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Current Page: Church & Ministries | Sunday, August 16, 2015
United Church of Canada Sells Fossil Fuel Holdings, Commits $6 Million to Alternative Energy to Save Creation

United Church of Canada Sells Fossil Fuel Holdings, Commits $6 Million to Alternative Energy to Save Creation

A nun reads Pope Francis' new encyclical titled "Laudato si" at the Vatican, June 18, 2015. Pope Francis demanded swift action on Thursday to save the planet from environmental ruin, urging world leaders to hear "the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor," plunging the Catholic Church into political controversy over climate change. In the first papal document dedicated to the environment, he calls for "decisive action, here and now," to stop environmental degradation and global warming, squarely backing scientists who say it is mostly man-made. | (Photo: Reuters/Max Rossi)

The United Church of Canada plans to invest nearly $6 million into alternative energy sources that it acquired from selling all of its assets in fossil fuels. The denomination views the move as a bold step toward stewarding the gift of creation.

"Care for creation and concern for the way that climate is impacting the most marginalized populations made this move an act of justice, of faith, and of solidarity with First Nations and other impacted communities," said Christine Boyle, General Council commissioner of the United Church and a veteran climate advocate, according to the National Advocate.

The church will sell off around $5.9 million in holdings from 200 of the world's largest fossil fuel companies.

The United Church of Canada joins both Pope Francis and the Episcopal Church in their quest to help the environment.

Leaders of the Episcopal Church voted to sell off the denomination's holdings in fossil fuel, which amount to $380 million, in a move to combat climate change last month.

"The vote says that this is a moral issue and that we really have to think about where we are putting our money," said Betsy Blake Bennett, archdeacon in the Episcopal Diocese of Nebraska.

The office of the Hamilton Conference of the United Church of Canada, located in Carlisle, Ontario, Canada. | (Photo: courtesy Hamilton Conference, UCC.)

"At a point where we are losing species and where human life itself is threatened by climate change, the Church, by acting on it, is saying that this is a moral issue and something that everyone needs to look at seriously," added Bennett.

The Episcopal Church's position echoes that of Francis who released an encyclical dealing with climate change back June. It dealt with how climate change is affecting God's creation and was supported by over 300 Evangelical leaders.

The 184-page "Laudato Si," translated in English as "Praise Be to You," included the pope's response to these challenges from a spiritual perspective.

"The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change. The Creator does not abandon us; He never forsakes His loving plan or repents of having created us," Francis wrote.

"Particular appreciation is owed to those who tirelessly seek to resolve the tragic effects of environmental degradation on the lives of the world's poorest. Young people demand change. They wonder how anyone can claim to be building a better future without thinking of the environmental crisis and the sufferings of the excluded."

Contact: Vincent.funaro@christianpost.com; follow me on Twitter @vinfunaro

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