MEDFORD >> On the last Saturday of every month, more than green grass covers the lawn of Medford Friends Meeting, the historic Quaker meetinghouse at 14 Union Street here.
It’s shoes. Dozens of shoes, all bearing signs about the “other” ongoing world-wide crisis: Climate Change. The pandemic has brought prohibition of close gatherings, but while the shoes’ owners may not physically "stand-in" at the Meeting House, the climate messages do.
“The pandemic may prevent us from holding in-person vigils, so, instead, we are using our signs and donated shoes to make sure we are heard: that global warming is real. It is now and poses an even more serious threat to our health and security,” said Ruth Darlington, clerk of Medford Meeting.
The Covid19 pandemic may dominate immediate headlines, but climate change has long been, is now and still remains an equally deadly global threat, according to Darlington.
“We are bombarded daily with statistics about positive tests, hospitalizations, and mounting death tolls,” she said, “yet these pandemic numbers will pale in comparison to the numbers who will die from floods, fires, drought, heat waves, and crop failure if we don't stop global warming.”
Darlington noted that the demonstration is also linked to the “Fridays for Future” (FFF) action, a day out of school inspired by a Swedish schoolgirl who first organized a student climate change strike outside the Swedish Parliament.
She invites others to “stand” by donating a pair of shoes for the global warming strike, last Saturday of each month on the Medford Meeting House lawn. Interested persons may call the Meeting office at 856-953-8014 to leave a message noting a way to be contacted.
Medford Meeting was established in 1759 and has continued as an active meeting in the Quaker tradition at 14 Union St. The “new” meeting house was built in 1814. Currently Meetings for Worship are “virtual” pending alternate plans currently being considered.