2013 Resolutions

Procedures for submitting a resolution

2013 Resolutions Committee members
Jay Luther, chair, jluther@lutherlaw.com | The Ven. Carolyn Bolton | Mr. John Chase
Mr. Joseph Dashiell | Mr. Al Ferrando | Mrs. E. J. Hilliard | The Rev. Jill Honodel
The Rev. John Kirkley | The Rev. Carol Luther | Mr. Vik Slen


RESOLUTION 1
2014 PEACE, JUSTICE & ENVIRONMENT

RESOLUTION 2
DIVESTMENT FROM FOSSIL FUEL COMPANIES

RESOLUTION 3
COMMEMORATION OF THE REV. PETER WILLIAMS CASSEY
AND ANNA BESANT CASSEY

RESOLUTION 4
DISASTER PREPAREDNESS

RESOLUTION 5
GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION


Three additional resolutions were submitted to the Resolutions Committee, but are not being proposed by the Committee. The Rules of Order state that the Committee shall submit no more than five resolutions (Section 1.4). These resolutions will require a 2/3 vote of the Convention in order to be considered. (Section 1.5). The resolutions are GUANTANAMO; IMMIGRATION POLICY; and PROMOTING JUSTICE AND PEACE IN ISRAEL/PALESTINE. Click here to view the three proposed resolutions.


A resolution SUSTAINABLE AND RESPONSIBLE INVESTING has been submitted as a substitute for Resolution 2 DIVESTMENT FROM FOSSIL FUEL COMPANIES. Click here to read the proposed substitute.


RESOLUTION 1

2014 PEACE, JUSTICE & ENVIRONMENT

 

Resolved, That the 164th Convention of the Diocese of California affirms our Baptismal Covenant to strive for Peace and Justice; and

Resolved, That the diocese designates 2014 as a year to educate, discern and engage in four quarterly program themes pertaining to Peace, Justice & Environment in conjunction with the Province VIII Peace and Justice Ministry Network:

1) Human Trafficking Awareness Day - January 11 (2014 or 2015);
2) Environment - Earth Day - April 22;
3) Economic Justice - Labor Day - Sept. 1; and
4) Immigration - International Migrants Day - Dec. 18.

Explanation: This resolution will be presented at all Province VIII diocesan conventions. The Peace and Justice Ministry Network is identifying network coordinators in each diocese to facilitate this work and to connect peace and justice efforts across the Province. Resources will be shared to develop programs around these themes specific to each diocese.

This resolution begins the conversations about Peace & Justice Ministries in our communities. Our goal is to empower members to participate and become leaders in a larger network, realizing that many themes are intertwined. We are often passionate about issues that are dear to our hearts and, sometimes, avoid justice issues that impact our neighbors. Let’s be present and embrace 2014 as an opportunity to educate, discern, and engage these themes. To assist each diocesan ministry team, the Province VIII Peace & Justice Network will invite network coordinators to a Peace, Justice & Environment retreat (January 2014 in Seattle) and will continue to build and maintain resource materials until General Convention 2015.

Submitted by: Warren J. Wong, delegate, St. James, San Francisco & coordinator, Peace & Justice Ministry Network of Province VIII (wjwstjames@gmail.com); Rev. Eric Metoyer, St. Cyprian’s, San Francisco (ericm@diocal.org); Rev. Mary Moreno Richardson, St. Mary the Virgin, San Francisco; Scott Pomerenk, delegate, Grace Cathedral, San Francisco.

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RESOLUTION 2

DIVESTMENT FROM FOSSIL FUEL COMPANIES

 

Resolved, That the 164th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of California hereby instructs Executive Council to actively work towards full divestment from all public equities or corporate bonds in fossil fuel companies as determined by the Carbon Tracker list;1

Resolved, That Executive Council is further instructed to immediately stop any new investment in fossil fuel companies;

Resolved, That the Executive Council is further instructed to ensure that within 5 years none of its directly held or commingled assets include holdings of either public equities or corporate bonds in fossil fuel companies;

Resolved, That Executive Council is further instructed to release annual updates, available to the public, detailing progress made towards full divestment;

Resolved, That Executive Council is further instructed to encourage all congregations of the Episcopal Diocese of California to make a similar commitment to divestment from fossil fuel companies; and

Resolved, That Executive Council is further instructed to encourage the members of all congregations of the Episcopal Diocese of California to make similar personal commitments to divestment from fossil fuel companies.

