NYYM interest groups re: Climate Justice & Earthcare this week & next

Margaret McCasland

NYYM Interest groups are happening in the first 2 weeks of July, before official Summer Sessions open. There are many climate-related interest groups, some offered by members of the Climate Justice Working Group (listed first). 

Because “everything is connected,” because we can only discern way forward in a climate-disrupted world by listening to voices of all people and all beings, there are many other interest groups also relevant to our concerns for climate justice and for Earthcare (listed alphabetically in a second grouping).

Easy on-line registration is FREE and separate from registration for Summer Sessions. Official registration closes 2 days before any given interest group’s first (often only) session. Zoom links and any advance materials will be emailed to you the day before the Interest Group meets.

The first interest groups started meeting today (Monday), but you can still join almost all of these. Contact Margaret McCasland if you missed the “2 days registration before” deadline for a climate-related interest group: <mamccasland@...>

Info page on interest groups:  https://nyym.org/interest-groups

Or go directly to the Interest Group Registration Form.

Climate-related Interest Groups: timings & descriptions.


Do Friends Have A Testimony Of The Environment?

Mon, July 5, 2pm – 3pm; Additional Session(s): 7/6 & 7/7

Do Friends’ investments pollute the Earth?  Do Friendly testimonies require us to move our investments into clean energy?  If you answer “yes” to both of these questions, please join us in a discussion about the shape a Friendly testimony of green investment might take to counteract the destruction caused by our Yearly Meetings’ investments.  Three-Session Interest Group. Additional Session: Tuesday 7/6 & Wednesday 7/7.    Facilitator: Peter Close


Finding Climate Sanctuary Options

Thu, July 8, 3:00pm – 4:30pm

This Interest Group will consider how to lower the amounts of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere.  We will discuss needs and possible tools for future fossil fuel displacement, photosynthesis-based carbon sequestration, inhibiting local temperature rise, inhibiting the Arctic meltdown.  We will also experience an eco-vigil exercise. Facilitators: Paul Klinkman (NEYM), David Millar (Canada YM)


Climate Solutions For The World We Seek: Project Drawdown Around NYYM

Fri, July 9, 3:00pm – 4:30pm

The Climate Justice Working Group and Earthcare Working Group is offering this Interest Group in order to help Friends discern ways to respond to NYYM’s Earthcare Minute.  Keith Voos will introduce Project Drawdown - drawdown.org/ - a comprehensive program to address the climate crisis by “drawing down” greenhouse gases.  Margaret McCasland will frame the Drawdown solutions from a social justice perspective via queries such as “Who decides what counts as a solution?”  Subsequent workshops will be held after Summer Sessions, and will highlight ways NYYM Meetings and Friends are addressing the climate crisis in ways consistent with NYYM’s Earthcare Minute. Facilitators: Margaret McCasland, Keith Voos


Doing The NYYM Carbon Pricing Minute

Mon, July 12, 7:00pm – 8:30pm

At Spring Sessions, NYYM approved a minute that encourages the enactment of carbon pricing legislation by the federal government in 2021.  (Minute 2021-04-20)  Economists agree that setting a price on carbon emissions is the best way to foster innovative solutions to stabilize our climate to a habitable state.  In this Interest Group, three activist Quakers will engage participants on ways to convince federal legislators to adopt laws that will effectively move our nation to net zero carbon emissions. Facilitators: James Ralston, Diane Keefe, Laura Cisar

Because “everything is connected,” because we can only discern way-forward in a climate changed world by listening to voices of all people and all beings, there are many other interest groups also of interest to people with a concern for climate justice and for Earthcare, including:

ADVANCE WORSHIP SHARING IN SUPPORT OF BLACK LIVES (Peter Close): Join us as we gather in 5 one-hour worship-sharing sessions to consider how Black lives matter to us in this ever-challenging world. We will reach into ourselves and bring forth our thoughts, our fears, our beliefs and our actions that will continue to make Black lives matter to us, our meetings and our communities. Five-Session Interest Group. July 19 & 20 & 21 & 22 & 23, 8-9 AM

