Letters - 08 September 2023

From Faith and patience to Direct mail

Faith and patience

Beth Allen’s ministry (25 August) about her recent experiences of losing her husband and going through cancer treatment spoke deeply to me.

I have not lost my husband but have seen him suffering loss of strength and many medical problems and having to manage without two important operations that the now-debilitated NHS says it cannot provide for him.

And I do not have cancer as far as I know but am struggling with great loss of strength and mobility and with severe bowel problems that greatly reduce my ability to do things for myself, for Quakers, and for my family, which has been frustrating and depressing for me.

Beth’s ministry of faith and patience is a beacon for me, which will help me bear my own small cross better. Thank you, Beth Allen, for the example and the inspiration. And increased belief in my daily prayer: ‘Thank you source of Life for returning to me a new day of life.’

Lois Chaber

Outcome is not the cause

I have briefly met Rupert Read (4 August) a few times due to my own long involvement and concern for the future of the planet, most recently at a door-knocking day for Adrian Ramsay, co-leader of the Green Party. 

At the plenary session I suggested that, if we are to truly remove the causes of the breakdown of the climate and the ecosystem, communities urgently need to begin economic rebuilding, based around the principle of sharing. Protesting or winning elections, albeit important, will not in themselves tackle the roots of the rot. 

So I was rather disappointed by the duo’s unengaged responses. Though Rupert mentions citizen community action in his interview, I suspect he’s still talking about protest rather than reconstruction within the community.

What the Earth is suffering from is infinite globalised industrial development and growth, while the planet is crying out for a global growth of low-impact, steady-state, ‘indigenous’ economic lifestyles. It’s also what human beings need, faced as we are with a phenomenal level of mental health breakdown as our inner good/God cries out for connection at a time of desperate depersonalisation, individualisation and false ambitions, which characterise the current economy.

The fact that we plunder the Earth for resources to use industrially, so destroying the planet, is an outcome, not the cause.

Andrew Sterling

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