Who Started Dime-A-Gallon?
In the Fall of 2003, the Dime-a-Gallon Dream Fund Minute was brought to Strawberry Creek Monthly Meeting by the Ecology sub-committee of the Peace and Social Witness committee (later changed to Peace, Earthcare and Social Witness). The Meeting approved the Minute in February of 2004.
We adopted the Dime-A-Gallon project as a first step in seeking to align our behavior with our Quaker values. We began by acknowledging that, under current US energy policies, we are not paying the full cost for our use of fossil fuels. We would like to make more visible and "real" this discrepancy between what we pay for fossil fuels and the staggering costs to our society. The Dime-A-Gallon project encourages SCM members and attenders to impose a "surcharge" on personal use of oil at the rate of a dime per gallon. The money is added to a Fund that is used to support projects that further our dream of a world that is more peaceful, more just, and organized around caring for, rather than destroying, the very sources of life itself
Who/what is Strawberry Creek?
Strawberry Creek Monthly (Quaker) Meeting is a member of College Park Quarterly Meeting and Pacific Yearly Meeting. One of the largest committees within Strawberry Creek is the Peace, Earthcare, and Social Witness (PESW) committe, which builds upon a long tradition of Friends' commitment to justice and the environment. The Meeting has about 100 regular attenders.
What is PESW?
The acronym stands for Peace, Earthcare, and Social Witness Committee
I lived in the virtue of that life and power that took away the occasion of all war.
- George Fox, 1651
The Peace, Earthcare, and Social Witness Committee's primary function is to facilitate Strawberry Creek Monthly Meeting's public witness for peace, justice, and environmental concerns. We use as a guide Friends peace testimony that speaks to eradicating the causes of war. "Based upon love and concern for the well being of all, Friends work for reconciliation and active nonviolent resolutions of conflict." (PYM Faith and Practice, 2001) We recognize that care for the natural world has become a natural extension of the historic Quaker concern for peace and justice. We acknowledge that Earthcare Witness is a key concern of SCMM.
The Committee serves the meeting as a center where, within the context of the historic testimonies of Friends, concerns and leadings for witness are generated, aired, and seasoned through a process of discernment to help weigh their appropriateness for action within the Meeting.
- Hear concerns of individuals within the Meeting on matters of the Peace Testimony, concern for Harmony with Nature, and social issues.
- Be aware of peace, environmental, and social justice concerns that are raised in other forums within Meeting, including Meeting for Worship, Business Meeting, Adult Education Sessions, Retreats, and other Meeting venues.
- Generate ideas for witness by the Meeting on matters of peace, social, and environmental concerns.
- Through a process of discernment,
- Season proposals for action by the Meeting within the Committee
- Bring written recommendations to Meeting for Business for consideration
- For activities that become part of SCMM's corporate witness, the Committee will facilitate this witness by providing leadership and support for action. This may include but is not limited to involving members and attenders in developing a strategy for carrying out the witness, and helping to organize cooperative activities, such as collections, letter writing and other advocacy, demonstrations, vigils and other types of group witness around particular issues.
- Organize and/or sponsor educational programs and discussion forums related to particular peace, social and environmental issues that are open to SCMM members, attenders and others.
- For activities undertaken by individual members or attenders, provide ideas, information and links to resources that may be of use in implementing their activities.
- Provide oversight for the Dime-A-Gallon Dream Fund. This includes informing meeting members and attenders of the project and dispersing any funds collected by the project in accordance with the January 11, 2004 Minute.
- Read and respond to Advices and Queries as directed by Worship and Ministry, and present a response at Meeting for Business.
News & activities from PESW
Strawberry Creek Monthly Meeting approved the following statement of a Testimony on Earthcare at the April 2010 Meeting for Worship on the Occasion of Business:
TESTIMONY ON EARTHCARE
Friends' testimonies on simplicity, equality, peace and community suggest the need for an explicit testimony on Earthcare at this time in our history.
It would go a long way to caution and direct people in their use of the world, that they were better studied and knowing in the Creation of it. For how could [they] find the confidence to abuse it, while they should see the great Creator stare them in the face, in all and every part of it?
- William Penn, 1693
In the distress of the earth we can hear the calling of God to care, just as in the past we have heard God in the sufferings of the poor... the commonwealth of people and the commonwealth of the earth have become inseparably interrelated and interdependent. Our thinking about God and the world, and the way we live in relation to them, must now give recognition to that fact.
- Rex Ambler, 1990
We seek to live our lives in reverence for all life on Earth, encompassing right-sharing of the world’s resources amongst all people and all species. Friends are called to enter into right relationship with Earth and the community of life it supports.
Friends see that of God within all life. We celebrate the mystery and wonder of our world and the gifts of nature that sustain and support us. At the same time, we see that human actions are undermining and destroying Earth’s capacity to continue to bring forth these gifts. We hold these gifts in deep reverence, respect and gratitude.
Friends recognize that those who suffer most from the destruction of Earth’s gifts are the poor and the powerless. The wealthy, industrialized nations bear the greatest responsibility for this condition. We strive to find solutions to environmental damage that include peace and social justice for those people most affected by unequal sharing of the world’s resources.
Much like a household that overspends its budget, humans are rapidly depleting Earth’s resources with excessive, unwise consumption and a growing population. We are called to modify our daily, personal choices and to work at the local, national and global levels to ensure the resilience of Earth. We feel a Dime-A-Gallonsense of urgency to bring our lives into right relationship with the community of Dime-A-Gallonlife on Earth. We are called to be faithful to continuing revelation in these matters, to be transformed in our habits as our Dime-A-Gallonhearts and minds are opened.
The exhausted blade of grass
That breaks through the concrete
To the Wind’s Song
Knows that it would be foolish
To do otherwise