Greetings from the Bishop’s Committee for the Environment!
In November 2013, the Convention of the Diocese of Olympia approved a resolution supporting divestment from fossil fuels. The resolution asked the Board of Directors to implement a plan within five years to divest from direct ownership of stocks issued by the world’s leading fossil fuel companies. Also, the resolution requested that the Bishop’s Committee for the Environment (BCE) “formulate an educational plan for implementation over the next year  about the issues and questions surrounding the divestment of fossil fuel holdings”.
Thus, on behalf of the BCE, I want to share with our fellow members in the diocese the following education and discussion resources for fostering discussion of fossil fuel divestment among our respective congregations, especially among members of vestries, bishop’s committees, and all to whom responsibility for church governance is entrusted. The resources are available electronically by clicking on this link or on the individual links below.
Educational Resources on Fossil Fuel Divestment
- a primer on fossil fuel divestment, which includes numerous links to other resources on this topic,
- a list of frequently asked questions,
- a bulletin insert (half-page, two per letter-size sheet) for inviting consideration of fossil fuel divestment and for sharing the online primer via your congregation’s newsletter and/or website,
- a newsletter article to insert in your church newsletter,
- a list of other congregational education & discussion materials to further explore fossil fuel divestment as a strategy to address the climate crisis, and
- workshops (or adult education forums) on fossil fuel divestment led by BCE members who can travel to your congregation to present on this topic and facilitate discussion. Requests for workshops can be made to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope that these education and discussion resources will encourage a spirit of discernment and respectful dialogue as members of congregations across the diocese reflect on our common mission as the Church (e.g.,“to proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom”, “to seek to transform unjust structures of society,” “to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation”, etc.) while particularly focusing on the unfolding crisis of climate change, the fossil fuel industry’s (and our own) role in this crisis, and what fossil fuel divestment as a response would mean for the Diocese of Olympia (and beyond). Furthermore, we offer these resources to inspire hope and courage in the face of climate change as we seek with you to live out more faithfully our baptism in Christ.
Over the next few months, we look forward to conversations with you about fossil fuel divestment, especially before September when the Board of Directors plans to poll the congregations invested in the Diocesan Investment Fund for a second time. In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns or would like to schedule a speaker on fossil fuel divestment, please contact email@example.com.
Nancy McConnell, Chair
Bishop’s Committee for the Environment