Getting active on this website again

It’s been a while since there’s been activity here. But that doesn’t mean that Friends aren’t actively working on Transition. I’d love to hear from you. What are the next steps for us?

Since a couple of years ago, the movement has grown and it’s needed even more now. Several new books have been published by Rob Hopkins which we’ll review soon.


Excellent book to read for Transition folks.

I want to highly recommend a book, Resilience, Why Things Bounce Back by Andrew Zolli and Ann Marie Healy. It is an excellent resource about resilience in every aspect of the earth-human connection. There are examples of resilience in the natural world and in the human-constructed world. It’s well written and absolutely fascinating. I think all Transition folks would benefit by reading the book, and talking about what real resilience looks like and what happens to systems when they are not resilient.

Interesting Quarterly Meeting Coming Up

Below is the announcement of the upcoming Connecticut Valley Quarterly Meeting scheduled for February 3. The program is to be about the growth dilemma and an ecologically integrated economy. Ed Dreby and Margaret Mansfield will be leading the discussion.

Bill Upholt

Hartford Monthly Meeting is happy to be hosting
Connecticut Valley Quarterly Meeting

First Day, February 3rd, 2013

The program for the day will be presented by Ed Dreby and Margaret Mansfield and is entitled,

“It’s the Economy Friends, Toward a Quaker Witness”

We’ll begin by sharing initial impressions of a short video featuring Charles Eisenstein. He views our current economic system as the product of a culture of separation run amok. We’ll then consider together the basic thesis of two new Quaker Institute pamphlets about the growth dilemma and the concept of an ecologically integrated economy, which is akin to what Eisenstein calls “sacred economics.” How might a witness on ecology and the economy become a distinctive Quaker contribution to what Thomas Berry called “the great work” of our time?

Ed Dreby and his wife Margaret Mansfield are both former social studies teachers in Quaker schools and have worked together for many years as authors, editors, and workshop facilitators on Friends testimonies, and economics from an ecological perspective. They are members of Mount Holly, New Jersey Monthly Meeting, and are also active with Friends Committee on National Legislation. Ed is also a leader of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting’s Growth Dilemma Project, and has collaborated with Quaker Institute for the Future on several publications.

Schedule for the Day

10:00 am Meeting for Worship with Hartford Friends

11:00 am Introductions and Announcements

11:15 am Refreshments

11:30 am Program

1:00 pm Luncheon

2:00 pm Quarterly Meeting for business

Hartford Friends Meetinghouse is located at 144 South Quaker Lane, West Hartford, CT 06119. We have a lift for mobility impaired persons, who are also invited to park in the meeting driveway.

For directions, see our website:

If you need childcare, or you have food allergies or need other special assistance, please contact Chris Robinson: or 860-675-5670.

New England Regional Transition Gathering on October 20

Hello Transition-ers and Resilience-Builders,

Save the date! Join people from Transition and resilience efforts across New England for a day of learning, story-sharing, connecting, and organizing –

New England Transition and Resilience Gathering
Saturday, October 20, 2012

9:30am – 5pm, Coffee and Lunch Provided
Exact Address TBD
Jamaica Plain, Boston, MA

Convened by Transition Keene, Transition Newburyport, the Jamaica Plain New Economy Transition, and the New England Grassroots Environment Fund (NEGEF)

Thanks to the excellent work of activists and organizers across the region, New England is home to many thriving grassroots efforts to create economic and environmental justice by transitioning away from fossil fuels towards sustainable food, energy, and transportation systems.

How might we increase the effectiveness of our work by connecting with one another? Please join us on Saturday, October 20th as we consider this exciting question. You’ll have the chance to meet folks from across New England, share stories, think systemically about the region, and consider next steps. There will be plenty of opportunities for informal conversation and connection.

