2014 Resolutions Committee members
Mr. Jay Luther, chair, firstname.lastname@example.org | The Ven. Carolyn Bolton | Mr. John Chase
Mr. Joseph Dashiell | Mrs. E. J. Hilliard | The Rev. Jill Honodel
The Rev. John Kirkley | The Rev. Carol Luther
2014 Resolutions Committee associates
Mr. John Lessar | Mr. J. Peter Jensen | Mr. Edwin Waite
posted October 21, 2014; corrected October 22, 2014
LITURGICAL MARRIAGE EQUALITY
PROMOTING JUSTICE AND PEACE IN ISRAEL/PALESTINE
Resolved, That the 165th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of California endorses Proposition 47: The Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act of 2014, a California voter initiative on the ballot in November, and urges individuals and congregations to support its passage; and
Resolved, That the 165th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of California calls on congregations to engage in prayerful study and action to address the root causes of the mass incarceration of men of color in California and the nation.
Explanation: The Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act of 2014 (SNSA) is a voter initiative for the November 2014 California ballot that will end felony sentencing for simple drug possession and petty theft crimes, safely stem the tide of over-incarceration, and direct financial savings to K-12 education, mental health treatment, and victim services.
The proponents of the SNSA are retired San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón. In addition to law enforcement leaders, the SNSA is supported by crime victims, academics and civil rights organizations. Overview of the SNSA:
1. Stops prison incarceration for nonviolent crimes: The SNSA changes the lowest level nonviolent drug possession and petty theft crimes from felonies to simple misdemeanors. It authorizes resentencing for anyone who is incarcerated for these offenses and poses no threat to public safety. The majority of people that will be eligible for resentencing are men of color, particularly African Americans and Latinos. These changes apply to juveniles as well as adults.
2. Redirects hundreds of millions of dollars from prison spending to K-12 and treatment: California counties will save hundreds of millions annually and state prison reductions will generate between $750 million to $1.25 billion in savings over the next five years alone. Those savings will be shifted into K-12 school programs (25%), victim services (10%) and mental health and drug treatment (65%).
3. Protects public safety: The SNSA does not apply to anyone with a prior violent felony conviction for crimes such as rape, murder, and child molestation. Prisoners may only be released under the SNSA if they demonstrate that they are no longer a threat to public safety. The SNSA focuses law enforcement resources on violent and serious crimes, and directs savings to programs that can stop the cycle of crime.
4. Eliminates the collateral consequences of felony convictions for thousands: The SNSA authorizes removing prior felony convictions for the offenses in the initiative. This will assist thousands of Californians with prior nonviolent felony convictions that have created barriers to employment, limited housing options, and prohibited access to assistance programs and professional trades.
More information can be found at http://www.safetyandschools.com/, including a link to the full text of the proposal. Resources for study and action include The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (http://newjimcrow.com/take-action/study-guides) and the national “Lifelines to Healing” Campaign (http://www.piconetwork.org/issues/lifelines).
Endorsed by: the Rev. Br. Richard Helmer, BSG, Our Saviour, Mill Valley; the Rev. Scott Richardson, St. Mary the Virgin, San Francisco; the Rev. Davidson Bidwell-Waite, Transfiguration, San Mateo; the Rev. Richard Smith, St. John the Evangelist, San Francisco; the Rev. Tommy Dillon, St. Aidan’s, San Francisco; the Rev. Elizabeth Sherman, St. Francis, San Francisco; the Rev. Dr. Paul Fromberg, St. Gregory of Nyssa, San Francisco; the Rev. Mary Moreno Richardson; Mr. Alan Murray, Grace Cathedral; The Rev. Matthew Woodward, Transfiguration, San Mateo; The Rev. Dana Corsello, St. Luke’s, San Francisco.
Resolved, That the 165th Convention of the Diocese of California directs the Executive Council of the diocese to appoint a task force to investigate pathways for setting up a joint state policy network with the other five Episcopal dioceses located within the State of California, for the purpose of advocating on state public policy issues that our dioceses and The Episcopal Church have addressed in diocesan and General Conventions;
Resolved, That this task force be directed to consult with the Office of Government Affairs of the Episcopal Church, the Episcopal Public Policy Network, with other active inter-diocesan groups that work on state policy, including those in New York State and North Carolina; and with the diocesan bishops and executive governing bodies of the other five dioceses located within the State of California; and
Resolved, That this Convention authorizes the Executive Council to enable the Diocese of California to participate in such a network based on the report of the task force on the best pathways forward and the parameters under which it would operate, and the willingness and ability of other dioceses to participate.
