See how grants are fueling innovation in Wisconsin churches

Do you have an innovative, creative idea for ministry? Perhaps a Catalyst grant can help.

Catalyst is the re-envisioned Church Development and Renewal team. Catalyst’s mission is to: resource and encourage vital and innovative ministries that transform lives. Read more about Catalyst.

Proposals for 2018 funding consideration are due in the conference office based on the following submission deadlines:  January 8, April 9, July 9 and October 8
Click these links for copies of the grant guidelines and grant proposal form. Contact Tisha Brown with questions or for more information.


Here are some of the projects the Catalyst Team has funded so far this year:

  • Grace UCC in Wausau’s Neighborhood Outreach Ministry: Grace UCC in Wausau is engaged in learning about and reaching into their neighborhood. This grant funded an outdoor movie night so that neighbors could meet one another and engage with the church community in a welcoming, low-risk situation. Other initiatives will arise from listening and identifying strengths and needs in their community. For more information contact Rev. Julie Goranson.
  • UCC Ministry Co-op of Southwest Wisconsin: This is a cooperative ministry partnership between First Congregational, Platteville, Mt. Zion, UCC in Cornelia and Davies Memorial UCC in Potosi. You can find out more about this innovative approach to shared ministry here. Contact Rev. Zayna Thompson for more information.
  • Picture the Bible Student Pages: Picture the Bible is a project of First Congregational UCC in River Falls. It is a curriculum centered around 36 images depicting Bible stories. This curriculum is now available to congregations throughout the Wisconsin Conference and beyond. To find out more about this project visit or contact Rev. Stacy Myers.
  • Wisconsin Expo (Expanding Pastoral Opportunities): This is a partnership between the Northwest Association, United Theological Seminary, the Wisconsin Conference Lay Academy and NWA churches to provide supervised placement in a local church for persons exploring movement into authorized ministry. Placement will be open to seminary students and Lay Academy participants and will include a modest stipend. For more information on this partnership contact Rob MacDougall.
  • Film and Faith on Tap: This is an outreach initiative of St. Paul’s UCC in Ellsworth in partnership with Common Man Brewing, a local tap house in Ellsworth to offer food and free movies along with conversation around faith, values and God. You can check out Adam’s Faith and Film on Tap Manual outlining his approach to this film series and what he is learning. For more information contact Rev. Adam Westrich.
  • Weird Church Camp Scholarships: We provided partial scholarships to six Wisconsin Conference pastors to attend Weird Church Camp at the end of August 2017 in Estes Park, Colorado. This was a first-of-its-kind gathering of leaders seeking inspiration and ideas for ways to connect the gospel with a post-Christian culture. For more on this event go to: Pastors from the Wisconsin Conference who attended were Jacoba Koppert, Colleen Kwong, Brad Brookins, Tanya Sadagopan, Becky Johnston and Deborah Tyler. Every year Catalyst will consider supporting continuing education events like this where we believe innovative and entrepreneurial approaches to ministry will be nurtured.
  • Readiness 360 Pilot Project: The Catalyst Team is funding a small pilot project impacting a specific cohort of congregations to determine if the Readiness 360 survey tool is something we would like to offer more broadly. Congregations that attended the Thursday, June 8, 2017, workshop with Paul Nixon are eligible for this pilot project. For more information contact Tisha Brown.


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