Strong Minds. Kind Hearts.


The sustainable foundation of SPICES

A Quaker testimony is a statement of belief; it is a goal for one’s behavior. Testimonies are the way Quakers work for a connection between inner and outer lives. They are the way Quakers take their relationship with the divine spirit and turn it into actions. At many Quaker schools and Meetings the acronym SPICES is used to remember six important testimonies, simplicity, peace, integrity, community and equality and service/stewardship. Each of these testimonies speaks to ways we can become better stewards of the planet.

  • Simplicity: Simple living does not just benefit our lives. Simple living benefits the planet. Each time we conserve or even choose to buy less or use less we are saving resources and leaving something for the future. Simplifying our lives gives more time to appreciate the wonder that surrounds us.
  • Peace: Living in true peace extends to the non human world. Living in peace with the planet means seeing habitat destruction and pollution as acts of aggression. All life is sacred.
  • Integrity: Integrity means being honest about the impact of our actions on the earth. It means being honest about what happens when we do what we do. It means finding the truth about our actions and reporting the truth.
  • Community: Humans are very caring and altruistic to the people in their own communities. By extending our definition community to include all living things we become true inhabitants of the places in which we live.
  • Equality: When humans treat all living things as if they have the right to live we preserve the biodiversity of the planet and all the gifts this diversity provides.
  • Stewardship: From old English comes the word stewardship. Stig meant hall and weard meant keeper, keeper of the hall. This history tells us we are keepers of the earth. Stewardship is a not a choice it is a responsibility, it is what we owe the future.

Three phrases used by Quakers to describe how we should take care of the Earth are “right sharing, right ordering and good stewardship.”

Quaker testimonies can be a guide in achieving these goals. All of the testimonies support the addition of stewardship to the acronym SPICES. By using SPICES we remind ourselves and others that we must act to care for the earth. When we take action and live lives that speak these testimonies we become true stewards of the Earth.

We become good ancestors.