Explanation: The Episcopal Church, including the Diocese of California, has long engaged in public policy advocacy on issues ranging from civil rights to marriage equality to environmental justice to economic justice to immigration reform. The bishops with jurisdiction within the borders of the State of California have also raised their voices in concert, notably on the issue of Proposition 8 both before the election in 2008 and also as part of a Friend of the Court brief when Proposition 8 was litigated before the Supreme Court, as well as on immigration issues over many years. Some dioceses in other states have worked together across diocesan lines to advocate for state public policy, most especially in the New York dioceses, which have a joint presence in Albany, and most recently in North Carolina in the Moral Mondays movement.
In May of this year, the General Convention deputations from the six dioceses within the State of California met together to prepare for General Convention next year. The idea was raised that our dioceses might collaborate more effectively on state public policy advocacy in Sacramento. This resolution is intended to move that discussion forward so that we are able to pursue the creation of a state public policy network in which the Dioceses of Northern California, California, San Joaquin, El Camino Real, Los Angeles, and San Diego might all participate together for the common good.
Submitted by: Ms. Sarah Lawton, St. John the Evangelist, San Francisco (email@example.com)
Endorsed by: Mr. Warren Wong, St. James’, San Francisco; Ms. Carolyn Gaines, St. Augustine’s, Oakland; Mr. Alan Murray, Grace Cathedral, San Francisco; Ms. AnnaMarie Hoos, St. Gregory of Nyssa, San Francisco; Mr. Scott Michael Pomerenk, p/BSG, Grace Cathedral, San Francisco; Mr. Patrick Melendez, Christ Church, Alameda; the Rev. Vanessa Glass, St. Francis of Assisi, Novato; the Rev. Eric Metoyer, St. Cyprian’s, San Francisco; the Rev. Merry Ong, Church of Our Savior, Oakland; the Rev. Richard Helmer, BSG, Church of Our Savior, Mill Valley; the Rev. Dr. Paul Fromberg, St. Gregory of Nyssa, San Francisco; the Rev. Dr. Ruth Meyers, All Souls’, Berkeley
Resolved, That the 165th Convention of the Diocese of California submits the following resolution to the 78th General Convention of the Episcopal Church:
Resolved, the House of ____________ concurring, That the 78th General Convention of The Episcopal Church to authorize the use of “The Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage,” “The Blessing of a Civil Marriage,” and “An Order for Marriage” from The Book of Common Prayer 1979, and “The Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant” from Liturgical Resources I, for all marriages legal in the civil jurisdiction in which the liturgy takes place. In civil jurisdictions with same-sex marriage, the language “man and woman” and “husband and wife” and other such gender-specific language shall be equally applicable to two people of the same sex, and may thus be modified whenever necessary for the purposes of the Canon “Of the Solemnization of Holy Matrimony” (Canon I.18) and “The Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage,” “The Blessing of a Civil Marriage” and “An Order for Marriage” in the Book of Common Prayer 1979; and be it further
Resolved, the House of ____________ concurring, That the 78th General Convention of The Episcopal Church
to amend Canon 1.18: Of the Solemnization of Holy Matrimony, to read as follows:
Sec. 1. Every Member of the Clergy of this Church shall conform
to the laws of the State governing the creation of the civil status of marriage, and also to the laws of this Church governing the solemnization of Holy Matrimony, and if the solemnization of Holy Matrimony is to have legal effect as a civil marriage, to the laws of the State governing the creation of the civil status of marriage.
Sec. 2. Before solemnizing
a marriage Holy Matrimony the Member of the Clergy shall have ascertained:
(a) That both parties have the right to contract a marriage according to the laws of the State, if the marriage is to have legal effect.
(b) That both parties understand that Holy Matrimony is a physical and spiritual union of
a man and a woman two people, entered into within the community of faith, by mutual consent of heart, mind, and will, and with intent that it be lifelong.
(c) That both parties freely and knowingly consent to such marriage, without fraud, coercion, mistake as to identity of a partner, or mental reservation.
(d) That at least one of the parties has received Holy Baptism.
(e) That both parties have been instructed as to the nature, meaning, and purpose of Holy Matrimony by the Member of the Clergy, or that they have both received such instruction from people known by the Member of the Clergy to be competent and responsible.
Sec. 3. No Member of the Clergy of this Church shall solemnize any marriage unless the following procedures are complied with:
(a) The intention of the parties to contract marriage shall have been signified to the Member of the Clergy at least thirty days before the service of solemnization; Provided, that for weighty cause, this requirement may be dispensed with if one of the parties is a member of the Congregation of the Member of the Clergy, or can furnish satisfactory evidence of responsibility. In case the thirty days’ notice is waived, the Member of the Clergy shall report such action in writing to the Bishop immediately.
(b) There shall be present at least two witnesses to the solemnization of marriage.
(c) The Member of the Clergy shall record in the proper register the date and place of the marriage, the names of the parties and their parents, the age of the parties, their residences, and their Church status; the witnesses and the Member of the Clergy shall sign the record.
