Renewal of Creation – How can I contribute?

Event details

  • Friday | 27 July 2018 to Sunday | 29 July 2018
  • 6:30 pm
  • 76 Virginia Road, Otamatea, Whanganui 4500


Sustainability cannot be ‘one more thing’ that Friends are concerned and active about. A fresh look at Quaker faith & practice reveals that it’s all about sustainability. This course reframes the Quaker tradition within the global horizon that defines our lives in the 21st century. We will look at opportunities for action and activism – many and varied.

This is the outline for the program of the seminar at the Settlement on the weekend of 27 to 29 July. We anticipate that some Friends will also gather in Christchurch, and participate in the same program.

In 2017 The Settlement collaborated on a seminar with Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre, Birmingham on Early Friends.  20 people attended and it was a rich and satisfying experience.   The technology worked for us and we had 3 live ‘on line’ sessions with Woodbrooke tutors.  Once again we will work with Woodbrooke, and will have some input and interact on climate change and sustainability.  We plan to use a similar model to the one we used for the 2017 seminar.

The topic is The Renewal of Creation—How can I contribute? This is how we foresee it working out.

We will look at how recent Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC) Gatherings have put EcoJustice and Sustainability on the Quaker world agenda. At the FWCC World Plenary Meeting in Pisac, Peru in 2016, Quaker aspirations for Sustainability were developed some more:

  • Friends approved the Pisac minute on Living Sustainably and
  • FWCC has joined other Quaker organizations and signed up to a shared statement on climate change that has been used by the United Nations climate negotiations

Some Yearly Meetings have responded to this minute by developing statements and programs to carry this forward. The World Office has employed a Sustainability Officer, Susanna Mattingley to prod and support Quakers around the world to take action. Quakers are taking action at personal, community and political levels. Susanna has set up climate change information page that can be viewed at:

We will use conferencing and other technology to hear from Friends in the A/NZ, UK and Australia, as a stimulus for Aoteara /New Zealand Friends to consider how Quakers can progress a response (words and/or actions) to the Pisac Minute, and generally to environmental concerns.

What can we share with the Quaker world?

How can we support each other as we take action on these big and important matters?

Staff at the Quaker United Nations Office continue to work on climate change issues and we will refer to their work also over the weekend.

During the weekend, we will have some sessions in which small groups will form, centered on topics of related interest. They will research and explore available models, materials, experience, ideas towards increasing communication and empowerment of those who already work in environmental activism. The topics will be broad:

  • How do the many aspects of environment and sustainability interact?
  • How can we see our own actions in one aspect contributing to the many pieces of work that need to be done?
  • How do our economic systems hold us in anti-sustainability life-styles?

If you wish to develop your ideas about how you (individually or your Meeting or community group) can contribute to improving the environment and sustainability, you will benefit from and enjoy  this seminar, and increase your sense of empowerment.

Woodbrooke centre in Birmingham, UK, facilitates a number of short courses on these topics and we will have online the benefit of staff members Stuart Masters and Maud Grainger, as well as FWCC’s Sustainability Resource person, Susanna Mattingley.

In the hope of making Settlement seminars more available to distant Friends, Christchurch will be a parallel centre for this seminar. We will work together, on-line and otherwise, to provide rich experiences in both locations.

To find out more contact Michael Searle

Here is a copy of the pamphlet for you to download. You can register online by clicking on the Orange Registration button at the top right hand side of this post.

Accommodation, food and registration for this Seminar is funded by the Quaker Education Fund. This funding is for Quakers attenders and their families.

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