Socially responsible investing has historical roots in all major religious teachings and traditions, and for generations, many religious investors have sought to demonstrate their commitment to peace and non-violence with screened investments that avoid weapons and products that promoted war. More recently, values-based investors have looked for socially screened investments that promote such issues as environmental sustainability, civic responsibility, the role of women and people of color in decision-making positions, and workplace safety.
In Oregon, at our 2015 Convention, the Diocese adopted a resolution which established the Socially Responsible Investing Fund (SRIF). At the Convention prior to that, a dot-voting tally established screening priorities to include environmental sustainability, human rights and community development. Those gospel values were substantiated again with further dot voting in 2017. At the same convention, there were a substantial number of recommendations to avoid investment in companies with high executive pay and those that engage in animal cruelty.
Additionally, the Diocese has adopted recommendations of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility to place restrictions on shares of companies that are amongst the top U.S. defense contractors; those operating for-profit prisons; companies whose activities violate human rights in Sudan; and tobacco companies.
A number of Oregon congregations have begun to invest with the SRIF over the last few years, including St. James of Lincoln City, where as one parishioner put it, after a great deal of discernment and then a decision to make the move for their memorial fund, they found the actual process of the move to be very easy.
The SRIF is managed by the diocese with Sellwood Consulting, which is registered as a United Nations Principles of Responsible Investing signatory. The financial returns since the inception of the SRIF have been compelling.
We hope you will join us at the 2019 Diocesan Convention during the Friday lunch time to learn more about the possibility of your congregation investing with the Socially Responsible Investing Fund. You can find more information about the SRIF and the instructions and forms for transferring funds into the SRIF at https://diocese-oregon.org/resources/finance-and-human-resources/financial-resource-library/ (click on “Investment and Financial Planning”), or you can contact any of the committee members listed below:
SRIF Committee Members
Sue Hall, Committee Chair, Christ Church, Lake Oswego
Ann Frazier, Christ Church, Lake Oswego
Madeline Moore, St. David of Wales, Portland
The Rev. Jaime Sanders, Christ Church, St. Helens
Keith Walters, Trinity, Portland