Quaker insights in the context of ecological crisis

Salvation: being saved from ourselves

12/02/2020, 10:30 am - 11:30 am

at Bournville Quaker Meeting House, Bournville Birmingham

A study group held at Bournville Friends Meeting House on the second Wednesday morning of each month from 10.30 – 11.30 from October 2019 to June 2020. This month’s topic: Salvation: being saved from ourselves

The meetings will begin with around 20 minutes of Quaker worship, and then a further 40 minutes exploring how the ecological insight for the day can help us in our daily lives.

Tea and coffee from 10.15 and again afterwards.

Based on a nine-part framework devised by Stuart Masters, Senior Programme Leader for on-site learning at Woodbrooke.

All the sessions can be downloaded here.

This month – Salvation: being saved from ourselves

The truth is that we are all hurt and need healing. There is a spiritual poverty among both rich and poor… If we are to be whole, we can no longer ignore the divisions created by idolising wealth, success and power.  (QF&P 29.13)

The Quaker way has tended to see salvation more in terms of building the kingdom of God on earth than the promise of heaven as a spiritual dwelling place after death. This involves seeing salvation as a process of being saved from the implications of our own darkness and ignorance. What are the key dimensions of this?

  • Bondage – we find ourselves in bondage to social, economic and political systems and ideologies that lead us into a destructive relationship with each other, with other animals and with the rest of the natural world.
  • Liberation – We need to be released from this bondage. The Spirit, acting as our Inward Teacher, has the capacity to break these bonds and release us from our dependence on the powers of death and destruction. This is an experience of liberation.

Ecological Reflection

What does salvation mean in the context of ecological crisis? If our vision of salvation is understood in terms of Gospel Order(2) or right relationship, then individual salvation cannot be meaningfully separated from the well-being of the whole creation, understood as a complex system of interconnected and interdependent parts. If humanity currently functions as a disruptive and destructive element within creation, then salvation involves our liberation from systems, ideologies and motivations that lead to violence, hatred, cruelty, injustice, oppression and destructiveness. These fallen ways make life a ‘hell on earth’ for so many humans and other creatures and destroy the very ecosystems that support life on earth.

Query

Are you aware of the impact that your lifestyle has on the well-being of other humans, other animals and the rest of the natural world? Are you willing to join with others in attending to the Spirit, as inward teacher, which has the power to liberate us from our bondage to systems of violence, injustice and destruction?

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Location
Bournville Quaker Meeting House
65 Linden Rd Bournville Birmingham B30 1JT

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