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SEYM Friends Attend InterFaith Climate Conference

Donna Marcantonio, Kate Hanson Sundberg, and Rolf Hanson (Sarasota Monthly Meeting) and Beverly Ward (Tampa Monthly Meeting) at the Florida InterFaith Climate Assembly

Donna Marcantonio, Kate Hanson Sundberg, and Rolf Hanson (Sarasota Monthly Meeting) and Beverly Ward (Tampa Monthly Meeting) at the Florida InterFaith Climate Assembly

Several SEYM Friends attended the Florida InterFaith Climate Action Network Assembly, held January 28-30, 2016, to network with other faith organizations working on climate and earthcare issues.

The Assembly took place at Northland Church in Longwood (FL) and brought together religious, spiritual, and conscience-concerned persons from across the State, nation, and, Canada, China, and France. The approximate 125 participants spoke of the urgency and need to continue the national narrative about taking action now to address the impacts of climate change. We learned from each other, shared our insights, and found new collaborative approaches.

There were many faith stories, wisdom traditions, and scientific presentations to support us. A unique experience was the “kitchen table” discussion with Dr. Joel Hunter, Northland Church; Dr. Harold Wanless, University of Miami; Rev. Dr. Matthew Fox, Creation Spirituality Movement; and, Bobby Billie, Council of the Original Miccousukee Simanolee Nation Aboriginal Peoples. Facilitated by Suzanne Daigle, the attendees were asked to observe the four as if they were seated around a kitchen table chatting about their experiences and what has drawn them to environmental activism.

An Assembly Participant and Karen Putney at the FCNL Table

An Assembly Participant and Karen Putney at the FCNL Table

Highlights from the Assembly included:

  • A global perspective on mitigating climate change from Rev. Gus Davis, Northland Church;
  • Hosted segments from the Pachamama Alliance’s Awakening the Dreamer: Changing the Dream with David Sinclair;
  • An update on sea level rise by Dr. Wanless;
  • A discussion of the four paths of Creation Spirituality by Rev. Dr. Matthew Fox
  • A World Café to share insights and discuss possibilities for post Assembly actions;
  • Fletcher Harper from GreenFaith offered perspectives on the Paris Summit; and,
  • An Open Space  period provided opportunities for participants to host conversations, workshops, or presentations.

Several Friends from Sarasota and Tampa Monthly Meetings participated in the Assembly: Donna Marcantonio, Kate Hanson Sundberg, Rolf Hanson, David Poston and Glenn Plyer from Sarasota Monthly Meeting, and Karen Putney and Beverly Ward from Tampa Monthly Meeting.

Friends also participated as exhibitors with Karen Putney (Tampa) tabling for Friends Committee on National Legislation and Beverly Ward (Tampa) tabling for Quaker Earthcare Witness.

Rev. Russell Meyer listens while Beverly Ward address the Assembly from the Quaker Earthcare Witness Table

Rev. Russell Meyer listens while Beverly Ward address the Assembly from the Quaker Earthcare Witness Table