As Quakers, we believe that there is that of God in everyone. We find ourselves in a time of increasing fear for many who feel threatened and marginalized because of their gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, immigration status or political beliefs. We witness this same fear in communities across our country and around the world. We cannot ignore this conflict without violating our belief in the just, equitable and democratic principles of our country and our faith.
We acknowledge that labeling people as the “other” emphasizes differences between people and violates the testimony of equality we have shared around the world for the past 365 years. We therefore speak truth to power. When anyone’s safety and security are violated with labels, hate and violence, we must reach out in love, offer protection and build connections between communities. We are committed to the hard work of building bridges and without judgement, opening our hearts to one another to address the fear of those delivering anger rather than love.
We step forward to protect all people who feel endangered by their differences. We seek to magnify our presence by working in alliance with individuals and organizations also offering loving protection. We are committed to healing, love and growth of understanding that there is that of God in everyone.
We Quakers of Great Falls are connected to the Standing Rock Sioux Nation by the Missouri River. We are connected by our concern for protecting clean water and a healthful environment for future generations. We are connected by our recognition of the power of prayer in the Spirit-led life. We are connected by our common humanity in the great web of life.
Mindful of our connection, we stand in solidarity with the people encamped at Standing Rock.
We recognize the right of the native people who oppose the Dakota Access Pipeline to tell their own story. We therefore recognize the name Water Protectors and reject the term “protesters” in this case. We recognize the need for greater respect for the cultures and sovereignty of indigenous peoples, their right to self-determination, their right to live peacefully and unmolested on their own lands, their right to secure a livable environment for themselves and their posterity, and their right to connect to the Divine with the prayer and ceremony of their own traditions in the locations sacred to them.
We join with other faith communities in repudiating the Doctrine of Discovery.
We understand urgency of the climate crisis, attributable in large part to the burning of fossil fuels. We know that, while we all use gasoline and energy, humanity must reduce as quickly as possible the amount of carbon and other warming agents that human activities are injecting into the world’s atmosphere.
We thank the Water Protectors for their courageous work which benefits us all. We thank the Standing Rock Sioux for extending hospitality and care to their camps. We encourage Friends to prayerfully consider supporting the Water Protectors financially, spiritually, materially, politically, and in all other ways open to us as the Spirit leads.
We stand with Standing Rock.
When MGOF finds itself called as a body to witness, a Minute of that testimony is recorded and distributed.