More Brethren Agencies Express Support for Resolution on Drones

Brethren Benefit Trust and On Earth Peace, which are both Annual Conference agencies, have affirmed the Church of the Brethren Mission and Ministry Board’s “Resolution against Drone Warfare.” The resolution was adopted at the board’s spring meeting and will be on the Annual Conference agenda in early July. Find the Newsline report and full text of the resolution at .

On Earth Peace affirms ‘Resolution against Drone Warfare’

At its recent board meeting in New Windsor, Md., On Earth Peace affirmed the Church of the Brethren Mission and Ministry Board “Resolution against Drone Warfare,” which stated that the use of these remote weapons “to distance the act of killing from the site of violence” is in direct conflict with the peace witness of Jesus.

Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford
Bill Scheurer of On Earth Peace (standing) talks with a small group of board members during the discussion of the Mission and Ministry Board’s Resolution against Drone Warfare.

As an agency of the Church of the Brethren, On Earth Peace is committed to make all its resources available to help the church engage this serious issue. In particular, the On Earth Peace Ministry of Reconciliation is ready to help people from all different points of view seek the will of the Spirit together when this resolution is considered at the upcoming Church of the Brethren Annual Conference in Charlotte, N.C., this July.

“Leslie Frye and the Ministry of Reconciliation team understand this may be a challenging conversation among people who bring strongly held views on this question,” says On Earth Peace executive director Bill Scheurer. “Even though On Earth Peace as an organization supports this Mission and Ministry Board resolution, our Ministers of Reconciliation are fully trained and capable to help create safe spaces for people of all viewpoints, concerns, and opinions to share and explore their differences respectfully.”

The Nonviolent Social Change ministry of On Earth Peace also is ready to help any congregations or groups wanting to organize around this issue. Likewise, the Youth and Young Adult ministry is available to any congregation or others requesting special events around this new and developing form of war.

“Our agency has a lot to offer the church as it faces these kinds of new challenges,” says Madalyn Metzger, On Earth Peace board chair. “We want people to be aware of all we can do to help.”

Rooted in Christian faith, On Earth Peace cultivates individuals and communities who advance justice and build a peaceful world.

Brethren Benefit Trust expresses support for resolution

As an investment manager for each of the four national Church of the Brethren agencies, as well as for many other Brethren institutions, districts, and congregations, Brethren Benefit Trust has long witnessed the Brethren peace stance through the screening out of defense contractors and weapons manufacturers from Brethren Pension Plan and Brethren Foundation investment portfolios.

Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford
Nevin Dulabaum, president of Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT), addresses the Mission and Ministry Board during its spring meeting.

BBT’s investment guidelines prohibit investments in the top 25 publicly traded defense contractors or of publicly traded companies that generate 10 percent or more of their revenues from defense or weapons contracts or sales. As a result, BBT does not invest in Northrop Grumman, Boeing, or Lockheed Martin–three companies that are engaged in the manufacturing of drones for warfare.

“BBT supports the Church of the Brethren Mission and Ministry Board’s resolution on drone warfare, and we encourage institutional and individual investors to refrain from investing in companies that are on BBT’s top 25 and 10 percent defense contractor and weapons manufacturer lists,” said Nevin Dulabaum, BBT president. “Moreover, the lists are a good starting point for socially responsible investing discussion.

“Typically there are one or more companies included on the lists that seem misplaced, such as FedEx, which is found on our current Top 25 list. ‘What does this company do to make one of the defense lists?’ ‘What does it mean for us to personally or organizationally patronize this company?’ These are but two questions that help begin dialogue for individuals and organizations as they consider what it means to invest, or to not invest, using their values.”

BBT’s updated lists for 2013 are expected to be released after they are approved by the BBT Board in late April.

— This report includes information from On Earth Peace provided by executive director Bill Scheurer, and information from Brethren Benefit Trust provided by president Nevin Dulabaum.

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