by Colleen Earp
So far, the overture on directing the Board of Pensions and the PC(USA) Foundation to divest from fossil fuels and actively invest in renewable energies is already supported 13 presbyteries! (The overture is currently listed as OVT-006 on pc-biz.org until it is assigned to a committee for General Assembly.) This is a brave and prophetic effort toward having our denomination be a leader in climate justice work. The overture was originated in Hudson River Presbytery, part of the Synod of the Northeast, which has already decided to divest its own holdings from fossil fuel industries.
The twelve concurring presbyteries are spread out all over the United States. Also from the Synod of the Northeast are Boston, Northern New York, and New York City Presbyteries. Northwest Coast, San Francisco, and San Jose Presbyteries bring partnership from the west coast. There is support from the middle of the country in Southeastern Illinois and Heartland Presbyteries. Presbytery de Cristo brings representation from the southwest. And Pittsburgh, Shenandoah, and Mid-Kentucky Presbyteries connect us with the Appalachian Mountains, plateaus, and foothills, a region where the fossil fuel industry has a long history of influence and impact.
Two of the concurring presbyteries, Boston and San Francisco, have served as originating presbyteries for the fossil fuel divestment movement in PC(USA) at previous general assemblies. We are excited to have such wonderful partnership as we seek to do all we can to be good stewards of God’s creation. Rev. Stephanie Sorge Wing of Presbytery of Southeastern Illinois reminds us of the importance of this stewardship work: “[Climate change] is especially impacting the poorest, most vulnerable populations—those who we are consistently charged to care for throughout Scripture.” We are aware of at least ten more presbyteries in the process of concurring with this overture. Will yours be next to join us in this important work?