Explanation: In Genesis 9, God established a covenant, not only with Noah, but with all of humanity and every living creature, that God would never again allow a flood to destroy the earth. The language of this covenant looks back to God’s commandment in Genesis 1, giving humankind responsibility for the fish of the sea, birds of the air, and every living thing upon the face of the earth.

Sadly, humankind has failed to live up to our part of this covenant, as we have continued to destroy the earth through our wasteful use of the very resources we are charged to care for, especially in our ever increasing use of the earth’s carbon reserves.

According to the 2012 Dara Report,2 the earth’s changing climate is costing the global economy $1.2 trillion a year and killing 1,000 children a day. But in the United States, we continue to desperately seek increasingly invasive and destructive means – such as such as deep sea oil drilling, mountain top coal removal, and natural gas fracking – to fuel our insatiable appetite for more and more carbon fuels. Although there are other sources of increased CO2 in our atmosphere, the United States Environmental Protection Agency reports that carbon fuels are the source of 57% of the greenhouse gases in our atmosphere.3 

The national synod of the United Church of Christ recently took a prophetic stance, becoming the first national church body to pass a resolution calling for divestment from fossil fuels.4 Gofossilfuel.org, a national organization encouraging divestment, lists the San Francisco State University Foundation; the California cities of San Francisco, Berkeley, Richmond; and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Oregon as additional entities that have made a commitment to divest.5 It seems most appropriate for the Episcopal Diocese of California, which has a strong emphasis on care of creation and stewardship of the environment to take a similar stance.

This resolution is intended to be broad. By requiring divestment of fossil fuel securities that are “directly held or commingled,” the resolution requires the diocese to divest itself of carbon securities in its own name or an account name, and also requires it to divest itself of any interest in mutual funds, derivatives, or other investment pooling devices that hold such equities within five years after this resolution is adopted. The Endowment Fund for Foundations (TIFF), which is the diocese’s current investment vehicle, is such a device, and it holds limited investments in Carbon Tracker list securities over which the diocese has no control. Should TIFF continue to hold such investments, the diocese would have to terminate its relationship with TIFF within five years, but would not be required to take earlier action. Should the diocese be able to convince TIFF to cease such investments, of course, the relationship could continue indefinitely. To the extent that other entities — such as congregational endowments — participate in the diocese’s investments by commingling their funds through TIFF, all these rules would also indirectly apply to them as a practical matter.

Other than where congregational investment funds are commingled with those of the diocese, this resolution does not directly require divestment or other action by congregations, including missions, but they are encouraged to do so.

Divestment is, of course, not the whole solution. We also need to encourage members of the Episcopal Diocese of California and all people to reduce their carbon footprint through personal choices, such as using public transportation, buying more fuel efficient cars, installing alternative power sources in their homes, and taking other actions to reduce their carbon footprint. However, making the decision to divest from fossil fuel investments is an important step committing the Episcopal Diocese of California to be a prophetic leader and part of the solution to our current environmental crisis.

http://www.carbontracker.org/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2012/08/Unburnable-Carbon-Full1.pdf
2 http://daraint.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/CVM2ndEd-FrontMatter.pdf 
3 http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/ghgemissions/global.html
4 http://www.ucc.org/synod/resolutions/
5 http://gofossilfree.org/commitments/


Submitted by: Rev. Susan Champion, vicar, Christ the Lord, Pinole (vicarsusan@hotmail.com); Rev. Joseph Pummil, St. Augustine’s, Oakland; Linda Bressem, Christ the Lord, Pinole; Rev. Peter Champion, ret.; Rev. Justin Cannon, St. Giles, Moraga, and Holy Hikes; Rev. Vicki Gray, Christ the Lord, Pinole.

