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Presbytery of Twin Cities Area Persuaded to Divest From Fossil Fuels

 

Press Release: January 13, 2014

At its January 11th meeting on Saturday, the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area voted for the national denomination to divest its endowments of all stocks and bonds in fossil fuel companies.

The decision came as a result of a plea to divest by two youth, high-school seniors Cody Kirk and Joy Gresham from St Luke Presbyterian Church in Minnetonka, and the healthy debate that followed. Kirk and Gresham and other youth in the church have been championing awareness about climate change, including the potential devastating effects of the Keystone XL Pipeline Project. Kirk and Gresham had three minutes to present their case. Their presentation was so compelling, the decision passed the entire Presbytery on an strong voice vote.

“This is how I see the church really being like Jesus,” said Kirk. “Not just talking, but making hard choices to live like Jesus -- caring for the poor and all in God’s creation without a voice; not taking more than our share; and preserving the earth for future generations.”

The Presbyterian Foundation and Board of Pensions together have nearly $10 billion in investments. The decision to divest will now go to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) at its biennial meeting in Detroit, June 14-21.

Also participating in presenting the overture on divestiture was the Presbyterian Church of the Apostles in Burnsville. The overture was an urgent effort to shift the conversation from fossil fuels as a basis for the world’s economy, to their role in climate change -- which is contributing to war,displacement, hunger and poverty for humans around the world.

Contact Erin Pratt (erin@mnipl.org) for more information on divestment in the Presbytery. Interested to learn more about MNIPL's Divestment Team? Contact Dwight Wagineus (dwight@mnipl.org).