The Wicomico River Society of Friends is a small Quaker community that meets weekly in Salisbury, Maryland on a plot of wooded land bordering the busy Route 13 bypass. The physical location reflects the philosophy of the Friends: “The ecology of [the Quaker] meeting is not unlike the ecology of the forest … For the forest, the shared purpose is life itself, existence; everything extraneous stripped away by its necessity. Perhaps the goal of the spiritual life is to strip away everything frivolous as well, to pare it all back to the necessity of connection with the other.” (“The Ecology of a Quaker Meeting,” by James W. Hood.)
Since the early days of the Religious Society of Friends, God’s spirit has led Friends to take action in the world. Above all they seek to remain open to where the spirit leads us. To implement this, the local Meeting is guided by an annual national statement, The World We Seek, which summarizes how the Society of Friends focuses its actions. Their local environmental efforts are guided by these ideals under a section titled “We seek an earth restored:”
• Humankind must respect the ecological integrity & sacredness of the natural world.
• Justice to future generations requires not only that we refrain from impoverishing the earth, but also that we protect and restore it.
• The biosphere is finite, & therefore international, national, and local bodies must implement environmentally sustainable economic policies.
• Population pressure and unsustainable consumption threaten the finite planet that living things share.
They have installed solar panels, put a forest easement on most of their 15 acres, have begun to plant more native species on their open land to support wildlife, and are laying plans to create a large pollinator garden as their next project.
For more information on Wicomico River Friends Meeting, call 410-749-9649.
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