Report on Global Change Consultation at Coldstream Monthly Meeting

Coldstream Monthly Meeting discussed the questions provided by FWCC during several discussion periods after our Meetings for Worship. The following report is a record of those discussions.

How has global change affected our communities and ourselves?

Stratford snow has moved to London.

Sky is greyer along the horizon.

People have concerns and anxiety about the future.

British Columbia – weather is no longer cold enough to freeze off disease.

More cases of asthma and allergy.

Technological change – seeds are being genetically modified.

Babies are not as string to cope with the environment.

Fertility problems.

Immunity problems – world is so sterile people can’t develop immunity.

Not as many butterflies and grasshoppers.

Sunsets colouring affected.

People emigrate by boat.

Montana  – robins and rabbits disappearing.

We have possums, explosion of coyotes (easy access to food), wild turkeys, crows, deer.

Thames River no longer froths.

Increased consciousness of environmental issues.

Lake Erie is cleaner – less pollutants.

Zebra Mussels removed nutrients from the lakes.

Lots of cancer – “best” farmers dying. (farmers who relied on chemicals for higher yields.

Sun shines hotter.

Erratic weather conditions.

More tornados in past.

Fear of  “Russia” has been replaced by fear of “terrorists”.

Government spending puts future generations at risk.

Growth at any cost – why? Enough is enough.

Built –in obsolescence.

So many things need to be charged.

What actions have we taken in response to global change as experienced in our area, to express our responsibilities towards all creation? In what ways have my own activities or those of my community contributed to positive or adverse local and global change?

Meeting buys Bulldog power (green).

Bought a hybrid car.

More local agriculture.

More Community Shared Agriculture.

Reusable water bottles.

Reduced plastic bags.

Our Meeting has naturalized part of its grounds.

We all recycle more than we did.

We take recyclables to depots that now take more things.

We compost more.

Writing a book on organic gardening.

We ride bikes and public transit more.

Share transportation whenever possible.

Walk/use scooter in good weather.

Use trips to pick up items for others when possible.

Pick up litter on roads.

More conscious of turning out lights.

Use switching mechanism that turns off power to items that don’t need it all the time.

Some have water heaters that work as needed.

How do changes around us affect our relationship with God? How does my relationship with God affect my responses to the changes around us? What role does faith have in my life and in the life of my community? In what ways do I and my Friends church or meeting community bear witness to our Testimonies in our daily lives?

There was a time we thought science had all the answers and now we see it isn’t so.

Invasion of Libya will have big impact – ask God about suffering – why do some of us not have to endure? What does God want us to do?

A young Congolese woman who was tortured was told she would receive less money under a government program – her response was “we have to get used to it”. We can make our corner of the world different.  Is God trying to get our attention? We only know a small part of the universe.  We see light that started millions of years ago.  Visit with a new baby during these periods of doom and gloom remind us that there is still hope. Pockets of hope give encouragement to keep going.

I’m not going to feel sorry for myself – but accept and go on.

Feeling sorry for oneself comes from thinking you don’t deserve what’s happening.

Self – pity – sense of injustice.

Appreciating what you have.  Live in a state of thankfulness.

The changes do not affect our relationship to God – if you believe in a personal God then what happens around you should make no difference. We are stewards if the earth – just keep on keeping on.

Fear – a way to cope is believing

Rely on faith to keep us sane while we are going through changes. Faith keeps you focused and helps you keep going.

What stories and experiences from past times of catastrophic happenings such as major droughts – perhaps from Scripture, perhaps the record of regional or local events – might inspire us to respond to the changes the world is facing today?

Impressed with the Japanese – no pilfering, trying to help each other – what was the faith that helped them?

Sometimes crisis brings out the best in people.

Predisitons of the past seem to be coming to pass.

Chaos before new growth – Mississippi River.

Alters the community – may mean that people have to move away from fault lines, flooding, etc.

Australia has been revamped to be more sensitive to the land.  Some Australians think Canadians have made some changes that are positive but then are surprised by lack of change in other areas.

How can we bear witness to the abundance God offers us and testify to the world about ways in which justice, compassion, and peace may address significant disruption, stress, and tension?

Multi-culturalism as part of our immigration practices. (Canada)

Positive response to help when disasters happen. (Canadians)

Nudge, nudge – apathy is the opposite of justice. (Quakers)

How can we support one another in rekindling our love and respect for God‟s Creation in such a way that we are messengers of the transforming power of love and hope?

We gave the last word to Annie Van Klooster – the mother of one of our attenders:
“Look for good people, for good signs of good – then you can find the energy to do what you can for a better world.”