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RESOLUTION 3

COMMEMORATION OF THE REV. PETER WILLIAMS CASSEY
AND ANNA BESANT CASSEY

(Final version posted 10/18/13)

 

Resolved, That the Diocese of California’s calendar include The Reverend Peter Williams Cassey’s and Anna Besant Cassey’s feast day of April 16; and 

Resolved, That the 164th Convention of the Diocese of California submit the following resolution to the 78th General Convention of The Episcopal Church in 2015:

Resolved, The House of ______________ concurring, that the 78th General Convention of The Episcopal Church direct the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music to consider the addition of The Reverend Peter Williams Cassey and Anna Besant Cassey — on the feast day of April 16 — to the commemorations in Holy Women, Holy Men.

Explanation: The Reverend Peter Williams Cassey was a clergy person in the Diocese of California, a fourth-generation freed African American. His grandfather, Peter Williams, Jr., was the first African American priest in the Diocese of New York and founder of St. Philip’s, Harlem, and his parents, Joseph and Amy Cassey, were leading abolitionists in Philadelphia. The Right Reverend William Kip, First Bishop of California, ordained Cassey a deacon in 1866 in the first ordination of a person of color west of the Mississippi River. Reverend Cassey served in San Francisco and San Jose; his ministry was to serve the “people of color.” Though he served as vicar/rector of various parishes and acted in some ways as a priest, he was never permitted to be ordained as a priest, and was banned from service in diocesan governance because of his ethnicity.

Reverend Cassey founded Christ Church, San Francisco in 1871. He and his wife Anna (Annie) founded a school, St. Philip’s Academy, in San Jose in 1861 to educate children of color who could not attend public schools. She was a musician and teacher, and handled most of the instruction and operation of the school, while Peter focused on the two parishes. Annie was the force behind Peter’s ministry; Peter always referred to “our” (his and Annie’s) ministry and what “we” attempted to accomplish.

April 16 celebrations of the Casseys have occurred in what is now the Diocese of El Camino Real as far back as 1958 at Trinity Church (now Cathedral) in San Jose. In 1991 the Diocese of El Camino in convention commended the memory of Peter Cassey to the churches of the diocese. Annual liturgies in memory of both Casseys have occurred at Trinity Cathedral since 2006. In 2009 the El Camino convention formally added the day to the diocesan calendar of saints, and reminds all congregations of the commemoration every year. 

Celebrations of the day are reported to have occurred in the Diocese of California beginning in 2010, at St. James, Fremont; St. Cyprian’s, San Francisco; and St. Clare’s, Pleasanton. Other dioceses with Cassey associations have begun or are planning Cassey commemorations. 

Numerous Web sites are dedicated to the Casseys and to some of Peter’s ancestors as well. The Rev. Jerry Drino in the Diocese of El Camino Real has located living descendants of the Casseys with extensive family archives and plans to document the family’s history.

Peter and Anna Cassey’s service to marginalized members of society — done while being marginalized themselves — stands as an example of Christian courage and love, and a reminder of our baptismal vows to serve Christ in all persons, strive for justice and peace, and respect the dignity of every human being.

Suggested Collect: God of justice and mercy, you sent your son Jesus to preach, to teach, and to give hope to those in need. We remember before you this day your servants Peter Williams Cassey and Anna Besant Cassey, who, in the face of slavery and discrimination, sought to give the blessings of the priceless gift of education and a spiritual haven for those pushed to the margins. May we strive in our own lives to be fearless in the face of injustice and work for blessings that will touch those whom the world does not count of value; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives forever and ever. Amen.

Suggested scripture readings: Proverbs 22:1-9, 11-12; Psalm 112; 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10, 2:13-16; Matthew 5:13-16

Submitted by: Sheila Sims, Delegate, St. Paul’s, Oakland (sheila.sims3575@att.net), as authorized representative of and on behalf of the Peace, Justice and Hunger Commission; Scott Pomerenk, Delegate, Grace Cathedral (scottpom@gmail.com)

