[Sayma-Discuss] [qewdiscussions] Britain YM takes a stand - "A Quaker response to the crisis of climate change" [1 Attachment]

Roy H Taylor III wrldpeas at mindspring.com
Fri Jul 24 08:14:25 EDT 2009

Dear Friends,

Friend Free has reminded me of our process and I am grateful for that.  It is one of the things that sets us apart and we benefit from it.  So, to bring my suggestion into correct process for SAYMA I am making the following request:  

To members and attendees of each Monthly Meeting and the Worship Groups that are under your care;

As one of your representatives to Quaker Earthcare Witness and co-clerk of Ecological Concerns Network I am making the request that you bring the issue of Quaker response to climate change and the occasion of the Copenhagen Summit to your next Monthly Meeting for Worship with attention to Business.  Please consider what is your Meeting's response to the crisis of climate change.  You can use the document released by Britain YM as an example of how one organization has responded.  I am hoping that after careful discernment that you will be able to issue your own response or confirm and endorse the document released by Britain YM.

As a whole Yearly Meeting we will not be able to respond in a timely manner to this event in December but each of us can be a part of this by our work locally.

Peace & Love,
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Free Polazzo 
  To: 'Roy H Taylor III' ; sayma-discuss at kitenet.net 
  Sent: Thursday, July 23, 2009 8:28 PM
  Subject: RE: [Sayma-Discuss] [qewdiscussions] Britain YM takes a stand - "A Quaker response to the crisis of climate change" [1 Attachment]

  Roy, (et all)


  Interesting that another YM has made a change to their Faith and Practice.    Yearly meetings do this all the time as there are many of them around the world.

  Our work is to understand how way opens in SAYMA.      We don’t just approve minutes from other YM’s, even if they are well received there and other places. 

  Thanks for bringing it to the list’s attention.     The next step, if someone is so moved, is to bring a minute to their Monthly Meeting for approval.  

  That is then sent to the Clerk of the YM, who introduces it at the NEXT YM (2010) and where it may be referred to the committee who is revising the Guide.  



  Here is the relevant passages excerpted from the current version of SAYMA’s Guide to our Faith and Our Practice.




  “As a resource, the Guide to Our Faith and Practice naturally reflects

  the way SAYMA Friends have conducted their spiritual labors at the

  time of its original composition (1975-1990) and subsequent revisions.

  We recognize that to enable the Spirit to blow freely where it will, thus

  leading Friends and their meetings, is a more fundamental principle than

  any temporary guide. The Guide reflects our understanding of the

  spiritual basis for our practice as Quakers.


  To encourage openings to divine revelations and to promote the

  corporate nature of Friends' decision making, the clerk of SAYMA shall

  inquire each year at the beginning of the first yearly meeting session for

  business if concerns have arisen among Friends regarding this Guide.

  Specific minuted proposed alteration, seasoned in a monthly meeting,

  may then be presented and referred to an examining committee

  appointed by the yearly meeting; this committee will promptly consider

  such alterations, make any recommendation for changes and then be



  As the Spirit leads or not less than 10 years after completion and

  approval by yearly meeting of the most recent revision, yearly meeting

  shall consider whether it will appoint a revision committee to:


  • Review the entire Guide;

  • Through prayerful consideration weigh whether continuing

  corporate revelation necessitates a change;

  • Bring a recommendation to the next YM annual session;

  • Gaining approval of yearly meeting, if a revision is needed,

  proceed to draft changes.


  In order to assure continuity and preservation of past experience it

  is recommended that examining and revision committees consist of five

  or more members, at least two of whom have served on a previous

  examining or revision committee. The committees continue to serve

  until they have fulfilled their charge and yearly meeting has laid them



  At least three (3) months prior to yearly meeting sessions, these

  committees shall distribute recommendations to monthly meetings to

  allow for a process of seasoning. In light of minuted responses from

  monthly meetings the committees will present their reports for yearly

  meeting consideration (at Yearly Meeting). Any recommendations for

  changing the Guide that are approved at yearly meeting sessions will

  immediately become a part of the Guide, even before reprinting.”





  Hope this helps all to better understand the process we follow.




