Published: May 14, 2021
In early April, I received an email with the subject heading "Quaker arts and service opportunity." It said, "Dear Eugene Friends, I would like to pass along the following, about an opportunity for Quakers and others to engage in an international community craft project in response to our climate crisis, to share with those who may be interested in your meeting. Please do feel free to let me know if you have any questions. In Friendship, Matt Rosen, The Loving Earth Project, Oxford Meeting."
I dove into the attached information and the linked web page, and I was hooked! The Loving Earth Project is an international community textile project, started by a few British Quakers in 2019. They are collecting fabric art panels to use in a traveling exhibit, which will go to Glasgow for the Climate Summit this fall. But the real goal is to encourage us to each explore our connection to some place on the earth, and what action we can take to show our love for it.
After looking over the website, I found a list of events and signed up for a workshop. It was a zoom meeting at 7:30 p.m. in Britain, which is 11:30 a.m. PST. The workshop helped me to hone in on my deepest response to the query "What or whom do you love that’s in danger from environmental breakdown?" I realized it's the rain! Growing up on the Oregon coast, I am 90% rainwater myself, and when I think about the decrease in rainfall we are experiencing, I get choked up.
I also attended a "Chat Session" last week, and got to share my drawing of rain with others, hear their stories, and see the amazing panels they are creating. While the project format is a textile panel, some people are painting the fabric, or quilting, or stitching, and the panels show all ranges of expertise.
One important component is the essay that accompanies each panel, and explains the imagery of the panel and actions that the artist is taking.
So far it seems that I am the only person from the USA who is involved, and that is far too much pressure for me! I hope to present this as an interest group at NPYM annual session, and also am working with a few other interested Friends in Eugene Meeting.
Please consider taking on this project for yourself or in your Meeting.
from Cynthia Black, Eugene Friends Meeting