(d) The Member of the Clergy shall have required that the parties sign the following declaration:
(e) “We, A.B. and C.D., desiring to receive the blessing of Holy Matrimony in the Church, do solemnly declare that we hold marriage to be a lifelong union of husband and wife two people as it is set forth in the Book of Common Prayer. (f) “We believe that the union of husband and wife two people, in heart, body, and mind, is intended by God for their mutual joy; for the help and comfort given one another in prosperity and adversity; and, when it is God’s will, for the procreation of children and their nurture in the knowledge and love of the Lord. (g) “And we do engage ourselves, so far as in us lies, to make our utmost effort to establish this relationship and to seek God’s help thereto.”
Sec. 4. It shall be within the discretion of any Member of the Clergy of this Church to decline to solemnize any marriage.
Explanation: This resolution enriches the liturgical options for all couples, while eliminating the implicit or explicit liturgical dishonoring of any. To require that same-sex couples being married in the Episcopal Church, in civil jurisdictions where that marriage is legal, use a liturgy other than the one long in use in The Episcopal Church – and currently reserved exclusively to opposite-sex couples – dishonors these couples who seek the church’s blessing on their marriages, declaring that such marriages are not Holy Matrimony.
In addition, the prohibition on opposite-sex couples’ use of the proposed liturgical resources for blessing same-sex unions deprives those couples of the full theological and liturgical resources of the church. Allowing all couples to use either liturgy shows respect for all people, regardless of sexual orientation, and so affirms their full baptismal dignity in the eyes of God.
Making the language of the Prayer Book liturgies “equally applicable” to two people of the same sex echoes the language of Canon III.1.2, which makes the provisions of the ordination canons “equally applicable” to men and women. First adopted in 1976, this provision was restored to the canons in 2006 (Resolution 2006-D045).
The current language of Canon 1.18 confines the church’s understanding of Holy Matrimony to marriages legalized and defined by the State, and gives the laws of the State primary authority in determining which unions the church will solemnize as Holy Matrimony.
The changes proposed in this resolution will make clear that the church’s understanding of Holy Matrimony is not restricted or defined by the State, while preserving the canonical support for clergy to act as agents of the State in creating all such civil marriages as may be permitted by law in the appropriate civil jurisdiction.
Removing the gender-specific language of “husband and wife” and “man and woman” from the canon removes the canonical dilemma possible when a Member of the Clergy, under the authorization of the Bishop, solemnizes a marriage between a same-sex couple in civil jurisdictions where such marriage is legal.
Removing the gender-specific language of “husband and wife” in the Declaration of Intention allows all couples to acknowledge that marriage may be between two people of the same sex or of opposite sexes.
Submitted by: the Rev. Dr. Ruth Meyers, clergy (firstname.lastname@example.org), All Souls, Berkeley
Endorsed by: the Rev. Thomas Jackson, president of Oasis; The Rev. Diana Wheeler, deacon of Oasis; the Rev. Andy Lobban, Grace Cathedral; and the following members of the General Convention Deputation: the Rev. Vanessa Glass, co-chair; the Rev. Eric Metoyer; the Rev. Br. Richard Helmer, BSG; the Rev. Dr. Paul Fromberg; the Rev. Merry Chan-Ong; the Rev. Hailey McKeefry Delmas; Sarah Lawton; Warren Wong, co-chair; Carolyn Gaines; Roderick Dugliss; Alan Murray; AnnaMarie Hoos; Scott Michael Pomerenk, p/BSG; Patrick Melendez.
Members listed in bold are co-authors of this resolution.
Resolved, That the 165th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of California instructs Executive Council to work actively towards full socially responsible investing by continuing to implement the principles of Avoidance, Affirmative Investment, and Advocacy set forth in the resolution adopted by the 164th Convention entitled “Sustainable and Responsible Investing” and, within five years, to fully implement the portfolio restrictions adopted by The Episcopal Church1;
Resolved, That Executive Council is further instructed to develop and implement socially responsible policies governing future diocesan investments, all of which shall be in compliance with the portfolio restrictions adopted by The Episcopal Church and such additional restrictions as the Diocese shall establish, and to provide an annual report to Diocesan Convention regarding its progress implementing a socially responsible investment policy; and
Resolved, That Executive Council is further instructed to encourage all congregations of the Diocese of California to make a similar commitment to invest fully in socially responsible funds.
