Dear Friends: The FGC Gathering this year (6/29 –7/5) will be conveniently located near Appalachia, Ohio, and the headquarters of PNC Financial Services in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. PNC is the #1 funder of fracking in Pennsylvania. Ohio is an important state for PNC in terms of its depositors.
Two years ago, I felt led to walk from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh to confront PNC (a modest project, considering Mary Fisher walked from England to Rome). Others joined me, and we were wonderfully received by Friends Meetings during this “Green Walk for Jobs and Justice,” including potlucks and hospitality in homes.
I'm feeling a similar leading to walk in Ohio this year, preceding the FGC Gathering. I'm imagining a walk of 5-6 days – and these would be short days, since the weather could be very hot. I'm picturing myself walking alone or with one or two others for a couple of days, but expecting that more Friends will join me as the walk gets closer to the Gathering.
Friends from a couple different Yearly Meetings have already said they will join this walk, and I write invite you, too. The walk could build a buzz of awareness in the FGC Gathering about climate justice and the destruction of Appalachia by fracking. It might also help build support for an action that Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT) is planning at PNC headquarters during Thursday afternoon of the Gathering. The executive director of Greenpeace International, Kumi Naidoo, will be a keynote speaker the Gathering and wants to join us for our action as well.
I’m imagining the walk and the action might allow Friends to experience an FGC Gathering that, for the first time in many years, focuses and unites us, and allows us to drop denial and despair. I’m imagining Friends becoming free to experience God's call to protect Creation.
Interested? Contact me at glakey1-AT-swarthmore.edu.
George Lakey, Swarthmore College
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