Background to the proposed Consultation
The FWCC Central Executive
Committee has received minutes from numerous
yearly meetings urging Friends’ actions of various sorts in response to
environmental, climate, and global change generally. The FWCC Triennial
in 2007 responded to some of these minutes with a minute that was
distributed to yearly meetings world-wide. In late 2008, Asia
Pacific Section wrote a minute that, among other suggestions, asked the
Central Executive Committee to move forward to bring Friends together
in consultation on the subject of global change. A feasibility ad hoc
committee produced a report and recommendations which were received
positively by the CEC. The following combines the report of the ad hoc
committee and the CEC decision as minuted.
Global Change Resources Webpage
As a first step FWCC World
Office will develop a simple web page, under
the FWCC banner, which would provide links to statements, minutes and
documents on this subject from Yearly Meetings and from other churches,
and point to other helpful resource material. It feels very much FWCC’s
work to be facilitating this sharing.
Face-to-face encounters in
settings where people can tell their stories
in response to queries has the potential to be the most powerful way we
can reflect on our response, as Friends, in the face of pending
change. The costs in terms of finances and carbon footprint as
the complexities of international visas, make regional cluster
gatherings the most viable opportunity for large number of Friends to
consider these complex issues. The hope is that the clusters will
encourage the formation or strengthening networks of Friends committed
to address the challenges posed by Global Change.
The responses to queries and
the stories shared during the regional
clusters may be passed on to other clusters and to the international
consultation. In this way we might link those who contribute to the
causes of environmental problems with those who must face living with
the consequences. Communication between these groups can bring to
the often-abstract concept of global change through the shared
connection of membership in the Religious Society of Friends.
Being carbon neutral as much as
possible is a priority and therefore
not all yearly meetings will be within a cluster area. However, this is
an opportunity to avail ourselves of technology advances to be
inclusive. FWCC wants to build upon existing networks where available
and to use Friends who are technically savvy to record and help us
share the stories from the clusters. We would anticipate a written
report from each Cluster and perhaps other forms of communication
preparatory to the consultation.
FWCC will convene a worldwide
Consultation on Global Change
specifically to address this question of the broken covenant between
humanity and God that is triggering planetary change. This consultation
will bring together representatives who participated in each regional
cluster, plus others who have specific wisdom to bring – a total of
perhaps 50 to 60 people. We anticipate the consultation to include 2
reps from each of the 8 clusters, the committee and a few FWCC
trustees, invited speakers, and about 25 people on an at large basis by
application or invitation.
"Just as we seek
unity in the
Lord, so there is a unity and
inter-connectedness in the challenge of change we face, unity of
natural change and man-made change. All changes are inter-connected.
The challenge before us is how do we – creation on this earth - survive
the change we face? How do we survive and flourish? These are
challenges to our survival which face us now and face the survival of
our children. What is the role of Friends in this?