First FA Peace Vigil urges care for the planet through peaceWritten by Andrea Miller
With bright blue skies above and green grass below, students from all three divisions gathered in mirrored shades of blue and green to honor the Quaker Testimonies of Peace and Stewardship at Friends Academy's first Peace Vigil of the 2023-24 school year.
On Thursday, Oct. 5, Upper School students from the committees of TASQUE (Teachers and Students for Quaker Understanding and Education) and Sustainability presented a short program filled with commentary, poetry, and "Garden Song" by John Denver, performed by Lower School students.
"We gather today on this green patch of land to remember the roles we play as caretakers of our campus, gardeners of our community, and stewards of this Earth," opened senior Kate Juhel and Recording Clerk of the Sustainability Committee. "Today we ask ourselves... 'Why is our collective engagement in Earthcare more important than ever?'" she added.
Sustainability Committee co-clerk Senuli Peiris outlined her top reasons – rising temperatures, extreme weather events, a decline in biodiversity, plastic pollution, and rising sea levels. For Lower School students Jermaine, Lana, Selah, Tommy, and Zoya sustainability efforts can begin right here at home. "We compost our snack waste and use the compost in our Lower School Garden," shared Lana. "We have a coat drive during Peace Week," reminded Zoya. "Recycling coats helps keep them out of landfills and saves resources."
Each Peace Vigil this year will be led by a different division of students. "Today's collaboration between TASQUE and Sustainability is a natural outgrowth of Quakerism's dual focus on vocal ministry and witness or advocacy work," pointed out Elya Rak and TASQUE co-clerk. "This is the place that prompts us to act in service."
Photos by Alvin Caal/Friends Academy