Endorsed by: The Rev. Dr. Ruth Meyers, Delegate, All Souls, Berkeley (rmeyers@cdsp.edu); Rev. Eric Metoyer, Delegate, St. Cyprian’s, San Francisco (ericm@diocal.org); Annette Blue, Delegate, St. Paul’s, Oakland (aebhawk@aol.com); and the following members of the General Convention Deputation: Rev. Vanessa Glass, co-chair; Warren Wong, co-chair; Rev. David Ota; Sarah Lawton; Rev. Stacey Grossman; Carolyn Gaines; Roderick Dugliss; Rev. Br. Richard Edward Helmer, BSG; Kay Bishop; Rev. Paul Fromberg; Scott Pomerenk; Alan Aw; Rev. Vicki Gray; and Patricia Smith

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RESOLUTION 4

DISASTER PREPAREDNESS

 

Resolved, That the 164th Convention of the Diocese of California hereby directs all congregations, diocesan institutions and offices within the Diocese of California to have current disaster preparedness plans; 

Resolved, That all such congregations, institutions and offices shall develop such plans, with the aid of the diocese when needed, prior to the 165th Convention of the Diocese of California in 2014; 

Resolved, That Executive Council shall establish procedures for monitoring progress in implementing this policy; and

Resolved, That Executive Council or a committee designated by it shall report on the state of disaster preparedness to the 165th Convention of the Diocese.

Explanation: We live in an area that is subject to natural disasters such as earthquakes. We are also increasingly aware of the possibility of human-initiated disasters such as terrorism. Prudent stewardship of the resources of the church requires that we be prepared for such events. We also owe it to the communities in which we live to exercise leadership in helping those communities to be resilient in the face of possible disaster.

The role of the Disaster Preparedness Committee, formed in 2012 at the request of Episcopal Relief and Development, is to offer guidance and support to congregations and other entities of the Diocese in the preparation of their disaster preparedness and response plans. The committee will work with Episcopal Relief and Development to provide training, information and other capacity-building activities for local leaders and congregations throughout the diocese. Planning templates and other assisting resources will be available on the Diocesan website following the Diocesan Convention.

Submitted by: Rev. Tommy Dillon, St. Aidan’s, San Francisco (tommy@saintaidan.org), as authorized representative of and on behalf of the Diocese of California’s Disaster Preparedness Committee.

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RESOLUTION 5

GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION

 

Resolved, That all congregations in the Diocese of California are encouraged to study the causes of urban gun violence, and to pray for peace in our streets; 

Resolved, That all congregations encourage their members to remove guns from their own homes, and, where that is impossible, to make sure that such guns are safely stored; and to further assure that the homes where their children play are either free from guns or that such guns are safely stored in compliance with California State law (Penal Code §§ 25100, 25200); and

Resolved, That all congregations also encourage those who have guns to have ongoing gun safety training.

Explanation: “Since John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, more Americans have died by gunfire within our country than servicemen and women who were killed in all the wars since then” (Mark Shields, PBS: 12.21.12). This problem of largely urban gun violence is destroying families and communities. Bishop Marc Andrus has stated: “Archbishop Desmond Tutu said that apartheid was defeated in South Africa only when it became, not just South Africa’s problem, but the world’s problem, and so it is with gun violence in East & West Oakland and other local communities: this will be defeated when it is not just the problem of a single community, but the problem of the whole nation.” St. Paul’s, Oakland, in its ongoing mission to heal the gun violence in the Bay Area, prays that the Diocesan Convention will join in this effort.

Submitted by: Rev. Dr. Mauricio Wilson, rector, St. Paul’s, Oakland; Paula Hawthorn, St. Paul’s, Oakland (pbhawthorn@mindspring.com).

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Committee on Resolutions Note:
This resolution requires a 2/3 vote of the Convention in order to be considered.

GUANTANAMO

 

Resolved, That the 164th Convention of the Diocese of California calls upon the President and the Congress to act to close the Guantanamo Detention Facility as quickly as possible, releasing to their home countries those detainees already cleared for release and transferring to federal prison facilities in the United States those detainees whose cases are still to be adjudicated; 

Resolved, That the convention calls for the speedy adjudication of those remaining cases;

Resolved, That the convention calls upon U.S. military and medical personnel at Guantanamo to cease force feeding detainees engaged in hunger strikes and cease any other acts against detainees that might be construed as torture or cruel and unusual punishment;

Resolved, That the convention calls upon the U.S. Government to ensure access by the International Committee of the Red Cross and similarly authorized relief agencies to detainees held at the Guantanamo Detention Facility or at whatever other facility they might be transferred; and

Resolved, That the convention directs the Secretary of the Convention to cause a copy of this resolution to be delivered to the President of the United States, our two California senators and those members of the House of Representatives representing districts within the geographic area of the Diocese of California. 