Explanation: As the Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori explains, “Socially responsible investing dates back to Biblical times when Jewish law laid down many directives about how to invest ethically. Jesus said more about money and its right use than about anything else except the Kingdom of God.”2 Accordingly, The Episcopal Church has adopted directives for socially responsible investments and has established a list of Companies Subject to No-Buy Portfolio Restrictions, which prohibits investments for The Episcopal Church in the areas of militarism, companies that support the human rights violations in Sudan, and tobacco.2
The Diocese of California currently invests through The Endowment Fund for Foundations’ Multi-Asset Fund (TIFF),3 which includes investments in no less than seven companies on The Episcopal Church’s no-buy list, including Lockheed Martin Corp, the largest arms-producing and military service company in the world.
Accordingly, this resolution would require the Diocese to either successfully advocate for TIFF to cease its investment in these or other TEC-restricted companies within five years, or for the Diocese to seek portfolio options elsewhere which comply with TEC restrictions. To move 100% of our investments from TIFF to another firm would incur a one-time 0.5% fee (approximately $100,000). This one-time fee could be mitigated by slowing moving our current investments over the course of the five years allowed by this resolution. Because of the unique nature of TEC’s no-buy list, it is possible the Diocese would choose to invest in TEC’s endowment fund, the Domestic & Foreign Missionary Society Trust Fund (DFMS). Over the past 15 year period, the average annual return for DFMS has been 6.6%, as compared to 8.4% for TIFF (a difference equivalent to approximately $324,000 per year). A lower return on investment may likely be one of the costs in aligning the Diocese’s investments with the church’s values.
DO THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH SCREENS GO FAR ENOUGH?
In making the decision to move towards full socially responsible investing the Diocese of California is also presented with the opportunity in its investments to take a prophetic stance and go above and beyond the minimum screens set forth by TEC. This resolution instructs Executive Council to follow TEC portfolio restrictions in respect to investment, but also encourages Executive Council to develop and implement policies which may include additional restrictions that reflect the values of the Diocese of California.
TEC portfolio restrictions address military services, but not the larger issues of arms proliferation and gun violence. They address human rights violations in Sudan, but there are serious human-rights violations in other countries. Additionally, our investment choices might take into consideration the environmental degradation and effect of oil, gas, consumable fuel and agrochemical companies on the state of our planet. This resolution presents the Diocese with the opportunity to evaluate our values and develop a policy that aligns our investments with these values.
CAN WE MAKE A PROFIT FROM SRI INVESTMENTS?
In accordance with 2013 Resolution Sustainable and Responsible Investing, the Diocese of California has already opened an account with Charles Schwab for investing in SRI funds and has committed to moving no less than 15% of the endowment to this fund, an important first step. The expanding market for socially responsible investing now allows for a diversified approach to SRIs with investment options in both domestic and foreign SRIs, small-cap and large-cap funds, and even ETFs. At the Bishop’s Roundtable on Socially Responsible Investing, speakers Nancy Pfund, founder of DBL Investors, and Kristin Hull, founder of Nia Community Fund, demonstrated that with an increasing number of people basing investments on social responsibilities, socially responsible investment funds and companies are becoming increasingly successful.
Making the decision to practice full 100% Socially Responsible Investing is an important step committing the Episcopal Diocese of California to being a moral witness and part of the solution to the injustices of our day. It also provides a model and resources to assist congregations and individuals to practice socially responsible investing as an expression of our Christian values.
Submitted by: the Rev. Justin Cannon, Priest-in-Charge, St. Giles, Moraga, and Director, Holy Hikes (email@example.com) and the Rev. Susan Champion, Vicar, Christ the Lord, Pinole (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Endorsed by: the Rev. Canon Sally G. Bingham, Canon for the Environment, Diocese of California, the Rev. John Kirkley, Rector, St. James, San Francisco; the Rev. Vicki Gray, Deacon, Chris the Lord, Pinole; Paula Hawthorn, Chair, Task Force for Action Against Gun Violence, Parishioner, St. Paul’s, Oakland; Scott Buckingham, Usher and Altar Guild Member, St. Paul’s, Oakland; the Rev. Peter Champion, retired; the Rev. John Trubina, Deacon, St. Clare’s, Pleasanton/Sacred Space; Brendan Ellis Williams, Parishioner, St. Giles, Moraga; the Rev. Will Scott, Program Director, California Interfaith Power & Light; the Rev. Michael Arase-Barham, Vicar, Good Shepherd, Belmont, and Holy Family, Half Moon Bay
Resolved, That the 165th Convention of the Diocese of California submits the following resolution to the 78th General Convention of The Episcopal Church:
Resolved, the House of ____________ concurring, That the 78th General Convention of The Episcopal Church welcome the release of the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed carbon rule1 for existing power plants (Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units, 79 Fed.Reg. 34829 (proposed June 18, 2014) (to be codified at 40 C.F.R. Pt. 60)); power plants are the single largest source of carbon dioxide pollution in the United States and major contributors to climate change; these emissions not only threaten the environmental stability of our planet, but also the health of young children and their families, disproportionally affecting the poorest among us and all of God’s good Creation2; and be it further
Resolved, That the Church recommit to Oppose Environmental Racism3; coal, gas, oil, and uranium extraction and subsequent transportation threaten the health, sanctity of communities, and the livelihood of future generations; we seek to eliminate the practice of locating such industries disproportionately near neighborhoods inhabited by people of color and low income communities; and be it further
Resolved, That there continue to be diverse opinions and voices concerning whether the Church should divest its holdings in fossil fuel extraction companies as well as those that use substantial amounts of such fuels; it is important that we as a Church have extensive conversations on this critical issue; we ask that the Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility of the Executive Council and the Church Pension Fund, in consultation with experts in the fields of economics and investing, ethics, renewable energy development, jointly assess whether the benefit of a divestment strategy would be in compliance with our values and issue a report thereon by the Summer of 2016 and we call on upon the Executive Council to facilitate church-wide dialogue on this subject following the issuance of this report and communicate the results of the dialogue to the 79th General Convention.
