Fossil fuel and tertiary ministry
In one of its final actions, the 2011 meeting of the Uniting Church’s Synod of New South Wales and the ACT addressed its involvement in financing future fossil fuel power stations.
As a major customer of Westpac and ANZ banks, Synod resolved to write to the banks asking them to commit to ceasing their financing of new coal fired power stations in Australia and instead fund transition strategies to clean energy.
If the banks are not willing to make that commitment, Synod will request its Ethical Investment Monitoring Committee to consider adding those banks to its investment blacklist.
Synod also requested Uniting Financial Services to consider the matter in its ongoing review of banking services contracts.
Though unable to commit a specific, increased level of funding, Synod affirmed its support for tertiary ministry and recognised the continuing need to grow communities of vibrant believers across tertiary institutions.
Synod recognised the positive impact that the ministry of chaplains and mission workers had on the life of university communities in which they had been working, and on the wider life of the Uniting Church.
It requested Uniting Mission and Education to give urgent attention on behalf of the whole Synod to the resource needs of tertiary ministry to enable that vital outreach ministry to continue and to grow.
It also requested the Tertiary Ministry Committee to invite requests from presbyteries, or from congregations through their presbyteries, for the allocation of funding for tertiary ministry from July 2012.