Explanation: There are still 166 detainees being held in Guantanamo and most have been there for eleven years, even though 86 of them have long been cleared for release. Faced with harsh conditions which, in some cases, have involved torture, and with no prospect of release, many detainees (at one point 106) have engaged in a hunger strike to publicize their plight. 44 of the hunger strikers have been subjected to brutal daily force feedings that involve metal-tipped feeding tubes being forced through their noses and into their stomachs.

As reported in the Miami Herald, Dr. Jeremy Lazarus, President of the American Medical Association, wrote to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on April 25, 2013 stating the AMA’s opposition to such force feeding. He wrote:

“Every competent patient has the right to refuse medical intervention, including life-sustaining interventions,” Lazarus said, adding that the AMA took the same position on force-feeding Guantánamo prisoners in 2009 and 2005.

“The AMA has long endorsed the World Medical Association Declaration of Tokyo, which is unequivocal on the point: ‘Where a prisoner refuses nourishment and is considered by the physician as capable of forming an unimpaired and rational judgment concerning the consequences of such a voluntary refusal of nourishment, he or she shall not be fed artificially.’ ”

As reported in the New York Times, April 16, 2013, a bipartisan blue ribbon task force of the Constitution Project issued a 600-page report (http://detaineetaskforce.org/report/download/) stating that said it is “indisputable” that detainees have been tortured at Guantanamo and at other U.S. facilities. The report, which corroborated earlier similar complaints by Human Rights Watch, added that this has “damaged the standing of our nation, reduced our capacity to convey moral censure when necessary and potentially increased the danger to U.S. military personnel taken captive.”

On June 18, 2013 the International Committee of the Red Cross issued a report on its visits to U.S.-held detainees in Guantanamo and Afghanistan and setting forth its experience with and expectations for such visits as stipulated in Rule 124 of Article of the Geneva Conventions (http://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/misc/united-states-detention.htm).

While President Obama has stated his desire to close the Guantanamo Detention Facility and release and transfer the detainees there, Congress has blocked such actions. 

In considering this resolution it is worth recalling our Baptismal vow to “respect the dignity of every human being.”

Submitted by: Rev. Vicki Gray, Christ the Lord, Pinole; Rev. Susan Champion, Christ the Lord, Pinole; Rev. Joe Pummill, ret.

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Committee on Resolutions Note:
This resolution requires a 2/3 vote of the Convention in order to be considered.

IMMIGRATION
(revised and posted 10/18/13)

 

Resolved, that the One Hundred Sixty Fourth Convention of the Diocese of California upholds family unity and the creation of a clear pathway to citizenship for currently undocumented immigrants as the guiding principles for U.S. immigration policy and enforcement and, in this regard, deplores the inordinately high number of detentions, ICE holds, and deportations in the Bay Area, which actions are breaking up families and causing economic hardships for our immigrant brothers and sisters already living on the brink of poverty; 

Resolved, that this Convention commends Governor Brown for signing the Trust Act that restricts local law enforcement officials from sharing fingerprint data on undocumented immigrants detained for low level offenses with federal officials who have used the Secure Communities (S-COM) program in ways that have targeted non-criminals, criminalized undocumented immigrants, and created insecurity within California’s immigrant communities; 

Resolved, human rights and family unity that would include provisions honoring the birthright citizenship of children born in the United States of immigrant parents and creating a process for undocumented immigrants to earn their legal status and eventual citizenship; 

Resolved, that this Convention encourages parishes of the Diocese to take steps towards becoming Immigrant Welcoming Congregations through prayer, study, and by preaching, inviting immigrants to tell their stories, and listening with open hearts; and

Resolved, that this Convention directs the Secretary of the Convention to cause a copy of this resolution to be delivered to our two California senators and those members of the House of Representatives representing districts within the geographic area of the Diocese of California. 

