Here you can find selected material from issues of Trinity Memorial Church's monthly newsletter, the Trinity Times
General Convention - An Insight on a Committee's Deliberations
For the past several General Conventions, it has been my privilege to serve on the Church Pension Fund (CPF) Legislative Committee, variously as regular member, secretary and vice chair. At this 2018 Convention I served as its Legislative Aide.
Last year the CPF celebrated a century of service and benefits for The Episcopal Church. Over the past year the CPF has hosted a series of events called Insights & Ideas around The Episcopal Church to engage in conversations on topics of interest to the Church. They hosted two such luncheon events in Austin.
The topic of the first was The Demographics of a Changing Church. Following presentations by experts, Ms. Mary Kate Wold, CEO and President of the Church Pension Group, moderated the conversation on demographics, deployment and compensation. Presenters were Dr. Jerry Park, Associate Professor of Sociology and Affiliate Fellow at the Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion; and Dr. Matthew Price, Senior Vice President for Research & Data at the Church Pension Group.
The second event was Investing for Positive Impact. Presenters were Mr. Dave Chen, Principal and Chairman of Equilibrium; and The Rev. Kirsten Snow Spalding, Senior Director of Ceres Investor Network. Following the presentations, conversations focused on ways to achieve measurable social and environmental impact alongside competitive financial returns.
The New York-based CPF has been involved in impact investing for nearly 20 years. In 2000, its board encouraged it to look at investing in women- or minority-owned funds. Today $1Billion has been committed to impact investments, now across three themes:
• Environmentally responsible investments (sustainable forestry, clean technology and green buildings)
• Economically targeted investments (microfinance-related initiatives, affordable housing, sustainable farming and urban redevelopment)
• Women- and minority-owned firms
By 2018, The Episcopal Church has socially responsible investments in 25 countries, created or preserved 54,000 affordable housing units, funded 100 clean technology projects, and invested in 65 certified clean buildings. The CPF plans to continue encouraging companies in its investment portfolio to address issues related to the environment, human rights violations, and diversity of corporate boards.
At this 79th General Convention, partnership with the CPF continued as we elected CPF trustees and acted upon legislation to inform its strategic priorities and directives. Toward this end, the CPF Legislative Committee developed resolutions for expanding paid family leave, Medical Trust provider options, pension equity for lay employees, among others.
Long hours and hard work go into serving on a legislative committee. But, it is a very fulfilling way to participate in the governance structure of our Church.
Dr. Sandra D. Michael, Lay Alternate Deputy and Parishioner, Trinity Memorial Church in Binghamton, NY