God’s call to love all creation directs us to be good stewards of the earth and to live lives that are sustainable. Where our treasure is, there our hearts will be. Fossil Free PCUSA challenges us to be faithful through our individual and collective actions that reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and we continue to encourage divestment from the industry that harms the planet the most.
🌱 In 2012, Fossil Free PCUSA was organized when members and friends of the Presbyterian Church (USA) responded to our biblical call to care for God’s good creation to divest from the fossil fuel industry.
🌱 In 2014, we, the leadership of FFPCUSA and representatives from 12 concurring presbyteries, traveled to General Assembly in Detroit to present an overture to divest. This overture was sent to the Mission Responsibility Through Investment (MRTI) committee for further study. Fossil Free PCUSA became a working group of the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship, a collaboration that has further inspired learning and action.
🌱 In 2016, the support for our updated overture grew to 31 concurring presbyteries and we traveled to GA in Portland. Our overture was passed in committee but was again sent to MRTI in the work of the plenary session.
🌱 In 2018, the support for our overture grew to 40 presbyteries and many of us walked from Louisville to GA in St Louis. Again, our overture passed in committee, but was ultimately answered in the plenary session with a minority report calling for continued engagement.
🌱 In 2020, due to the ongoing pandemic and uncertainty of hosting General Assembly in a new online format, the overture was passed on to the 225th General Assembly in 2022 along with most other business deemed “non-urgent.”
Fossil Free PCUSA has been organizing for over ten years and we can finally celebrate the first divestment from selected fossil fuel companies in the history of the PCUSA! Thank you to the work of MRTI for moving forward with their call and divesting our denomination from Chevron, ExxonMobil, Marathon Petroleum, Phillips 66, and Valero Energy.
At the 225th General Assembly in 2022, our overture for categorical divestment was again supported by over 30 mid councils and even MRTI, but was rejected in committee and replaced with another overture supported by two presbyteries that recommended engagement with fossil fuel companies over categorical divestment. Despite many amendments to change the overture back to the original and unanimous support from Mission Advisory Delegates and Young Adult Advisory Delegates, commissioners approved slow and selective divestment.
Now is the time for urgent action. We lament that the General Assembly has not yet passed the visionary call to move toward categorical divestment. It may already be too late to reach the goals set by the Paris Accord Agreements, which the committee and the plenary affirmed support of. However, we will continue to seek peace for and with all of creation by calling for categorical divestment in our denomination.
Fossil Free PCUSA has been organizing for over ten years to categorically divest from fossil fuels in the Presbyterian Church (USA). While we often take a sabbath following each General Assembly, we are extending that into a hibernation period: we are taking a long winter’s nap until late winter/early spring of 2023.
We have stored all sorts of great information in a shared google drive for you to use during this time. In particular, we encourage you to help your church, presbytery, and synods divest from fossil fuels using our divestment toolkit. Our co-moderators are available to respond to particular requests for information and support, but will not be actively organizing for the next few months as we rest and recover from the challenges of this work.
Fill out this form to reach us, or to be added to our contact list when we begin to emerge from this extended sabbath!
Rev. Dexter Kearny
Rev. Colleen Earp