Explanation: California families have a lot at stake in this issue. 41% of California’s population belongs to immigrant families. 48% of California children have at least one immigrant parent. An estimated 2.6 million of the nation’s 11 million unauthorized immigrants are in California -- more than in any other state; they make up 7 percent of the total population of California and 9 percent of the State’s labor force. Undocumented people include youth who were brought here as children and know only this country as their home. It also includes many people who have family members in the United States with legal status, and people who have lived in the US, working and paying taxes for many years, but for whom no way exists to fix their status. Families from the Philippines, India, China and Mexico must wait up to 20 years, waiting to legally petition and be reunited with siblings and family members. 
Immigration law in the United States is a federal law and responsibility. Our current system, which has not been reformed for the past 27 years, separates families, harms our economy, and does not reflect our denominational or national values. Efforts to punish and criminalize immigrants has increased with the building of a massive infrastructure of immigration enforcement. Immigration enforcement has deported a record 409,849 in 2012 fiscal year, including 95,000 parents of U.S. citizens in 2011, spending $18 billion fiscal year 2012 on enforcement, detention and deportations, more than any other federal law enforcement program. 

Aggressive implementation of S-COM – a program, not a law – has led to fear in immigrant communities, separates families of mixed-immigration status, and prevents immigrant workers from standing up for their rights, depressing wages for all workers. New research confirms that the perception of collaboration between law enforcement and ICE makes immigrant crime victims less willing to work with police. California’s Trust Act will aid in rebuilding trust in law enforcement and keeping families together. 

Deep changes are needed in our immigration system that protects families, workers and human rights. Reform is needed that guarantees a reasonable pathway to full citizenship for the many undocumented people who have lived and worked here for years. Full citizenship is the symbol of full membership and participation in our democracy, it is important to not create new forms of second-class citizenship. Family backlogs need to be reduced so families don’t have to wait decades to be reunited. Reform is needed that protects workers’ rights; reforms the detention, deportation and border enforcement systems with humanitarian values; and restores family unity as the core principle of our nation’s immigration system.

Further resources include:

Congregational Study guide produced by Interfaith Worker Justice —
http://www.iwj.org/resources-trainings/tools-to-call-for-immigration-reform

Immigration Resource Guide for Bay Area Congregations —
http://icir-clue.blogspot.com/2012/10/immigration-resource-guide-for-bay-area.html

How to become an Immigrant Welcoming Congregation —
http://www.crln.org/Immigrant-Welcoming

Submitted by: the Rev. Vicki Gray, delegate, Christ the Lord, Pinole; the Rev. Susan Champion, delegate, Christ the Lord, Pinole; the Rev. Nancy Bryan, delegate, St. Mary the Virgin; the Rev. Joe Pummill, St. Augustine’s; the Rev. Anna Lange-Soto, El Buen Pastor; the Rev. Richard Smith, delegate, St. John the Evangelist; Ms. Sarah Lawton, St. John the Evangelist: and Mr. Alan Aw, delegate, Grace Cathedral, San Francisco.

 

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Committee on Resolutions Note:
This resolution requires a 2/3 vote of the Convention in order to be considered.

PROMOTING JUSTICE AND PEACE IN ISRAEL/PALESTINE
(revised and posted 10/18/13)

 

Resolved, that the One Hundred Sixty Fourth Convention of the Diocese of California expresses its concern over Israel’s continued occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the continued expansion of Israeli settlements in those areas, and the hardships for Palestinians and obstacles to peace created thereby; 

Resolved, that the Convention urges the people of the Diocese to read the 2009 Kairos Document “A Moment of Truth: A Word of Faith, Hope and Love from the Heart of Palestinian Suffering,” a plea of Palestinian Christians concerning those hardships; 

Resolved, that the Convention calls upon Executive Council of the Episcopal Church to divest from whatever investments the Church holds that support the infrastructure of the Occupation and to report on its findings and actions to the Church by June 2014; 

Resolved, that the Convention calls upon Executive Council of the Episcopal Church to urge Episcopalians to boycott products manufactured on Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem; and
Resolved, that the Convention expresses its profound love and concern for all the people of God’s Holy Land – Israelis, Palestinians and the sojourners among them – and rejects any and all attempts to equate honest and legitimate criticism of unwise policies of the Government of Israel with the sin of anti-Semitism. 

