Being Friends Together

Sustainability Cat No.W2
About pathways

Pathways, steps and options

As you scroll down a pathway page, you will see that each pathway is made up of a number of linked steps designed to help you progress in your learning about the topic, with several options for learning activities at each step. Some options will be more suited to adults working alone, some to children or young people, and some for all ages together.

It is up to you whether you follow the steps or use the materials as you feel led, and you can always choose to do more than one learning activity from a particular step.

When you click on an option from the list it will expand and show you all the resources that are part of that option or needed for that session. Click again on the option title to close it.

There are four main types of resources:

  • text based resources: click 'view' to preview these in the 'BFT viewer' (which will open in a new tab) or 'download' them as pdfs. If you are using a screen reader you will need to download any pdf file and then open it to read it.
  • links to material on other websites: clicking 'view' will usually take you direct to that online material (opening in a new tab) but occasionally you will come to a BFT information page which has further instructions, for example 'Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click 'Cosmic Walk'.'
  • video resources: clicking 'view' will either take you to an embedded video player within Being Friends Together (which you can enlarge to full screen) or to the relevant page on another website where you will need to click on the video title, depending what kind of website is hosting the video.
  • audio resources: click 'download' to download the mp3 file to your computer.

Catalogue numbers

Each pathway, option and individual resource in Being Friends Together has its own unique catalogue number, displayed in the top right corner of the screen (and included in option titles). A quick way to find something that you have used before or following a recommendation from a friend is to search for it using its catalogue number: click on 'Catalogue Number Search' at the very top of the screen on any page of Being Friends Together, then type the catalogue number for the pathway, option or individual resource that you are looking for into the search box.

 
This pathway invites Friends to reflect on the spiritual roots of the Quaker commitment to sustainability, to become better informed about the issues and to open ourselves to inspiration, leadings and new ideas about ways forward. With steps also dedicated to planning and taking action, campaigning and communicating with others, the pathway aims to help equip and empower Friends to live as witnesses to our concern for the Earth and its people.
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Sustainability
Sustainability
Introduction
Free

An introduction to the 'Sustainability' pathway

Sustainability
Step 1: What is Quaker testimony?

If your meeting has not already looked at the broader question of what Quaker testimony is all about, you might like to begin this sustainability pathway with a step exploring ‘What is Quaker testimony?’ from Being Friends Together’s A Brief Introduction to Testimony pathway. Just follow the link in this section or search for Catalogue number W0 and scroll down to Step 1: What is Quaker Testimony? then select from the options given.

Sustainability
Step 2: The spiritual roots of our commitment to sustainability

This step invites you to reflect on the spiritual roots of our commitment to sustainability, including how it links to Quaker testimony as a whole. There are several options offering opportunities to prayerfully explore the plight of the world and its inhabitants, connecting with our Quaker tradition of seeing the universe as sacred, as the revelation of God.

Choose one (or more if you like) of the following options for step two of your Sustainability pathway – there are options to suit different preferences, approaches and age groups.

Create your own session about connecting with creation and the Earth, suitable for anyone over the age of 5. Select activities from Journeys in the Spirit children’s work edition Issue 3 on this theme, and follow the guidance given.

 Option 1 facilitator notesViewDownload
 'Journeys in the Spirit' children’s work edition Issue 3View-
 'Journeys in the Spirit' children’s work edition Issue 3 resourcesView-

Connect prayerfully with the Quaker commitment to sustainability, then reflect together on what you have discovered. There are options for Godly Play storytelling about the fragile Earth, a simple ‘Council of All Beings’ ritual and a Cosmic Walk, depending on your group’s preferred learning approach and age range.

 Option 2 facilitator notesViewDownload
 Fragile Earth story - 'Journeys' children 57 topical activityView-
 Council of all Beings ritual - 'Journeys' children 56 topical activityView-
 Cosmic Walk 1View-
 Cosmic Walk 2View-

Begin by reflecting on your own values, in relation to yourself, others and the Earth, then spend time in your group making the connection between those values and sustainability, and sharing about what helps or hinders you in living your values.