  Free Polazzo




  From: sayma-discuss-bounces at kitenet.net [mailto:sayma-discuss-bounces at kitenet.net] On Behalf Of Roy H Taylor III
  Sent: Thursday, July 23, 2009 1:12 PM
  To: sayma-discuss at kitenet.net
  Subject: [Sayma-Discuss] [qewdiscussions] Britain YM takes a stand - "A Quaker response to the crisis of climate change" [1 Attachment]


  Is SAYMA ready to join in endorcing BYM's Climate Statement (below)?

  The following statement by Britain YM Clerk and attached "Make Waves at Copenhagen" poster just appeared on the BYM webpage in advance of this weekend's yearly gathering:

  The crisis of global climate change represents a supreme test of humanity’s collective wisdom and courage. Our immoderate use of the Earth’s resources violates the entire biosphere, threatening the lives of millions of people and the habitats of thousands of species. Many of the poorest people are already suffering a changed climate; they are asking us all to act.

  How has humanity produced this crisis? Our faith response is that prevailing social values have obscured what it means to live authentically on this Earth. In rich European countries we consume more than we need within an economic system that divides us as a society; in much that we do, we cause harm to the planet and each other without enriching our lives.

  The Earth is God’s work and not ours to do with as we please. We recall Gandhi’s saying, often quoted by Quakers: ‘Live simply that others may simply live’. As a Quaker community, we do try to live what we believe, guided by the values of simplicity, truth, equality and peace. Too often we fall short of honouring them. Climate change is challenging us to ask anew what our faith leads us to do.

  As individuals and as a community, we are now making the difficult decisions and plans necessary to limit our ecological impact to a sustainable level. With encouragement from one another, we are progressively reducing our reliance on non-renewable resources while stepping up our campaign for wider social change. As a small religious society, we take heart in belonging to a community of faith groups and others working towards the same goals in a hopeful spirit.

  We gladly take up our responsibility and call for unprecedented international cooperation to enable the large cuts in global emissions which are required. This will be a difficult road to travel but we are prepared to support decision-makers in taking the radical steps necessary. We appreciate progress made and uphold decision-makers as they navigate conflicting priorities, yet we challenge them to hold faith with the goal and not bend to short-term expediency.

  An inequitable global agreement on climate change could lead to forced migrations and serious conflict. Any agreement must put the world’s poorest first; it falls to richer countries to bear the greater burden of responsibility for change. The goal is achievable but priorities will need to change: currently, the majority of states commit more resources to warfare than to tackling climate change.

  Where we see crisis, we also see opportunity to remake society as a communion of people living sustainably as part of the natural world. By leading the simpler lives of a low-carbon society, we draw nearer to the abundance of peace, freedom and true community. Our faith in common humanity gives hope; love, rather than fear, can still lead us through this crisis.

  Susan Seymour
  Clerk, Meeting for Sufferings
  Britain Yearly Meeting
  June 2009

  This statement has been endorsed by the Europe and Middle East Section of Friends World Committee for Consultation. See their statement here:www.fwccemes.org

  Responding to climate change
  As the scientific evidence grows, it is becoming clear that climate change represents one of the greatest challenges to humankind and the natural world as it currently exists. As well as ecological effects, climate change has profound social, political and economic consequences. The highest price will be paid by the poor. This set of six briefings has been produced to help Friends and others learn more about, reflect on and take action on climate change.

  Each sheet provides information on a different aspect of climate change – from its causes, impacts and consequences to some of the proposed ways of managing it and the current international negotiations to do this. They also contain a number of reflection points designed to help Friends think about these issues in the light of Quaker testimony.

    a.. Responding to climate change (covers) - [PDF: 298kb - new window] 
    a.. The causes of climate change [PDF: 168kb - new window] 
    a.. Some consequences of climate change [PDF: 214kb - new window] 
    a.. Mitigating climate change [PDF: 168kb - new window] 
    a.. Adapting to climate change [PDF: 144kb - new window] 
    a.. International co-operation on climate change [PDF: 115kb - new window] 
    a.. Seeking a sustainable path [PDF: 125kb - new window] 
  If you would prefer a hard copy of the briefings then please contact Sunniva Taylor with details of how many you would like, the name of your Meeting and where you would like the briefing(s) sent. 
  Email: sunnivat at quaker.org.uk or telephone: 020 76631047

  Attachment(s) from Roy Taylor

  1 of 1 Photo(s) 



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