Explanation: In 46 years of occupation, Israeli settler population in the West Bank and Jerusalem has steadily increased by five percent per year. In just the last decade it has grown from about 350,000 to nearly 600,000 (See: “Report on Israeli Settlement in the Occupied Territories, May-June 2013” at http://www.fmep.org/reports/archive/vol.-23/no.-3).

These “facts on the ground” are rapidly eroding the prospects for a two-state solution and the hopes for peace. As the nearly 6,000 construction tenders issued just since General Convention last year testify, “corporate engagement” has failed. It is time to try new methods to persuade Israel to do what is right and just and in its own best interest – to avoid becoming a single, increasingly apartheid state from the Jordan to the sea and provoking thereby renewed violence. Boycott and divestment persuaded South Africa to abandon unwise policies and produced a just peace and might well do so in Israel. Limited such measures aimed at the occupation and settlements are supported by respected Israeli peace activists such as Uri Avnery (See: http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en/channels/avnery/1374256076/) and should now be tried. 

In considering such action, we should keep in mind that the occupation and settlements are considered illegal by the international community and our own government. 

Concerning the occupation, United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 of November 22, 1967, for example, emphasizes “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war” and “affirms that the fulfillment of Charter principles requires the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East which should include the application of both the following principles: withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent [1967] conflict; and termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.”

Concerning the settlements, Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention says: “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” Article 85 of the First Protocol to said Convention further stipulates that “the transfer by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies, or the deportation or transfer of all or parts of the population of the occupied territory within or outside this territory, in violation of Article 49 of the Fourth Convention” shall be regarded as one of the “grave breaches of this Protocol, when committed willfully and in violation of the Conventions or the Protocol” and that such “grave breaches of these instruments shall be regarded as war crimes.”

In considering this resolution, we should also keep in mind the nature and scope of the hardships and indignities the existing situation daily visits on Palestinians, especially our Christian sisters and brothers. These are documented in the Kairos Document at www.kairospalestine.ps/ and in “Steadfast Hope” available from EPF at http://epfnational.org/PIN/the-episcopal-version-steadfast-hope-now-available/
Finally, in considering this resolution, we should also candidly admit that our self-imposed obstacle to acting more forcefully on these facts arises from a fear of being called anti-Semites. We must face this, speak the truth, and take comfort in that last Beatitude – “Blessed are you when people revile you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.” 

Submitted by: The Rev. Vicki Gray, delegate, Christ the Lord, Pinole; the Rev. Susan Champion, delegate, Christ the Lord, Pinole; the Rev. Nancy Bryan, delegate, St. Mary the Virgin; and the Rev. Joe Pummill, St. Augustine’s.

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The Committee on Resolutions has submitted this resolution as a supplemental filing with the Convention of a proposed amendment to a resolution before the opening of Convention (Rules of Order 1.6)​ and of a proposed amendment in respect to a resolution considered by the deaneries. (Special Order 1.1).

Substitute for Resolution 2

SUSTAINABLE AND RESPONSIBLE INVESTING
(Posted 10/22/13)

Resolved, That the 164th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of California hereby instructs Executive Council and its Investment Committee to work towards incorporating sustainable and responsible investing practices in the management of the Diocesan endowment;

Resolved, That these practices be consonant with the following principles outlined by our Presiding Bishop, the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori:

  1. Avoidance: Not investing in companies whose activities are contrary to our social and moral values
  2. Affirmative Investing: Investing in institutions that can provide financial resources to underserved communities
  3. Advocacy: Voting proxies and activism that focus on constructively influencing corporate behavior;

Resolved, That in view of the greenhouse gas emission crisis, and the significant degradation inflicted on Creation by human activity in general, the sustainable and responsible investment practices of the Diocese include support of corporations pursuing environmentally sound or restorative policies;

Resolved, That these sustainable and responsible investing practices be carried out at reasonable cost and seek to maintain strong investment returns in order to support the many Diocesan institutions and ministries which receive vital annual distributions from the endowment;

Resolved, That Executive Council and its Investment Committee urge all its investment managers to adopt sustainable and responsible investing practices;

Resolved, That within one year, five percent of the Diocesan endowment be invested in sustainable and responsible investment vehicles, growing to not less than fifteen percent of the endowment over three years; and

Resolved, That Executive Council is further instructed to encourage all congregations and members of congregations of the Episcopal Diocese of California to commit to sustainable and responsible investing when feasible.

