Below is an open letter the Adventist Peace Fellowship sent to Elder Ted Wilson after the GC changed its policy regarding investments in the weapons industry. The original open letter can be found here. The changes were covered in news outlets such as Spectrum, Adventist Today, and the Adventist News Network. We initially became aware of this issue through an Adventist Today article that highlighted concerns expressed by the Norwegian Union Conference. In response to the GC policy changes, Adventist Peace Fellowship leadership offers the following statement of gratitude.
Dear Elder Wilson,
On behalf of the Adventist Peace Fellowship, we are writing to express our appreciation for the General Conference’s recent change in investment policy. Specifically, we support the decision to “screen all present and potential investments in order to exclude companies whose revenues are derived primarily or substantially from the manufacture and sale of weapons, combat vehicles, munitions or other warfare systems” and to “avoid investments in any companies which are engaged in the manufacture of cluster munitions, land mines or nuclear weapons and to exclude such regardless of the proportion of company revenues or sales that these products represent.”
We thank you and the financial leadership team for working to bring church investment funds more in line with our shared Adventist values. We thank you for responding quickly and positively to the Norwegian Union Conference’s request for these changes.
In our deeply interconnected world, it is nearly impossible to invest with entirely “clean hands” regarding any of the industries and products the GC attempts to avoid—meat production, pornography, gambling, alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine. Regardless, we believe it is important to live our values as fully as possible, and we strive to embody these principles with increasing consistency and authenticity.
Investments pose an ethical challenge in at least two ways—not only does the investor profit from the activities of the company, but the investment itself gives the company the financial support needed to operate and expand its reach. Clearly, arms production is not something the Adventist Peace Fellowship wishes to directly benefit from or support, given our mission to promote peacemaking within the Adventist community and in broader society where we live, work, play, and minister.
Thank you again for making the stated changes in GC investment policy. God grant you and your team wisdom as you seek to faithfully implement the new guidelines while executing your fiduciary responsibility as stewards of these funds.
Director, Adventist Peace Fellowship
Lisa Clark Diller
Peace Church Network Coordinator
University Chapter Coordinator
Board of Directors:
Pedrito Maynard-Reid (Chairperson)