Friday, May 29, 2015

Fossil Fuel Divestment: God or Wealth?

Jesus talks about the uses and misuses of money throughout the Gospel. In the Gospel passage for today’s Daily Office (Luke 16:10-17), Jesus points out that a slave can’t serve two masters and then says, “You cannot serve God and wealth.”

When I read that passage this morning, I immediately thought of the post Divest from fossil fuels: An appeal to the Episcopal Church that The Rev. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas posted on her Reviving Creation blog this week. This post displays and refutes the common arguments against the Episcopal Church divesting from the fossil fuel industry, and then sets out some the reasons why it is especially right for followers of Jesus to now let go of our investments in an industry whose very purpose is now understood to be at odds with the flourishing of life on our planet.

If you are an Episcopalian, I urge you to read this post to the end:
Divest from fossil fuels: An appeal to the Episcopal ChurchMay 25, 2015
Next month, leaders in the Episcopal Church will gather in Salt Lake City for our triennial General Convention.   Among the significant decisions that will be made is a decision about whether to divest from fossil fuels – that is, whether to sell off holdings of stocks and bonds from the world’s leading 200 fossil fuel companies as identified by the Carbon Underground and to re-invest in the clean energy sector. (Continue reading…)
If you aren't Episcopalian, it also is very worthwhile as food for reflection on the broader issues underlying fossil fuel divestment for various institutions.

While other important issues in the Episcopal Church will most probably get more attention before General Convention and will be considered the “big questions” for Deputies and Bishops to consider this year, climate change is the issue that will matter the most to us by the middle of this century and beyond. It is important for Deputies, Bishops, and all of us to understand what is involved in either acting or failing to act, and to understand why divestment from fossil fuels is morally and spiritually important to the Episcopal Church. 

The meditation on today’s Gospel passage in Forward Day by Day asks “What would America look like if we took Jesus seriously when he tells us that we can’t serve God and wealth?” As we prepare for General Convention, we might reflect on what the Episcopal Church would look like — and what we would be doing now — if we took Jesus seriously when he tells us we can’t serve God and wealth. And when he teaches us to hear the cries of our brothers and sisters who are hungry, thirsty, or otherwise in danger because we are failing to act meaningfully on climate change. Or when he simply tells us to love our neighbors, giving the Samaritan — the person from outside our immediate circle — as an example of our neighbor.