Note from the Secretary of the Convention: The link and footnotes in this resolution are not an integral part of the resolution, are only for reference by members of the diocesan convention; and will not be forwarded to the General Convention.
God calls us to be good stewards of God’s good Creation (Gen. 1:31, 2:15). Jesus commands us to care for those who are vulnerable as if we were caring for Him (Mt. 25:40). The Fifth Mark of Mission of the Anglican Communion is “To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.” The Episcopal Church, by its mission, is pledged to the protection and care of God’s people and God’s Creation.
On June 2, 2014, EPA proposed a commonsense plan to cut carbon pollution from power plants. States, cities and businesses across the country are already taking action to address the risks of climate change. EPA’s proposal builds on those actions and is flexible — reflecting that different states have a different mix of sources and opportunities, and reflecting the important role of states as full partners with the federal government in cutting pollution. This proposal will maintain an affordable, reliable energy system, while cutting pollution and protecting our health and environment now and for future generations.
As a Church committed to the health, flourishing, and sanctity of human communities and God’s Creation, we believe that the carbon rule is a critical step toward safeguarding the lives and livelihood of future generations. Recent reports outline the enormous impacts that climate change is already having on our world. Multi-year droughts, sea level rise, extreme weather events, and increased flooding dramatically affect communities internationally, from the Inupiat on the north slope of Alaska to Midwestern farming families to our brothers and sisters in the Philippines. We recognize with concern that climate change particularly harms low income communities that lack the resources and technology to adapt to rapid environmental changes.
There are currently no limits on power plant emissions of greenhouse gases. The carbon rule proposed will reduce the carbon dioxide output from existing power plants, setting a strong standard that will modernize our nation’s power plants while limiting our contribution to global climate change. Reducing carbon emissions from power plants must be a top priority for the U.S. if we hope to prevent the worst impacts of climate change and ensure a just and sustainable world for our generation and those to come.
Finally, two factors require the church to address the issue of fossil fuel divestment:
1. A growing number of religious and educational institutions are committing to divest from fossil fuel holdings, having concluded that it is immoral to profit from an industry whose core business creates climate change and whose financial and political influence has prevented climate change legislation. In the past, under circumstances of grave harm combined with intransigent resistance to change by the offending industry or regime, the church has debated and/or divested from certain industries (tobacco) or from certain companies which support repugnant regimes (South Africa). Such a time has clearly arrived with the fossil fuel industry. Within the past two years, the United Church of Christ and the Unitarian Universalist Association have both voted to divest. The Presbyterian Church USA is studying divestment. The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, in May 2014, became the first Anglican body in the world to divest from fossil fuels. Union Theological Seminary and the University of Dayton, a Catholic University, voted to divest in June 2014.
2. Investment professionals are now warning about the inevitability of a “carbon bubble,” a term referring to the over-valuation of fossil fuel companies which currently depend on fossil fuel reserves as a substantial part of their market value. In the view of an overwhelming majority of scientists and policymakers, approximately 2/3 of these reserves will not be able to be burned due to climate-related factors, which will lead to the devaluation of fossil fuel companies. This raises questions of the duty of the church’s investment managers to evaluate this risk.
Submitted by: Warren J. Wong, delegate, email@example.com
St. James Church, Deanery of San Francisco
Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility 2001-09 (formerly SRI)
Endorsed by: Erin Wiens St. John, Official Youth Presence Representative 2013 — Grace Cathedral, Deanery of San Francisco; The Rev. Fletcher Harper, Executive Director — GreenFaith.org; The Rev. Will Scott, Program Director — California Interfaith Power & Light; and the following members of the General Convention Deputation: The Rev. Vanessa Glass, co-chair; The Rev. Eric Metoyer; The Rev. Br. Richard Edward Helmer, BSG; The Rev. Dr. Paul Fromberg;The Rev. Merry Chan Ong; The Rev. Hailey McKeefry Delmas; The Rev. Dr. Ruth Meyers; Sarah Lawton; Warren Wong, co-chair; Carolyn Gaines; Roderick Dugliss; Alan Murray; AnnaMarie Hoos; Scott Michael Pomerenk, p/BSG; Patrick Melendez;
Members listed in bold are co-authors of this resolution.
