Since The United Methodist Church has a long history of social involvement, our investment portfolio is designed to reflect the Socially Responsible Investing Principles of the United Methodist Book of Discipline.. John Wesley, Methodism’s founder, proclaimed, “the gospel of Christ knows of no religion, but social; no holiness but social holiness.” Wesley believed and expected that “the people called Methodists” would be actively involved in their communities – feeding the hungry, tending the sick, visiting prisons and helping the poor.
The 2016 Book of Discipline (¶717) clearly instructs that The United Methodist Church In the investment of money, “shall … make a conscious effort to invest in institutions, companies, corporations, or funds with policies and practices that are socially responsible, consistent with the goals outlined in the Social Principles. All United Methodist institutions shall endeavor to seek investments in institutions, companies, corporations, or funds that promote racial and gender justice, protect human rights, prevent the use of sweatshop or forced labor, avoid human suffering, and preserve the natural world, including mitigating the effects of climate change. This call for sustainable and socially responsible investing has its roots in the Social Principles, which recognize that “all creation is the Lord’s, and we are responsible for the ways in which we use and abuse it.” More specifically, the Principles declare that “corporations are responsible not only to their stockholders, but also to other stakeholders: their workers, suppliers, vendors, customers, the communities in which they do business, and for the earth, which supports them.”
Resolution 4071, Investment Ethics, further clarifies the United Methodist position: “every financial investment has ethical dimensions with consequences that are both fiscal and social.”