We yearn for community that is intimately dependent on the earth, on our neighbors, and our own self-reliance to provide our basic needs, and allows us to see the consequences of our use of creation.”
— Statement from a 2011 Young Adult Friends Gathering held at Mt. Toby Friends Meeting
This yearning is not new. Back in the mid-1600’s, the early Quaker Movement in England felt called by the Spirit of God to transform their world. Rejecting the imperial values of their day–which worshiped power, profits, prestige, and plundering above all–the Quaker Movement put forth an alternative vision of Beloved Community that was simple, just, peaceful, and sustainable. This vision was anchored in what Quaker founder George Fox described as Judaism’s and Christianity’s three great loves: 1) loving God with all one’s heart, soul, and strength; 2) loving our neighbors as ourselves; and 3) loving God’s good earth by acting in “unity with Creation.”
Today, contemporary Quakers are still called—along with millions of other people around the globe—to foster a more spiritually fulfilling, socially just, and ecologically sustainable human presence on our planet. The urgency of this spiritual vocation is even growing stronger now as the world faces the unprecedented challenges of peak oil, climate change, and an increasingly dysfunctional global economy—concerns that groups like Quaker Earthcare Witness have been raising for over twenty years. More and more of us are now awake and listening, and we want to do something positive and creative about all of this with our neighbors. We are increasingly focused on aiding a rapid and responsible transition from oil dependency to local resilience in our own communities–in solidarity with communities all around the world. This is leading more of us to become active participants in the global Transition movement where we live, work, or worship.
At the 2011 New England Yearly Meeting Annual Sessions, NEYM’s Earthcare Ministries Committee put forward an invitation for all Friends to join the global Transition Movement and engage with their neighbors in positive local efforts to:
- Dramatically reduce our overall energy use;
- Shift from unsafe and declining fossil fuel resources to safe and renewable energy sources;
- Enhance the heart and soul of what we love most about our communities–even as we face the end of the Age of Cheap and Abundant Oil; and
- Relocalize our economies so our communities can increase the number of green-collar jobs and become more capable of producing many of the vital goods and services we need to survive and thrive in the years ahead.
If you are a Friend that supports this agenda, then welcome to Quakers in Transition, a website offering resources, blog posts, and networking tools designed to help equip Quakers from New England Yearly Meeting, and beyond, to join, organize, or develop local Transition Town initiatives in their local areas.
The World-Wide Transition Movement
Happily, we are not alone. Thousands of communities in countries all across the planet have started formal or informal local Transition efforts. Hundreds of these local transition initiatives have also begun connecting together in larger national and international networks to learn from each other and inspire more experimentation and innovation. For a look at several of these networked transition communities in the United Kingdom and beyond, check out this 50 minute online video In Transition 1.0.
If you don’t have 50 minutes right now, check out this six minute peek at one of our sister communities in the US–the small town of Willits, California.
How To Use This Website
Our hope is that the resources, blog posts, and interactive networking tools on this website will help inspire, inform, educate, and activate Quakers in New England Yearly Meeting and beyond–and link us all to the larger transition movement in the United States, around the world, and in our local communities.
Please join the conversation by bookmarking this website, subscribing to it, commenting on the posts; sending us your submissions and organizational announcements; and sharing your ideas for improving this website. Also, please regularly check out the growing list of useful and inspiring local, national, and international transition resources. This is a website where Quakers In Transition can talk and dream together, link up to many different local projects, as well as plan and start new projects. We encourage you to visit often and to participate actively online. Also, please use the “Share” tools at the bottom of every page or post to let anyone you think might be interested know about Quakers In Transition.