Summer Research Seminar 2019

The 2019 Summer Research Seminar was held September 9-13, 2019, in West Falmouth, MA. Nineteen out-of-town visitors joined Friends from West Falmouth Preparative Friends Meeting for a deep and engaging week of inquiry. QIF extends its gratitude to all the members of the Meeting for their gracious hospitality, lively participation in the seminar, and their many contributions throughout the week.

The presentations were:

Regaining a Piece of our Humanity – Shelley Tanenbaum
A brief discussion of the connection between Quakers, climate and activism that gives the rationale and inspiration for Quaker Earthcare Witness.

Parallel impacts of colonization on the Maya peoples of Chiapas, Mexico and the Wampanoag Native Americans of Cape Cod – Erica Adams
A discussion of the relationship between West Falmouth Quakers and Mashpee Wampanoag on Cape Cod, from 1600 to present. A comparison was drawn from the author’s work with the Maya peoples of Chiapas.

Small-Scale Farming in Kenya – David Zarembka and Judy Lumb: (presented by Judy Lumb)
Small-scale farmers are those that cultivate one-tenth of an acre up to around twenty acres of arable land and they produce 70% to 80% of the food in the world now. They will be the ones who will increase food production by at least 50% to feed the assumed 10 billion people living on earth in 2050.

Keeping the Crossroads: History and Justice in the Ramapough Pass – Kieran Conroy
A discussion of insights to be gained from studying the history of the Ramapough Lunaape Nation, whose land along the corridor of the Ramapough Pass in the region surrounding Woodbury, NY holds sacred stories and vital insights for today.

Moving from Fear to Hope on the Climate Crisis – Stephen Gates
A report on work by the NEYM Earthcare Ministry Committee to help Quakers reduce their carbon footprints by 10% or more each year, to connect to both the youth of the meeting and to those interested in social justice, and to consider queries that look at the challenges we continue to face.

Movements underway to reduce community violence and enact gun control at the state government level – Nan Garret-Logan
Discussion of Home Boy Industries, Guns Down America, and Falmouth Gun Safety Coalition

Systems Analysis Approaches to Resolving the Climate Crisis – Jimmy Pryor
What are the strategies of the larger activist organizations in the United States focused on climate change?

Spiritually Responsible Investing: The Spirit-Led Next Wave – Stuart-Sinclair Weeks:
Might our “Socially Responsible Investing” be missing something – some Spirit?

Civil Disobedience Against the Fossil Fuel Industry – On being spiritually led to what one MUST do – Jay O’Hara
An interactive conversation on finding the passion to act.

Connecting-Neuroscience, Law, Psychology, and Spirituality – Dale Bordelon
Certain foundations of our justice system and criminal justice systems are based on folk psychology and intuitive assumptions. They are brought into question by research findings from the field of neuroscience.

Exploring the role of Quaker worship in solving our deepest problems – Jim Grant
An emerging relationship that holds the planet and all of its places, ecosystems, and species sacred is needed to solve the climate crisis. The roles that different approaches to Quaker worship can have in this emergence were discussed.

Developing a syllabus for Quaker worship/religious education – Margaret McCasland
How worshipful reflection on our Quaker heritage can help guide us as we build a right relationship with Earth and with each other.

Healing Our World, Exploring How – Laureen Golden
The Earth and its Inhabitants are hurting…at the hands of humans motivates a discussion of new paradigms for contemporary human culture leading to the question: “How do we become the humans our world is calling for?”

Distinguishing creation from problem solving – Sara Wolcott
As part of Earth, we humans cannot “solve” earth even more than we can “solve” ourselves. We have the opportunity to contemplate creation – not only the natural world, but also who and how we are creating in it.

QIF’s Summer Research Seminar is held yearly to encourage spirit-led research using Quaker methods of discernment and reflection. For more information on attending or presenting a topic at a future seminar, please contact Shelley Tanenbaum at

View the PDF brochure here.

Quaker Institute for the Future