Five United Church of Christ Conferences have now joined the Massachusetts Conference in its call on the denomination to divest from fossil fuel companies as part of an effort to combat climate change.
The Massachusetts Conference Board of Directors in December voted to bring a Resolution urging divestment from Fossil Fuel Companies to the UCC General Synod this summer. The Southwest, Central Atlantic and New York conferences signed on as co-sponsors and now the Florida and Minnesota conferences have become endorsers (the deadline to co-sponsor the resolution has passed).
"Concern about climate change is not a partisan issue; neither is it an issue of one or another part of the country. That’s why five Conferences have joined the Mass Conference in supporting the resolution to divest from fossil fuels, "said Conference Minister and President Jim Antal.
"While divestment is only one strategy among many that must be engaged, in two months time we’ve seen the UCC demonstrate that this is a strategy that ignites people’s interest," he said.
The growing denominational support for divestment makes the UCC the earliest and strongest religious voice in a growing movement that includes colleges, universities and city governments. (More: Nation of Change: US 'Divestment' Movement Gaining Momentum.)
The effort is modeled on the successful work in the 1980s that led colleges and other institutions to divest themselves of the stocks of companies doing business in South Africa under apartheid. The United Church of Christ was part of that movement, with national General Synods passing four related resolutions between 1983 and 1989.