AFRO-FUTURISM AND AFRO-CENTRIC LOVE (SYB Bowland, Sandie Finn): “Black” and “White”, as terms to describe people, are both artificial constructs. Prior to the seventeenth century, these were not the predominant terms used to describe or define people. Since then they have been used as tools to create and enforce oppression. Using color as a physical representation enabled people to use color as a symbolic representation, from which labeling was created to denote either positive or negative images. Over time color labels became hardened into stereotypes, systemic disrespect, discrimination and criminalization. This Interest Group will be a sanctuary where spirit dwells, spreads and flourishes as we introduce ideas, share stories and explore how to embrace loving intelligence. Two-Session Interest Group. Note that the First Session ( 11:30 am - 12:30 pm) is at a different time than the Second Session (3-4 pm). July 21, 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM & July 22, 3-4 PM 

FRIENDS PEACE TEAMS IS US! A WORLD OF OPPORTUNITIES (Nadine Hoover, Shirley Way, Deb Wood, Liseli Haines, Buffy Curtis): Friends Peace Teams is Quakers from North American and Australia Yearly Meetings who are called to peace and justice ministries or to supporting them. Learn about Friends’ peace and justice work in the Americas, Africa, Central Europe, Asia, and West Pacific, and opportunities to get involved. Share your ministries. July 15, 7-8:30 PM

F.U.N.: FRIENDS IN UNITY WITH NATURE SHARING SACRED SPACE (“WORSHIP SHARING”) (Sheree Cammer, Tom Goodridge): This Interest Group is being offered by NYYM’s Earthcare Working Group. Come as you are! Come as you want to be! We are in formation! Who knows how our molecules will align in rapture! The Green Man and I invite you to join us, outdoors if possible, to breathe, center, balance; stretch and relax, perhaps sway, sing, dance. Earth may give a message, perhaps the next sure step we are asked to take, individually or otherwise. July 19, 6:15- 7 PM

LAND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS AND REPARATIONS (Buffy Curtis, Liseli Haines): We all live on land that was obtained by settlers from the original inhabitants of this land by purchase or theft. Understanding how and why to give acknowledgments to these Original Peoples is essential. We will share examples of Land Acknowledgments and Reparations that are coming into practice among Friends. July 23, 5:30-7 PM

QUAKER SERVICE: VOLUNTEER WORK, VOLUNTOURISM, AND INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL (Spee Braun): Many of us engage in service work outside our home communities. Some of us have had the opportunity to travel to Bolivia or Kenya or some other lower-income country and have volunteered in service projects while there. In this workshop, we will analyze together the complex issues around doing good and doing no harm. We’ll explore together what Teju Cole dubbed the “White-Savior Industrial Complex,” in which many Quakers participate. We’ll talk about and identify our privilege and attitudes. We’ll explore shifting from service and voluntourism to learning, advocacy, and systemic change. Three-Session Interest Group. July 13 & 14 & 15, 7:30-9 PM

THE QUAKER UNITED NATIONS OFFICE (Molly Burger, Hannah Patterson, Drew McKenna): QUNO’s two program assistants will host a conversation on the Quaker United Nations Office in NYC, which provides the Quaker representation at the United Nations. They will share QUNO’s work and Quaker working methods in conversation with participants in the Interest Group. July 9, 10-11 AM

RIGHT SHARING OF WORLD RESOURCES IN A TIME OF PANDEMIC (Mary Eagleson, Jacqueline Stillwell, Sarah Northrop): Through its Sharing Fund, and in partnership with Scarsdale Meeting, NYYM has raised the funds to sponsor a women’s self-help group in India. The group has been formed by the Pudhuyugam Society in the state of Tamil Nadu in the southeast tip of India. The women were already very poor before Covid-19 hit them. Now they are facing malnutrition and possible starvation. We’ll hear the latest information on their situation, and learn more about how we, in partnership with the Pudhuyugam Society, will be helping about 30 women pick up the pieces of their lives and move ahead. We have pictures to show from the training sessions for this group and others. July 10, 10-11 AM

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