Explanation: Executive Council, the Investment and Finance Committees, and the Commission on the Environment of the Diocese of California endorse the foregoing resolution as their recommended alternative to Resolution 2, which would require the Diocese to divest its endowment of fossil fuel companies. In our opinion, such a course of action would entail excessive costs, possible if not probable impaired endowment returns, and have no or negligible impact on the greenhouse gas emission crisis.

Instead, we recommend investing a portion of the endowment in sustainable and responsible investment vehicles that promote healthy corporate policies, practices and innovative technologies. Sustainable and responsible investing is an established investment discipline that considers environmental, social and corporate governance criteria to generate long-term competitive financial returns and positive social results. The Diocesan endowment is invested in the $5.3 billion Multi-Asset Fund managed by The Endowment Fund for Foundations (“TIFF”). TIFF is a non-profit organized to provide other non-profits with smaller endowments the same level of investment expertise and economies of scale enjoyed by major universities and large foundations.

  • Formerly the Diocese employed an investment adviser who recommended individual stocks, bonds, and funds. Due to unsatisfactory performance, the Investment Committee conducted a careful, year-long review of its alternatives, and selected TIFF’s Multi-Asset Fund as the best solution. Executive Council approved the selection, and the Diocese moved its endowment funds to TIFF effective January 1, 2012.
  • There is a 0.5% redemption fee on all assets withdrawn from the Multi-Asset Fund beyond the annual five percent distribution made from the endowment. To leave the Multi-Asset Fund entirely, as required by Resolution 2, would cost the endowment between $90,000 and $100,000 in exit fees, plus the transaction costs required to reconstitute the portfolio in other investments.
  • Due to the diverse missions of its hundreds of clients, TIFF has not adopted non-economic criteria for its investment portfolio, as it would be impossible to honor all the various factors its many clients might propose. Since the Investment Committee reaffirms its recommendation to keep a significant portion of the Diocesan endowment with TIFF for economic reasons, it will urge TIFF to develop vehicles for sustainable and responsible investing.
  • Simultaneously, the Diocese will develop its own sustainable and responsible investing program with a portion of its endowment, dedicated not only to avoiding securities of companies that do not share our social goals, but also to invest affirmatively in those that do or that can provide financial resources to underserved communities. Beyond this, it will use its power as an investor to support emissions reduction, investment in renewables and mindfulness of environmental consequences, thus giving us an opportunity to make the remaining years of our dependence on fossil fuels much less damaging than they could be.

Submitted by: Rev. Scott Denman, rector, St. John’s, Oakland (rector@stjohnsoakland.org); Brad Barber, St. Stephen’s, Orinda; Rev. Canon Sally Bingham, The Regeneration Project, San Francisco; Matthew Burt, vice-chair, Executive Council, Christ Church, Portola Valley; Shelton Ensley, St. Timothy’s, Danville; Albee Larsen, St. Matthew’s, San Mateo; Robert McCaskill, Diocesan treasurer, St Stephen’s, Belvedere; Rev. Amanda May, vicar, Eastern Contra Costa Ministry; Rev. Christopher Martin, chair, Executive Council and rector, St. Paul’s, San Rafael; and Rev. Bruce O’Neill, rector, St. Clement’s, Berkeley.

Endorsed by: The Commission on the Environment of the Diocese of California, Sally Bingham, chair (sally@theregenerationproject.org); the Investment Committee of the Diocese of California, Janet Brown, chair (janet@fundx.com); the Finance Committee of the Diocese of California, Robert McCaskill, chair (bob@mccaskill.net); Executive Council of the Diocese of California, Christopher Martin, chair (cmartin@stpaulssanrafael.org).

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