1 Resolution GC2009-D031: Urge Commitment to Lower Carbon Output
Resolved, That the 76th General Convention urge President Obama and Congressional leaders to commit the United States to a course of action, in collaboration with the other nations of the world, to lower the output of atmospheric carbon (measured as CO2) by 25% by 2020 and by 80% by 2050; and be it further
Resolved, That the 76th General Convention direct the Washington Office of Government Relations of The Episcopal Church to actively promote such action by the United States government.
2 Resolution GC2006-B002: Acknowledge and Reduce Global Warming
Resolved, That the 75th General Convention affirm that Global Warming threatens the future of God’s good Creation, and the effects of Global Warming disproportionately hurt the lives of the poorest and most vulnerable in the United States and around the world; and be it further
Resolved, That Episcopalians and The Episcopal Church at every level support efforts that seek to reduce Global Warming, including national and international legislation that increase the supply of clean energy and reduce consumption of fossil fuels; and be it further
Resolved, That the Convention commend the Executive Council and particularly its Socially Responsible Investment Committee (SRI) for the work they are now doing with the Global Warming Shareholder Campaign (GWSC), and the Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies (CERES) and the leadership they exercise as a member of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR); and be it further
Resolved, That the Convention urge the Executive Council and its SRI to:
(a) use resources of The Episcopal Church, including its investments, to promote a sustainable global environment;
(b) seek by shareholder resolutions to change current policies and behaviors of those companies that are significant contributors to Global Warming, and if necessary, divest from those companies;
(c) call upon the expertise of Episcopalians who are closely connected with the GWSC to assist in this initiative;
(d) report the results of this initiative to Executive Council no later than its fall meeting in 2007.
3 Resolution GC2000-D005: Oppose Environmental Racism
Resolved, That the 73rd General Convention of the Episcopal Church call on those present at this Convention to seek every opportunity to oppose environmental racism; and be it further
Resolved, That the Washington office track legislation seeking to eliminate the practice of locating polluting industries disproportionately near neighborhoods inhabited by people of color or the poor; and be it further
Resolved, That the Washington office monitor and issue policy alerts regarding the practice of mountain top removal and valley fill mining and other large scale mining operations that threaten the ecology and low income communities; and be it further
Resolved, That the Committee on Social Responsibilities in Investments review the environmental racism issue.
Resolved, That pursuant to Canon 20.04 (c) of the Episcopal Diocese of California, which provides that Convention may establish a minimum required employer cost-sharing policy for benefits for the dependents of any cleric or lay employee, diocesan employers may establish such cost-sharing for benefits effective January 1, 2016;
Resolved, That the 165th Convention of the Diocese of California establishes that the amount of employer contribution shall be determined by the individual diocesan employer, and in no case may be less than fifty percent (50%) of the cost of the benefit;
Resolved, That cost-sharing of benefits is not mandatory, and that employers may choose to pay the full cost of benefits or any percentage of benefits between fifty percent (50%) and one hundred percent (100%); and
Resolved, That any such cost-sharing policy shall maintain parity for all clergy and lay employees.
Explanation: The Personnel Practices Committee of the Diocese of California, after careful consideration and discussion, submits this resolution to Convention in order to give diocesan employers more flexibility in managing their employee benefits according to their individual circumstances.
The rising cost of employee benefits, and of medical insurance in particular, imposes a steadily growing burden on diocesan employers. For example, the cost of premiums for the Kaiser High Option plan in which most diocesan employees are enrolled rose 11.2% from 2013 to 2014.
Other employers have responded by instituting cost sharing policies with their employees. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s 2013 Employer Health Benefits Survey, only five percent (5%) of workers are in employer plans that require no contribution for family coverage, and only fourteen percent (14%) are in plans that require no contribution for single coverage.
This experience is reflected in the benefit policies of the Episcopal dioceses in the United States. All dioceses now provide for cost sharing of medical insurance except the Diocese of California. Cost sharing for dependents is normal practice in the Episcopal Church.
Apart from premium cost increases in themselves, there is another financial repercussion from covering family members in full in an era when other employers require cost sharing for spouse and dependent coverage. It has become common for spouses of diocesan employees to decline their employer’s health insurance which requires cost sharing in order to come onto the diocesan plan, which is free. Diocesan employers therefore find themselves providing free medical and dental coverage to spouses who have declined their own employer’s plan. This practice diverts scarce funding from needed congregational and school programming.