 Option 4 facilitator notesViewDownload
 TestimoniesToolkit 'Our Values, Our Lives' exerciseViewDownload
Do one or both of the following activities:
• ‘Sowing the seeds of action’ exercise, which helps you explore the values that inspire you to take action, and consider how your Quakerism affects this
• ‘Exploring the challenges that face us’ exercise, which gives you space to speak of your true responses to the plight of the world, with others as witness.
 Option 5 facilitator notesViewDownload
 Sustainability Toolkit 'Sowing seeds' exerciseViewDownload
 Sustainability Toolkit 'Exploring challenges' exerciseViewDownload

Use a ‘chat room’ activity from Journeys in the Spirit to explore together your understanding of the environment and sustainability. You could also include a sacred reading activity about the spiritual roots of the Quaker commitment to sustainability.

 Option 6 facilitator notesViewDownload
 Chat room activity guidanceView-
 Topic sheets for the chat room activityView-
 Lectio divina (sacred reading) activity - 'Journeys' youth 12View-

For an external course or event exploring the spiritual roots of our commitment to sustainability, check out this option.

 Woodbrooke’s websiteView-
Sustainability
Step 3: Being aware of the issues

This step invites you to become better informed about the issues connected with sustainability such as climate change, environmental degradation, resource depletion, use of power, global justice, sustainable security, and economic inequality and injustice.

Choose one (or more if you like) of the following options for step three of your Sustainability pathway – there are options to suit different preferences, approaches and age groups.

Create your own session about sustainability issues, suitable for anyone over the age of five. Select activities from Journeys in the Spirit children’s work edition Issue 6 on this theme, and follow the guidance given.

 Option 1 facilitator notesViewDownload
 'Journeys in the Spirit' children’s work edition Issue 6View-
 'Journeys in the Spirit' children’s work edition Issue 6 resourcesView-

Begin by focusing on an item of food. Then reflect together on various aspects of the food such as its origins, production, consumption and disposal, and consider any implications relating to sustainability. This activity from Journeys in the Spirit could work well with anyone over the age of about seven, or with an all age group including younger children if paired with older children or adults.

 Option 2 facilitator notesViewDownload
 'Journeys in the Spirit' youth work edition Issue 1 resourcesView-

Reflect on passages from Quaker faith & practice, then share and develop your understanding of our unsustainable relationship with the earth by doing a reflective discussion exercise about what the crisis consists of, why it is happening, and how it challenges us as Quakers.

 Option 4 facilitator notesViewDownload
 QPSW sustainability workshop session guidanceView-

Consider together concerns about your local communities and relate them to the wider national or global picture. Discuss what you need or want your community to be doing or providing and share good news about what is already happening. Relate all of this specifically to sustainability issues.

 Option 5 facilitator notesViewDownload
 GL 'Concerns about our communities' sessionViewDownload

Create your own session on the subject of living sustainably, suitable for anyone over the age of 12. Select activities from Journeys in the Spirit youth work edition Issue 12 which explore issues about living sustainably.

 Option 6 facilitator notesViewDownload
 'Journeys in the Spirit' youth work edition Issue 12 and its resourcesView-

For an external course or event on sustainability issues, check out this option.

 Woodbrooke’s websiteView-
Sustainability
Step 4: Getting inspired - visions, leadings and ideas

For Friends to live out our commitment to building a sustainable and just global society at this time of environmental crisis, it is vital that we open ourselves to inspiration, leadings and new ideas about ways forward. This step offers some ways to do this.

Choose one (or more if you like) of the following options for step four of your Sustainability pathway – there are options to suit different preferences, approaches and age groups.

Spend time nurturing your vision of a sustainable future: how do you imagine the community and culture you would ideally like to live in? Use creative means to create a group collage of your vision, then reflect together on what you have discovered. This activity could work well with anyone over the age of about seven, or with an all age group including younger children if supported by older children or adults.

