Over two years ago, the MACUCC Board of Directors was the first religious body in America to pass a resolution advocating divesting from fossil fuel companies. That resolution eventually was passed by our national UCC Synod on July 1, 2013. Since that time, a few churches have divested and many others have engaged the discussion. In fact, our MACUCC Climate Justice Intern, Patrick Cage, recently sent out a challenge to see if at least 10 congregations had engaged the issue. And sure enough, he quickly found 10, and that means that on March 21 at Super Saturday, I’m going to get 10 pies in my face – one from each of those congregations. (Please don’t ask me what the connection is between divestment and pies in the face. I think you have to be under the age of 25 to “get” the connection!)
More and more, people recognize that climate change is serious, and that divesting from fossil fuel companies is one of many strategies to prompt humanity to take action. And in particular, the church is recognizing that we actually have the power to revoke the social license the fossil fuel companies require to continue business as usual. Of course, it’s not only the church. Cities and towns are divesting, along with colleges and philanthropies. And in mid-April, Harvard will be challenged by hundreds of alumni, students, faculty and others to divest. http://divestharvard.com/
As I have preached on this topic in well over a dozen churches, many individuals have approached me asking how they might go about divesting their personal portfolios from fossil fuel companies. On Sunday, March 22 from 3pm-5pm First Church Cambridge will host an opportunity to hear from an impressive team of financial experts who will explore how fossil fuel divestment works, how to go about it, the risks and benefits involved, and how to maximize the impact of individual decisions to divest. You won’t be disappointed! To RSVP, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org , with SUBJECT LINE: DIVEST. To view a copy of the brochure, go to brochure.
Jim Antal is a denominational leader, activist and public theologian. He led the 360 churches of the Massachusetts Conference United Church of Christ from 2006 to his retirement in 2018. An environmental activist from the first Earth Day in 1970, ...