The Personnel Practices Committee notes that Canon 20.04 still requires diocesan employers to pay the full cost of a medical plan for its employees. Also, because open enrollment for the 2015 plan year is imminent and does not allow time for diocesan employers to discuss this issue thoroughly, implementation of cost-sharing is deferred until January 1, 2016. And finally, diocesan employers are free to continue to pay the full cost of dependent coverage. The resolution does not make cost-sharing of benefits mandatory.
Submitted by: The Rev. Bruce O’Neill, St. Clement’s Berkeley, as chair of the Personnel Practices Committee (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Endorsed by: Thomas F. Ferguson, CFO/COO, Diocese of California.
Resolved, That the 165th Convention of the Diocese of California expresses its concern over the renewed violence by both sides in Israel/Palestine and, in particular, the loss of so many civilian lives in Gaza, and encourages the two parties to engage in talks to end Israel’s continued occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, its blockade of Gaza, and the continued expansion of Israeli settlements;
Resolved, That the Convention expresses its profound love and concern for all the people of the Holy Land, both Israelis and Palestinians, and rejects attempts to equate honest and legitimate criticism of unwise policies of the Government of Israel with anti-Semitism; and
Resolved, That the Convention submits the following resolution to the 78th General Convention of The Episcopal Church:
Resolved, The House of ________ concurring, That the 78th General Convention encourage the Church to divest from any investments it might have in Caterpillar, G4S, Hewlett-Packard, and Motorola Solutions, whose products and/or actions support the infrastructure of the occupation; and be it further
Resolved, That the 78th General Convention encourage Episcopalians to boycott products, such as Soda Stream, that are manufactured in Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
The occupation and settlements are considered illegal by the international community and our own government.
Nonetheless, in 46 years of occupation, the Israeli settler population in the West Bank and East Jerusalem has increased by five percent per year and, in the last decade, from 350,000 to 600,000.
These “facts on the ground” have eroded the prospects for a two-state solution and the hopes for peace, and have demonstrated that “corporate engagement” has failed. It is time to try new methods to persuade Israel to do what is in its own best interest.
Caterpillar provides bulldozers used to demolish Palestinian homes. G4S provides security devices for Israeli prisons. Hewlett-Packard provides computer services to the Israeli military and settlements and makes the high-tech identification cards (a la South Africa) that Israel uses to operate checkpoints. Motorola Solutions constructed and maintains the West Bank communications network linking settlements and Israeli forces.
As Archbishop Desmond Tutu has said, it is time to join the Methodist Church, which divested from G4S, and the Presbyterian Church, which divested from Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard, and Motorola.
Concerning the occupation, United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 of November 22, 1967 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  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” that “shall be regarded as war crimes.”
In surveying the daily indignities visited upon Palestinians, we should be mindful of our baptismal vow to “respect the dignity of every human being.” These indignities are documented in the Kairos Document, “A Moment of Truth: A Word of Faith, Hope, and Love from the Hearts of Palestinian Suffering,” and in “Steadfast Hope,” an Episcopal Peace Fellowship study guide.
There are a growing number of voices within the Jewish community in both Israel and the United States critical of the policies of the Israeli government, opposed to the occupation, and supportive of boycott and divestment as legitimate non-violent means to promote an end the occupation and a just peace.
Submitted by: The Rev. Vicki Gray, Delegate, Deacon, Christ the Lord, Pinole, email@example.com
Endorsed by: The Rev. Justin Cannon, Delegate, Rector, St. Giles, Moraga; the Rev. Susan Champion, Delegate, Vicar, Christ the Lord, Pinole; Janet Chisolm, All Souls, Berkeley; Geoffrey Cook, St. Mark’s, Berkeley; Norah Foster, Christ Church, Alameda; the Rev. Margaret Trezevant, Delegate, Deacon, St. Luke’s, San Francisco; and Mary-Jane Wood, Delegate, St. Giles, Moraga.
[Note from the Resolutions Committee: The sponsors of this resolution do not oppose Resolution 7 (Promoting Justice and Peace in Israel/Palestine), and believe that it should be debated on its own merits. In the event that the Convention declines to adopt Resolution 7, the sponsors are prepared to ask the Convention to consider the following resolution as an alternative. In that case, a two-thirds vote would be required to consider the alternative resolution.]
