(Draft by PYM Unity with Nature Committee, 1993)

Quakers understand that human life, together with all of Nature, originates from a common Source which, when opened to, leads us to recognize our own life and all Creation as sacred.

The capacity for reverence comes . . . as I become aware . . . that my own life comes fresh and newly given at each moment from the hand of God. When I live in that awareness, I know it of all other created reality as well.

­­Elaine Prevallet, "Reflections on Simplicity", Pendle Hill Pamphlet # 244 (1982)

Historically, Quakers have not regarded Nature as fallen, subject to our willful domination, or opposed to spirituality. Rather, our awareness of God speaking to us in every thing, in every being, leads us to recognize our responsibility as part of God's Creation.

It would go a great way to caution and direct people in their Use of the World, that they were better studied and known in the Creation of it. For how could Man 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, Some Fruits of Solitude ( 1692)

Thus, our environmental crisis is, at root, spiritual. Divine love can heal our alienation from other people, nature, and self and can fill the emptiness that drives our culture's waste and superfluity. When we open our lives to divine order, bottomless need is replaced with love, unity, and wholeness.

This testimony, then, is intimately related to that on simplicity. As we center our lives in the love of God, not in our own anxious concern for ourselves, we let go of excessive consumption, busyness, and selfconsciousness. Our salvation becomes one with the salvation of the earth.

Advice on Unity with Nature

This draft of an Advice on Unity with Nature was written in 1991 by the late Dana Abell, then of the Pacific Yearly Meeting Unity with Nature Committee.

"We seek to enhance the sense of awe that speaks to us of God in every thing, in every being. "We recognize our responsibility as stewards for, not masters over, God's creation. "Our commitment to the sustainable use and right sharing of world resources is a commitment to seek a balanced interconnection of humanity and nature. "We express our admiration for, and devotion to, natural simplicity, the self-sustaining, self-maintaining, enduring quality of nature. "Those parts of the world ecosystem which are capable of maintaining themselves should be left free to do so. "We witness to a faith that can bring human beings not only to want to protect those surviving natural systems, but also to seek ways to restore the natural balance of much of the area that humanity has already disrupted. "For many people, the love of nature comes directly out of an appreciation of beauty found in wild places." We wish now to foster a faith that reaches beyond this elementary appreciation to recognize the spiritual force endowing nature with its enduring quality."

From: Chris Laning, 29 Nov 1993

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