Friday, June 6, 2014

Immigration and Environmental Issues Committee - Advocacy as Discipleship

This post is a continuation of Advocacy as Discipleship Pre-GA Issue. This edition of this publication seeks to provide an preview of the social justice business before the 221st General Assembly (2014) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

Immigration and Environmental Issues – Committee 15

Divestment from Fossil Fuels
Overture 15-01, sponsored by Boston Presbytery, overtures the GA to call upon the Board of Pensions and the Foundation to stop any new investment in fossil fuel companies and to divest of their stock holdings in the same. The item overtures the GA to recognize “the moral mandate for humanity to shift to a sustainable energy plan in a way that is both just and compassionate. This mandate propels us to action as a denomination: to divest from the fossil fuel industry even as we reduce our use of fossil fuels and shrink our carbon footprint.”

Precautionary Principle
The Southern New England Presbytery sponsored overture 15-02, which deals with the Precautionary Principle. The overture calls on the General Assembly to affirm the importance of the Precautionary Principle, which is "the precept that an action should not be taken if the consequences are uncertain or potentially dangerous," places the burden of proof on the polluter instead of the regulator, and speaks to the importance of creation care. The overture also asks for the GA to commission a study group to review the principle and prepare a study paper for use by congregations.

Coal Trains
Overture 15-03 is sponsored by Seattle Presbytery and calls on the General Assembly to affirm the programmatic review by civil authorities of the impact of expanded coal export projects in the Pacific Northwest on human health and the well-being of the communities along the Northwest rail lines.

Immigrants’ Civil and Human Rights
Overture 15-04, sponsored by Central Florida Presbytery, calls on the General Assembly to recognize the formation of the Presbyterian Immigrant Defense Initiative as a campaign to mobilize the PC(USA) to affirm and promote the civil and human rights of immigrants. The initiative aims to connect Presbyterians working for just immigration reform, increase awareness of the injustice of the current immigration policy, and encourage Presbyterians to support and advocate for policies that ensure the civil and human rights of immigrants.

To read the complete items of business before the Immigration and Environmental Issues Committee, visit the General Assembly's business website at