By John Martin
The archbishops of Canterbury and York are inviting churches in England to pray for the evangelization of the nation in the week leading up to Pentecost. In a letter sent to every priest in the Church of England, they say they want “to see a great wave of prayer across our land” between May 8 and 15.
The archbishops wrote: “At the heart of our prayers will be words Jesus taught us — ‘Thy kingdom come, thy will be done.’ It is impossible to overstate the transforming power of the Lord’s Prayer. It is a prayer that is reassuring enough to be on the lips of the dying and yet dangerous enough to be banned in cinemas. It is famous enough to be spoken each day by billions in hundreds of languages and yet intimate enough to draw us ever closer into friendship with Jesus Christ. It is simple enough to be memorized by small children and yet profound enough to sustain a whole lifetime of prayer.”
Church, Shares, and Climate Change: Churches are learning how to use their power as shareholders. Oil giant ExxonMobil has been forced to hear a motion regarding climate change at its May 12 Annual General Meeting. Prime movers in the action are the Church Commissioners for England and Thomas P. DiNapoli as a trustee of New York’s state retirement fund.
The resolution asks ExxonMobil to disclose how resilient its portfolio and strategy would be if policy measures decreased global warming by 2 degrees, as agreed in Paris last December. Up to 30 institutional shareholders with more than $6 trillion of assets under management have declared that they will support the proposal.
Last month ExxonMobil tried to have the motion struck down by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Its major peers in the oil industry, BP and Shell, have already agreed to similar climate-change motions.
The Church Commissioners manage the funds of the Church of England: £6.7 billion in a diverse portfolio that includes shares, real estate, and alternative investment strategies. The current return on investments is over 5 percent.
“We are delighted with the scale of support this resolution has received so far,” said Edward Mason, head of responsible investment for the Church Commissioners. He added that the development was “part of a wider trend following the Paris agreement.”