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350 Years of NE Friends: Called to Heal a Broken Earth
In marking the 350th anniversary of this Yearly Meeting, we look back and give thanks for our Quaker forbears. Over the years, Friends have answered God’s call to be peacemakers, help end slavery, and work for the equality of women. In their many examples of faithfulness, the power of our Quaker understanding of Truth persevered through oppression, schisms, and uncertainties. As the inheritors of that tradition, we, too, must be faithful. We must look to our present as well as our past. Human-created climate change is an issue that demands our attention now – God’s earth is endangered. May we joyously celebrate our birthday, but do so by carrying forward this tradition of faithfulness to future generations. In doing so, we offer them stewardship of both the planet we love and the Light that has enlivened Friends in New England for 350 years.
There is scientific consensus that 350 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere is the upper limit of safety beyond which catastrophic climate change is inevitable. We are currently at approximately 389 parts per million of carbon dioxide. This other significance of the number “350” helps transform our celebration into an urgent challenge to determine what we are called to do, both individually and corporately, to minimize the destruction of our planet as we know it.
We believe New England Yearly Meeting is called to address the issue of climate change now and ask you to join us in accepting both the challenge and the opportunity this theme offers us.