QUAKER EARTHCARE WITNESS (2008)
2007 marked the 20th anniversary of the founding of Friends Committee in Unity with Nature (now Quaker Earthcare Witness). In 1987, a workshop at Friends General Conference united Friends in their desire to “give forceful witness to the holiness of creation and to demonstrate in their lives the meaning of a testimony on earthcare.” That summer FCUN was born and began publishing BeFriending Creation—followed by a series of pamphlets on sustainability and creation care for Friends.
In 5th month 2003 the organization changed its name to Quaker Earthcare Witness (QEW), which continues to educate Friends about Earthcare through a variety of means. Along with its publications it participates in the management of the Finca la Bella farm in Costa Rica. More recently, QEW has representatives to the FCNL board. Members of QEW joined Friends from Philadelphia YM to form the Friends Testimony on Economics (FTE) program, which publishes the Quaker Eco-Bulletin insert. As of this year, QEW has two DPI Observer badges for the United Nations. Because of this growing role and presence in policy work, the organization experiencing some growing pains as it moves into the next 20 years with a new name, and change in mission focus. For some this is quite tender. The fall meetings in Atlanta in 2008 will continue work on articulating organizational purpose.
Purposes & Objectives
Quaker Earthcare Witness is a spiritually centered organization of American Quakers and likeminded people seeking ways to integrate their concern for environment with Friends’ long-standing testimonies for simplicity, peace, and equality. Quaker Earthcare Witness (QEW) holds two annual meetings, hosts the Earthcare Center at FGC Gathering, and sends visitors to yearly meetings to carry a concern for Earthcare in their visit.
Activities, Method of Appointment, Meeting Times & Places
New York Yearly Meeting has one representative appointed by the Yearly Meeting on the recommendation of the Nominating Committee. The representative attends the two semi-annual meetings of the organization, serves on the organization’s Steering Committee, and is expected to become active in QEW; participating in committee work in-between the two meetings. The representative organizes an interest group and/or a display on QEW at Yearly Meeting sessions to deepen the understanding of QEW and its work. The representative reports to the Earthcare Working Group, and to the Yearly Meeting.
The Yearly Meeting has a line in the Operating Budget for representatives attending QEW annual meetings.