Bethesda Friends Meeting

Environmental Sustainability

Bethesda Friends Meeting's Environmental Sustainability Group (ESG) was formed in 2015 under the auspices of the Peace & Social Justice Committee. ESG seeks to educate ourselves and others via study, discussion, and public presentations about the earth's environmental threats, pursuing a path toward a stable climate for God's creation. All are welcome to participate. 

  • Our group meets periodically and sponsors forums on right relationship with the earth, including actions we can take to preserve God’s creation. 
  • ESG also works with Religious Education on environmental activities with BFM’s First Day School, and we reach out to the surrounding community through public workshops and political activism. 
  • We have helped many BFM households to reduce their “carbon footprints” through energy-saving and solar energy measures as well as learning about sustainable agricultural practices. 
  • ESG works closely with the Unity with Nature Committee of Baltimore Yearly Meeting and other Friends’ and faith-based environmental organizations. For a link to a list of Quaker and faith-based groups, please click here
  • To receive notification of ESG activities, please join our group's email listserv. See instructions below.

sept. 24, 2023:  forum on maryland's climate sustainability plan

Maryland has set the most aggressive climate goal of any state in the country, according to the state’s new “Climate Pathway” report by the U-Maryland’s Center for Global Sustainability in partnership with the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE).

  • On Sunday, September 24, 2023, we hosted a forum to discuss the state’s new climate goals at the BFM Meetinghouse and via Zoom.  
  • Our guest speaker was BFM's Kathleen Kennedy, PhD, who is lead author of the report. It models a pathway to meet the state’s goals of 60% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2031 and a net-zero carbon economy by 2045. 
  • Kathleen discussed how individuals and organizations can provide input to MDE’s process before the state’s final climate plan is published at year end. 

For a report overview, click here.

The full report and summaries are at    https://www.marylandsclimatepathway.com/


BFM kids visit & learn & compost at Dream Catcher Meadows farm and rescue sanctuary

On October 29, 2023, Susan Rich taught us about restorative agriculture, biodynamic farming, and in ground composting with hands-on experiences. We touched the newly formed soil, held earthworms and toads,  fed and walked with the rescue animals, and enjoyed mindfulness while forest bathing. All in an afternoon at Susan's Dream Catcher Meadows farm. What a lovely fall day for children and adults from Bethesda Friends Meeting!

BFM friends take the icy plunge: For the work of CCAN, for our Earth, and for our children and creatures

BFM Friends Travis Gallagher and Dan Walker both took the CCAN 'Keep Winter Cold' plunge on February 11, 2023.  

      • Tavis biked to a local creek and immersed himself in the icy water. He was part of a plunge team called the Ice-Nine.
      • Dan took his plunge as part of Team Crab at the National Harbor. where CCAN organizes the mass plunge with speeches and music.

All went smoothly, and between them they raised more than $2,400, mostly from BFM donations.

Would you like to add to the donations? Please click here. 


Keep in touch by joining ESG's email listserv! 

Click on one of the boxes below


Click here
if you are already logged into
a Google or Gmail account
Directions 
  1. Sign into Google Groups. The link takes you to the "My Groups" webpage.
  2. Search for the ESG listserv: In the search box at the top, click My groups and select All groups and Messages.
  3. In the search box, enter the group’s name (Bethesda Friends Meeting Environmental Sustainability Group) and press Enter to ask to join.

If you do not have a Google Account or
you would like us to "direct add" you to the group
  • Use BFM's "Contact Us" form and ask us to add you to the group's email listserv (no Google account needed)
  • Tell us your connection to BFM and which list serve you would like to join (the regular BFM news, the Environmental Group, and/or the Book club group). 

Upcoming Events:
Please click here to go to a list of past and upcoming events BFM is sponsoring, including those related to the Environment.

Concern for Earth

It would go a long way to caution and direct people in their use of the world that they would be better studied and known in the creation of it. For how could man find the confidence to abuse it, while they should see the Great Creator stare them in the face, in all and every part thereof? — William Penn, 1693

If we call for reduction in fossil fuels, will this not cause hardship? Can we balance our lives with the need to protect earth's climate? Are alternative energy sources available, to meet human needs?

  • To find the best answers to such questions, let us see ourselves as a family. A family must care for the young, must acknowledge the needs of future generations. A family applies ideas of fairness among its children. With this principle we can find ways to care for our planet that consider the needs of all its creatures. Since the impacts of a neglected earth fall most heavily on the innocent, the poor and on future generations, justice calls us to speak and act in part for them.
  • The Baltimore Yearly Meeting's 2015 Shared Statement on Climate Change begins with these words: As Quakers, we are called to work for the peaceable Kingdom of God on the whole Earth, in right sharing with all peoples. We recognize a moral duty to cherish Creation for future generations.
It is simpler than science and simpler than morality that a thriving dominant family, continually growing and expanding, may someday press up against the finite capacity of its home. We are that family, earth the home, and that day is now. — N. Akira
Friends are advised to consider our possessions as God's gifts, entrusted to us for responsible use. Let use cherish the beauty and variety of the world. Friends are urged to speak out boldly against the destruction of the world's resources and the difficulties that destruction prepares for the future generations. Let us guard against waste and resist our extravagant consumption, which contributes to inequities and impoverishment of life in our own and other societies.
Advices, New England Yearly Meeting
As George Fox spoke of living "in the virtue of that life and power that takes away the occasion of all wars", let us now find ways to live that enable us lay down the sources of pollution which degrade the earth and thereby bring injury, want and hardship to remote countries and future innocents. — P.V. Allen
As to our own planet which God has given us for a dwelling place, we must be mindful that it is given in stewardship. The power over nature that scientific knowledge has put into our hands, if used for lust or greed, fear or hatred, can bring us to utter destruction. If we choose life we may now feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and heal the sick on a world scale. But many of our resources are limited. If by condoning waste and luxury we overspend the allowance God has given us, our children's children will be cheated of their inheritance. — Norfolk Quarterly Meeting, 1957

Bethesda Friends Meeting

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 30152, Bethesda MD 20824

Our Meetinghouse is on the campus of the Sidwell Friends Lower School at the intersection of Edgemoor Lane and Beverly Road in Bethesda, Maryland

We are a member organization of the Religious Society of Friends

www.bethesdafriends.org
301-986-8681
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