As previously reported, the ELCA Church Council voted at their November meeting to delay implementation of C2 (Human Rights Investment Screen) until such time as the Church Council approves a Social Message.
Below are excepts from the Minutes of the Church Council Meeting, November 10-13, 2016, beginning on page 61 of the minutes and page 64 of the PDF. This portion of the minutes discusses the responses of the Office of the Presiding Bishop regarding Assembly Resolution C1 and responses from the Corporate Social Responsibility review team. Note that the first draft of the Investment Screen is slated for presentation to the Church Council at the fall meeting, 2018.
Response from the Office of the Presiding Bishop (November, 2016)
The churchwide organization’s communication with this church’s members and congregations regarding Israel and Palestine matters is handled through our Peace Not Walls network. Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relations in the Office of the Presiding Bishop has provided communication and interpretation of the 2016 Churchwide Assembly’s actions with inter-religious partners as foundational work in support of communications within and beyond this church. Concerning the three requests for communications to the President and Congress, we intend to monitor political developments closely in order to discern the most propitious time for such communications, but we will wait at least until after the election season is completed. We expect to provide a response to the Churchwide Assembly action by the November 2017 Church Council meeting.
Response from the Corporate Social Responsibility review team (November 2016)
In order to meet the call of this memorial, an initial survey of the social teachings of this church indicates that it would be useful to write a social message on human rights to underpin the development of a general human rights screen as requested. It is expected this message could be prepared and sent to Church Council by November 2017. At that point the Corporate Social Responsibility review team will follow the protocol for developing a new screen as outlined in the Policies and Procedure for the Development of Social Criteria Investment Screens. The initial screen development process is projected for the fall and winter of 2017. Some specific work that will be needed includes:
1. Review the relevant social teachings of the ELCA with assistance from the Theological Discernment Team.
2. Additional input along the way from the Peace Not Walls team as well as the Ecumenical and Inter-Religious
3. Review of the scope and prioritization of human rights issues/violations which might be covered in such a
4. Receive input from the Endowment Fund, Mission Investment Fund and Portico regarding any concerns and impact on their work.
This screen development process will be followed by a first draft for review by Church Council in April 2018. [Emphasis added.] Revisions and additional input will be incorporated, and the screen is projected to come for final action to the Church Council in the fall of 2018. The extended time frame for development allows for multiple consultations due to the sensitive nature of the subject. Due to the urgency of this matter, we acknowledge that prioritizing this work will require that other work assigned to the Corporate Social Responsibility review team and the Theological Discernment team will need to be re-prioritized.