do that requires honest recognition of the truth of the unsustainable practices we still depend on. With that recognition will come a culture wide determination to creatively adapt to protect the renewable abundance of life in our environment. This requires us to stretch beyond our comfort zone. Consider the Sustainability Queries available to the right. Available below are links to the Minutes that have been adopted by Local Meetings to date.

Please consider contributing to BYM Friends' Listening Post on Sustainability on Facebook.

Unity with Nature Resource List

Brown, Peter & Geoffrey Garver. Right Relationship: Building a Whole Earth Economy. 2009: These Quaker authors search for ways to right the relationship of our economic system to the natural systems of the earth. They ask, What is an economy for? How does it work? How big is too big? What is fair? How can it best be governed?

Candler, Wilfred. Global Warming: The Answer (The Energy Dividend). Author House, 2007: Annapolis Friend Will Candler provides a clear analysis of the carbon cycle, and guidance for how a government can stop adding fossil fuel carbon dioxide at the least cost/maximum benefit to its citizens.

Gwyn, Doug. A Sustainable Life: Quaker Faith and Practice in the Renewal of Creation 2014: Gwyn states, “ The thesis of this book is that sustainability is not just one more concern among many, but the framework in which Friends today must contemplate, even rethink, every aspect of our Quaker faith and practice.”

Hanh, Thich Nhat. Love Letter to the Earth. 2013: An invitation to re-envision our relationship to the earth with mindfulness, to see the earth and ourselves in a whole and healthy way.Hopkins, Rob. The Power of Just Doing Stuff: How Local Action Can Change the World. 2013: Hopkins, a British permaculture instructor has created a worldwide movement, Transition Towns, sweeping through towns and cities around the world. His basic premiss is that should we as communities face climate change, fossil fuel declines, and failing economies, we need to be flexible and resilient in order to survive. This book contains voices of many who are already creatively adapting their areas to absorb stress while building strong and joyful communities.

The Transition Handbook: From Oil Dependency to Local Resilience. 2014: Detailed handbook about the above.

Kline, Naomi. This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate 2014: The author of the bestselling Shock Doctrine now argues that the alarming global climate crisis we face is actually an opportunity to discard our destructive free-market capitalism model for more sustainable ways to live together.

McKibben, Bill. Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet, 2011: In 1988, NASA scientist James Hanson reported that global warming existed and was human-caused. Young journalist Bill McKibben wrote about it, assuming people and governmenst would jump to correct such a serious problem. But we/they didn't. After more than 20 years, he wrote Eaarth. Eaarth documents today’s climate justice movement’s creation, rationale and challenges. Eaarth frames what is going on today in the movement from McKibben’s 26 year history with it, plus his own personal evolution into activism. This is a readable history of the US climate movement. McKIbben shifted from writer to activist out of necessity.

The Global Warming Reader: A Century of Writing about Climate Change. 2012

Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist. 2014

Macy, Joanna and Chris Johnstone. Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in without Going Crazy. 2012: Macy, a systems analyst and Buddhist scholar, and Johnstone, an Md. addictions counselor, introduce fresh ways to look at our global crises as well as our personal strengths. They provide steps to move us through fear and denial into hope and action. This book contains group activities and community building techniques.

Vaughan-Lee, Llewellyn. Spiritual Ecology: The Cry of the Earth. 2013: Essays addressing the spiritual as well as the ecological crises we face by a variety of visionary authors including Chief Oren Lyons, Wendell Berry, Thich Nhat Hanh, Vananada Shiva, Thomas Berry and many more.


"Wisdom and Love: A Theological Basis for Quaker Ecological Action." (No need to sign up or download, accessible on web)


Quaker Earth Care Witness.

Web Resources:

Sustainable Community Development, an On-line Class: The class is designed for people who want to engage with neighbors and fellow residents through their local government to make their community a more sustainable place in which future generations can enjoy living, working, and playing. Although the methods apply broadly, the class emphasizes sustainable community development for counties and municipalities in the State of Maryland.

Annapolis Friends Meeting: Environmental Initiatives, created and maintained by Bob Bruninga: This site provides information about new efforts – in energy use, land conservation and rainwater runoff, for example – by Annapolis Friends Meeting to become a more sustainable community.

Unity with Nature Sustainability Queries.

United Nations short video: “What’s Possible.”

United Nations wall illumination video.

Friends’ Minutes and Statements:

A collection of minutes on right relationship from quarterly and monthly Meetings:

Annapolis Friends Meeting: Minute on Climate Change (1/2014): This minute provides a Quaker perspective on global warming: its causes; impacts; implications for peace and justice; and commitment to action.

Click here to download a pdf version of this list.