Together, we will:

Hear stories and lessons from other Transition and resilience efforts, and share your own!
Identify possible training needs your group may have, from group development to community organizing to small business planning. Dialogue with capacity-building trainers from NEGEF and the expanded team of certified Transition Trainers in the Northeast about what learning modules might be helpful for your initiative.
Discuss how we might increase the resilience of our region as a whole in terms of food, energy, transportation, and more. Learn about regional planning that is already underway and consider how our efforts might link to such planning.
Discuss how we might jointly benefit by creating a way to connect and communicate with one another going forward, and what shape that might take.

A member of one of the convening organizations will follow up with you shortly to discuss this gathering. Please feel free to spread the word to others in your initiative or network.

If you or someone else from your initiative would like to convene or help plan this event, we welcome your involvement! Please reply to this email or call 617.477.8630 x307.

Travel stipends and some in-home hospitality in Boston are available. Please contact Sarah Byrnes (, 617.477.8630 x307) for more information.

You are also invited to a potluck with members of the Jamaica Plain New Economy Transition on the evening of October 19. We’ll hear stories from Transition Initiatives around New England. Please indicate in your RSVP if you plan to attend.

For more info and to RSVP, contact Sarah Byrnes –, 617.477.8630 x307.

Thank you,
Sarah Byrnes
Jamiaca Plain New Economy Transition (JP NET)
Resilience Circles Organizer, Institute for Policy Studies New England

Two Quakers and the Transition Movement

At the recent Friends General Conference, two Quakers active in the Transition movement gave an hour-long interview with Northern Spirit Radio‘s Mark Helpsmeet. This interview focuses on the what and why of Ruah Swnnerfelt’s (Burlington Friends Meeting) and Steve Chase’s (Putney Friends Meeting) local organizing work to create more resilient communities in the face of the challenges of peak oil, climate change, and a dysfunctional global economy. It also explores how they see this community organizing work being related to the social testimonies of their Quaker faith. Ruah, the former director of Quaker Earthcare Witness, is active in the Transition Charlotte initiative and Steve, the director of Antioch University’s environmental studies master’s program in Advocacy for Social Justice and Sustainability, is active in the Keene Transition movement. Steve is also the recent author of the Quaker Press book Letters To A Fellow Seeker: A Short Introduction To The Quaker Way.

People can listen to the interview here. Feel free to forward the link to the interview to friends and contacts, and please encourage them to post comments about the radio show on the web site. This will have the effect of increasing the rating of the show in terms of favorites, helping to maintain its visibility on the site as time goes on, and offer interesting food for thought for other people who might consider listening to the hour-long program.

Steve and Ruah are also the coordinators of the online Quakers in Transition project of the Earthcare Ministries Committee of the New England Yearly Meeting of Friends. Enjoy this in-depth interview on links between Transition, faith, and action.

Quaker Transition Activist Speaks To MA Bible Society

Crisis, Faith, and Action: Transitioning to a Beloved Community in the Era of Peak Oil, Climate Change, and a Dysfunctional Global Economy

At this February luncheon of the Massachusetts Bible Society, Quaker Transition activist Steve Chase addressed some key questions: What is faithful, abundant living in the midst of the triple threat of peak oil, climate change, and an increasingly dysfunctional global economy? How can we draw on our faith as friends and followers of Jesus to resist the pulls of empire and consumerism, and unleash our creativity and love of our neighbors and God’s good earth? How can we respond to the challenges of our time with an inspiring vision of Beloved Community in the 21st Century that moves us beyond either denial or despair and helps us cultivate an inward state of blessed unrest and an outward engagement in creative faith-based activism? What can we start doing now to foster a transition to a more livable, just, relocalized, and neighborly post-oil world?

Bio: Steve Chase is a professor of Advocacy for Social Justice and Sustainability at Antioch University New England, a co-founder of the Transition Keene Task Force, a member of Putney Friends Meeting (Quakers) and a co-founder of the Quakers in Transitionproject of the New England Yearly Meeting of Friends’ Earthcare Ministries Committee.

For more other online videotaped talks from the MA Bible Society, go to:

An Intro To Transition Retreat At Woolman Hill