Minute on the Care of God's Creation

The following minute was approved by Friends United Meeting in Triennial Session on July 15, 1999. It was shared with Philadelphia Yearly Meeting in Nov., 1999, and is now being shared with Pacific Yearly Meeting:

George Fox "lived in the virtue of that life and power that took away the occasion of all wars and [he] knew from whence all wars did rise, for the lust, according to James's doctrine." (Journal, 1651) It is the same lust (cravings, desires, self-centeredness) that causes violence in war, and which causes us to do violence to God's creation. The "life and power that takes away the occasion for all wars" also takes away the occasion for violence against creation.

The concern for the care of God's creation has long been implicit in our Christian testimony. We recognize that our historic peace testimony. We recognize that our historic peace testimony to living in harmony with the world is a covenant , the renewal of which was foreseen by the prophets as in Isaiah's vision of the peaceable kingdom (11:1-9), by Paul (e.g.: Romans 8:12-17), and in the great commission when the risen Christ told the eleven "Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation" (Mark 16:15 New Revised Standard Version; the American Version has "all creatures"). Implicit in our testimony on simplicity is the understanding that we will not take more than we need, particularly (and here we move into the testimony on justice) if it means depriving others, including future generations, of their basic needs.

We call upon Friends to examine their own lives to see if their own patterns of consumption reflect self-centeredness and greed, rather than a concern for living harmoniously in the creation, that we might witness to the world that harmony. We call upon the nations of the world, and in particular our own governments, to enact laws and reach agreements which will protect the creation from the effects of human exploitation, greed and carelessness.

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