 Option 1 facilitator notesViewDownload
 GL 'Community and culture' sessionViewDownload

Do one (or both if you like) of the following activities:
• ‘Vision map’ exercise, visioning what your community would be like if we had succeeded in becoming low-carbon and sustainable. This activity could work well with anyone over the age of about seven.
• ‘Vision meditation’ exercise, which gives space for imagination and dreaming about the future, through a guided visualisation.

 Option 2 facilitator notesViewDownload
 Sustainability Toolkit 'Vision map' exerciseViewDownload
 Sustainability Toolkit 'Vision meditation' exerciseViewDownload

Consider what might be different in a sustainable world, then look at who the key players might be in achieving this change, including your own role as individuals and as Quaker meetings. Finish with small group discussions to flesh out your visions.

 Option 4 facilitator notesViewDownload
 Testimonies Toolkit 'Visions for sustainable world' exerciseViewDownload

Create your own session on the subject of visioning how we could live sustainably, suitable for anyone over the age of 12. Select activities from Journeys in the Spirit youth work edition Issue 12 which explore issues about sustainably.

 Option 5 facilitator notesViewDownload
 'Journeys in the Spirit' youth work edition Issue 12 and its resourcesView-

Listen to the words of John Woolman about the ‘seeds of war’ in our possessions, together with other quotations. Then engage reflectively with queries about our financial and consumer choices: you could work with general queries or do an activity from Journeys in the Spirit about mobile phones.

 Option 6 facilitator notesViewDownload
 Quotations about consumption and the seeds of warViewDownload
 Queries about consumption and the seeds of warViewDownload
 'Journeys in the Spirit' activity about the seeds of warView-

For an external course or event about visions, leadings and ideas, check out this option.

 Woodbrooke’s websiteView-
Sustainability
Step 5: Planning and taking action

This step aims to help equip and empower Friends to live as witnesses to our concern for the Earth and its people, by offering a variety of opportunities for planning and taking action.

Choose one (or more if you like) of the following options for step five of your Sustainability pathway – there are options to suit different preferences, approaches and age groups.

Create your own session on the theme of planning a simple, sustainable life, suitable for anyone over the age of five. Select activities from Journeys in the Spirit children’s work edition Issue 48 on this theme and follow the guidance given.

 Option 1 facilitator notesViewDownload
 'Journeys in the Spirit' children’s work edition Issue 48 and its resourcesView-

Explore what power you have to tackle the sustainability crisis as a meeting, by doing a ‘power map’ exercise to help you think about what groups you belong to, what resources you have, and what paths to creating change are open to you.

 Option 2 facilitator notesViewDownload
 QPSW sustainability workshopView-

Do a simple ‘Energy choice’ card sorting activity as a group to hone your energy saving decision making. Then implement some of your decisions!

 Option 3 facilitator notesViewDownload
 Energy choice cards activityView-

Do action planning activities to work out what you can do to address some of your concerns about sustainability issues. The activities aim to show that we don’t all have to do everything, and that we all have skills to contribute. They also help to highlight the importance of working together and supporting one another.

 Option 4 facilitator notesViewDownload
 Sustainability Toolkit 'Exploring your path' exerciseViewDownload
 Testimonies Toolkit 'Taking action' exerciseViewDownload

Using ‘behaving our beliefs’ cards as a stimulus, engage in a small group discussion to help you discover ways in which you ‘behave your beliefs’ and what helps or hinders that.

 Option 5 facilitator notesViewDownload
 GL 'Behaving our beliefs' sessionViewDownload

Use strategy planning cards to explore actions you might carry out to raise awareness of a need for change through creating a memorable image of our testimony in the public mind, or by practical efforts that have a direct effect on a problem in the world. Reflect together on action you could take.

