Environmental Sabbath

At the winter session of College park Quarterly Meeting on 1/17, in worship sharing a Friend came up with the idea of having an environmental sabbath. This would be a day without, or with greatly reduced use of, the modern conveniences that result in greenhouse gas emissions -- cars... electricity... email.

If several people in a Friends meeting agreed to do it on the same day of the week or month, it would be a spiritual discipline shared by a community. That would both enable participants to support one another, and it would give one the sense of greater impact because it's not just an individual or single household, but a collection of people making a change.

Kind of like The Compact, or Buy Nothing Day.

This is worth thinking about some more.


Tania said...

I try to do this on Sundays, by not turning on my computer all day. Ironically, I also travel more on Sundays than on the rest of the week, as my Monthly Meeting is half an hour away.

Rachel Findley said...

Sabbath has two spiritual meanings: to rest, so that I can open my heart to the living spirit of God and to other people; and to let the earth and other people rest, by not putting burdens on them or wresting their resources.

I have Jewish friends who welcome the Shekinah as a bride on Friday evening, and spend Saturday relaxing and enjoying the creation, friends and family. They go for walks; they sit and talk; they don't produce, prepare, or consume.

On Sundays, I rest by walking or bicycling to Meeting and avoiding the car all day.

Except, there's a wonderful Friend living in a retirement community across the bay, and once a month or so I drive over to bring her to Meeting. It's a wonderful opportunity... and it constitutes more than a third of my monthly gasoline use.

And except, there are too many Quaker activities to make it truly a day of spiritual rest and replenishment.

How could we support each other in a wider practice of Sabbath rest? Would it be Sunday, or some other day?

Chris M. said...

Rachel -- Thank you for commenting. Very good questions! They are worth sitting with for a spell.