We would like you to approach your Synod, Presbytery and Congregation and ask them to divest from Fossil Fuels. This seems to us a next step because, as the rationale to the Synod of the Northeast’s divestment overture (which passed last fall) said:
“We have profound concern about the destructive effects of climate change on all God’s creation, including a disproportionate impact on communities of persons of color, those living in poverty and in the least developed countries; the elderly and children; and those least responsible for the emissions of greenhouse gases. We recognize the moral mandate for humanity to shift to a sustainable energy regime in a way that is both just and compassionate. This mandate compels us to action to divest from the fossil fuel industry even as we reduce our use of fossil fuels and shrink our carbon footprint.”
By way of background to this request., so far the following actions have been taken:
During the last two General Assemblies (221st in 2014 and 222nd in 2016) our denomination debated divestment from the fossil fuel industry.
- In 2014, the Presbytery of Boston sent the overture “On Divestment from Fossil Fuel Companies” and 11 presbyteries concurred.
- In 2016, the Presbytery of San Francisco sent the overture “On PC(USA) Fossil Fuel Divestment” and 29 presbyteries concurred
Prior to the 222nd Assembly, nine former moderators, including Rick Ufford-Chase, signed a letter urging the commissioners to support the overture to divest. Their reasoning included, “Because of the grave and urgent threat of climate change and the fossil fuel sector’s well-documented and unyielding refusal to change, it is no longer morally or ethically right for the PC(USA) to profit from companies that are creating ecological destruction and human suffering on such a monumental scale.”
At the conclusion of the 222nd Assembly, Bruce Reyes Chow, Moderator of the 218th General Assembly tweeted: “While there have been many #GA222 decisions that have gone the way I had hoped, our failure to divest in fossil fuels is a monumental miss.”
Since GA concluded, several synods, presbyteries, and congregations have voted to divest. We’d like to increase that number so we don’t have another “miss” in 2018! At the 223rd General Assembly there will be another overture, but in the meantime we would like more Synods, Presbyteries and Congregations to divest from Fossil Fuels. Your faithful work and witness to our God-given call to love creation with our whole selves will help us galvanize the PCUSA to save the planet for future generations.
Finally, please be in touch with us to let us know how your work for divestment is going. We would like to hear from you whether you get a vote for divestment or not. Tell us your stories and contact us through this email: Kathy@presbypeacefellowship.org.
We look forward to hearing from you!