 Option 6 facilitator notesViewDownload
 CCCC 'Symbolic and Practical Action' (sustainability) sessionViewDownload

For an external course or event on planning and taking action, check out this option.

 External course or event facilitator notesViewDownload
 Living Witness websiteView-
 Woodbrooke’s websiteView-
Sustainability
Step 6: Communicating and campaigning

Campaigning and communicating with others about our testimony to sustainability is the focus of this step. If we in Britain Yearly Meeting are to live out our commitment to working to build a sustainable and just global society, then it will mean persuading others of the need for change too.

Choose one (or more if you like) of the following options for step six of your Sustainability pathway – there are options to suit different preferences, approaches and age groups.

Listen to the Kabarak call for peace and eco-justice from the World Conference of Friends 2012. Share with one another what you would want to put in your own meeting’s version of such a call, then write it together. Consider sharing what you have written with others.

 Option 1 facilitator notesViewDownload
 Kabarak call for peace and eco-justiceView-
 Kabarak call for peace and eco-justice set to musicView-

Do a washing line exercise to connect with examples of people who have campaigned for change and made a real difference in the world, then do a pillars of power activity that enables you to identify who holds the power in relation to an area you want to campaign on and what small steps you can take to change the situation.

 Option 3 facilitator notesViewDownload
 Turning the Tide activities about power and changeView-

Consider where our concern or urge to speak out about sustainability issues comes from and whether you are feeling called to speak truth to power as a meeting or individuals. Then reflect together on your own experiences of saying what you believe, and what helps you to do so.

 Option 4 facilitator notesViewDownload
 CCCC 'Speaking out' sessionViewDownload

Develop your meeting as a witness community by reflecting together on your experiences of community, sharing ideas about how to support one another’s witness, and identifying ways to strengthen your community as it campaigns and shares your testimony to sustainability with others.

 Option 5 facilitator notesViewDownload
 Living Witness 'Developing witness community' sessionViewDownload

Consider a variety of approaches to making a difference on sustainability issues, collect ideas for ways of getting involved locally and/or create a drama about a Quaker response to a real life situation.

 Option 6 facilitator notesViewDownload
 'Journeys in the Spirit' youth work edition Issue 10 and its resourcesView-

For an external course or event on communicating and campaigning, check out this option.

 External course or event facilitator notesViewDownload
 Turning the Tide websiteView-
 Woodbrooke’s websiteView-
Sustainability
Step 7: Grounding our witness in worship

This final step brings us back to the place from which all witness arises and in which it is grounded: worship. Opportunities for worshipful activities include holding others in the Light, exploring the wisdom of a parable told by Jesus, holding an all inclusive, all age meeting for worship on a theme related to witness or celebrating and upholding the ministry of others.

Choose one (or more if you like) of the following options for step seven of your Sustainability pathway – there are options to suit different preferences, approaches and age groups.

Hold an all age, all inclusive meeting for worship on the theme of the beautiful Earth, with a sharing activity for all to take part in. Use a simple plan for all age worship and activities from Journeys in the Spirit children’s work edition Issue 48 on this theme.

 Option 1 facilitator notesViewDownload
 'Journeys in the Spirit' children’s work edition Issue 48 and its resourcesView-

Use one of these worship-based activities from step 2 of this learning pathway that is new to your group. Spend time connecting prayerfully with the Quaker commitment to sustainability, then reflect together on what you have discovered. There are options for Godly Play storytelling about the fragile Earth, a simple ‘Council of All Beings’ ritual and a Cosmic Walk, depending on your group’s preferred learning approach and age range.

 Option 2 facilitator notesViewDownload
 Fragile Earth story - 'Journeys' children 57 topical activityView-
 Council of all Beings ritual - 'Journeys' children 56 topical activityView-
 Cosmic Walk 1View-
 Cosmic Walk 2View-

For an external course or event on grounding our witness in worship, check out this option.

 Woodbrooke’s websiteView-
Sustainability
Further exploration

More resources and activities on sustainability