PEACE AND JUSTICE IN PALESTINE-ISRAEL: SELECTIVE DIVESTMENT POLICY
Resolved, That the 165th Convention of the Diocese of California recognizes that the continued occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem along with the ongoing expansion of Israeli settlements and the ongoing blockade of Gaza have given rise to renewed violence in Palestine-Israel and continues to claim the lives of innocent civilians on both sides; and
Resolved, That the 165th Convention of the Diocese of California submits the following resolution to the 78th General Convention of The Episcopal Church:
Resolved, the House of ______ concurring, That the 78th General Convention of The Episcopal Church affirm the legitimacy of the State of Israel and the right of Palestinians to sovereignty and that the two peoples must negotiate an end to the conflict; and be it further
Resolved, That, realizing our own complicity in the occupation of 4.4 million Palestinians and at the urging of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Convention hereby adopt a policy of select divestment of any holdings in Caterpillar and G4S until such time as there is peace and justice in Occupied Palestine or these companies halt any involvement that aids the occupation; and be it further
Resolved, That a copy of this resolution be sent to each of these companies and to other church investors, including the Church Pension Fund, who be urged to adopt a similar policy to the extent permissible under laws governing fiduciaries.
God calls us to be good stewards of God’s good Creation (Gen. 1:31, 2:15). Jesus commands us to care for those who are vulnerable as if we were caring for Him (Mt. 25:40). The Fourth Mark of Mission of the Anglican Communion is “To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation.” The Episcopal Church, by its mission, is pledged to the protection and care of God’s people and God’s Creation.
This proposed strategy of select divestment from certain targeted companies is offered that we may reduce our involvement in and profit from the specific tools of occupation, and also as a symbolic gesture to pressure for a just and peaceful end to the occupation. This resolution is quite limited; it is not proposed as a generalized boycott of Israel, of Israeli exports, or of most companies with business in Israel; nor is it aimed at products made in settlement areas in Occupied Palestine. It is proposed as a very limited divestment from two of the following four companies whose products are clearly being used as tools in the occupation itself. This proposal follows a similar limited action that passed the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, USA in June 2014, as well as actions taken by the pension board of the United Methodist Church in 2014.
We quote from Archbishop Desmond Tutu in a message dated June 10, 2014: “Realistic Israeli leaders have acknowledged that Israel will either end its occupation through a one- or two-state solution, or live in an apartheid state in perpetuity. The latter option is unsustainable and an offense to justice. We learned in South Africa that the only way to end apartheid peacefully was to force the powerful to the table through economic pressure.”
Here are four companies with a description of the specific products utilized in the occupation:
Caterpillar sells heavy equipment designed for Israeli military and police, equipment which is used to demolish Palestinian homes and agricultural lands. Caterpillar also sells heavy equipment used in the West Bank for construction of settlements, roads which are solely open to settlers, and the construction of the Separation Barrier.
Hewlett-Packard sells hardware to the Israeli Navy, including biometric ID systems used to monitor Palestinians (and not used to monitor Israelis) at several checkpoints in the West Bank and in the separate Palestinian road system.
Motorola Solutions sells an integrated communications system, known as “Mountain Rose,” to the Israeli government, which uses it for military communications in Occupied Palestine. Motorola Solutions also provides equipment for the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), including ruggedized smartphones, and has signed a contract to provide the next generation of this technology to the IDF.
G4S contracts with the Israeli Prison Service to provide management of security systems at prisons within Israel and in Occupied Palestine. G4S also provides equipment and services for Israeli settlements and checkpoints in the West Bank and for the Separation Wall that was constructed in violation of international law in Palestinian territory.
Heading into General Convention, members of the General Convention deputation of the Diocese of California are committed to read and discuss educational materials from diverse perspectives on the conflict, including Jewish, Muslim, and Christian voices, Israeli and Palestinian voices, including political perspectives from across the spectrum; among these is the 2009 Kairos Document “A Moment of Truth: A Word of Faith, Hope and Love from the Heart of Palestinian Suffering,” -- a document written from the point of view of, and endorsed by, Christian communities in Palestine, including Anglicans. In addition, we have now entered into a discipline of intercessory prayer for peace and justice for both Palestinians and the people of Israel.
Endorsed by: The Rev. Sylvia Vasquez, St. Paul’s, Walnut Creek; the Rev. Davidson Bidwell-Waite, Transfiguration, San Mateo; Sheila Sims, Diocesan Executive Council member - St. Paul’s, Oakland; and the following members of the General Convention Deputation: The Rev. Vanessa Glass, co-chair; The Rev. Eric Metoyer; The Rev. Br. Richard Edward Helmer, BSG; The Rev. Merry Chan Ong; The Rev. Hailey McKeefry Delmas; The Rev. Dr. Ruth Meyers; Sarah Lawton; Warren Wong, co-chair; Carolyn Gaines; Roderick Dugliss; Alan Murray; AnneMarie Hoos; Scott Michael Pomerenk, p/BSG; Patrick Melendez
Members listed in bold are co-authors of this resolution.