St. Luke Fossil Fuel Divestment Resolution passes at Oregon Synod meeting
On Saturday, May 18th, 2013, the St. Luke Fossil Fuel Divestment Resolution PASSED a vote at the ELCA Oregon Synod. Now it will be forwarded for consideration at this summer’s Churchwide Assembly in Pittsburgh.
In a meeting also attended by Secretary of the ELCA David Swartling, the synod Reference and Counsel Committee suggested an alternative “RESOLVED” clause that they believed had a better chance of being adopted on the national level. This alternative, mirroring one submitted at the NW Washington Synod meeting, requested an “opt-out of fossil fuel stocks” option for church employees in the Portico pension program.
St. Luke’s Pastor David Knapp, Council President Barbara Roady and Environmental Chair Michael Hall declined, stating that, given the magnitude and urgency of the issue, they wanted St. Luke’s request to fully encompass all ELCA-connected investment programs.
With two minor text adjustments, the resolution was allowed to go to the floor “with reservations” about its financial/legal ramifications and the feasibility of its requested actions.
Floor debate about the resolution was dramatic and the final outcome was far from obvious. In the end, the vote tally showed 102 in favor, 94 opposed and 14 abstaining.