The General Conference has assigned responsibility for investment policy to the General Council on Finance and Administration. The assignment is presented in The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church 2008 as follows:
"It shall develop general investment policies and guidelines for all agencies receiving general Church funds (see ¶ 810.2), following consultation with those agencies. These guidelines are recommended for all church organizations. The council shall provide consultation, advice, and assistance on the development and approval of specific investment policies for all agencies receiving general Church funds. The council shall provide consultation and advice on the selection of investment counselors and managers for, and review, at the council's discretion but on at least an annual basis, the performance of all invested funds of all agencies receiving general church funds. The council shall have complete authority to manage any portfolio of less than $5,000,000 and may, upon request by the agency, manage larger portfolios. The council is encouraged to invest in institutions, companies, corporations, or funds that make a positive contribution toward the realization of the goals outlined in the Social Principles of The United Methodist Church (¶¶ 160-166)."
This Statement of Investment Guidelines applies to all general agencies which receive general Church funds. Jurisdictions, annual conferences, other agencies and institutions are encouraged to use these guidelines in accordance with their basic understanding of Christian stewardship of assets and investments. These guidelines should also be used in conjunction with their own independent evaluation of their responsibilities and interests and the opportunities and risks involved in investing. GCFA will be developing a Statement of Investment Guidelines for Local Churches.
These guidelines do not prescribe specific solutions to issues or problems, but are an outline of the elements of a specific investment policy. They outline a structure and process to facilitate broad participation in decision making based on a sound understanding of the elements of investing and full acceptance of the responsibilities for total stewardship of the assets and investments.
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