Dec 20, 2022
When you think of the Conference Creation Care Team or your local congregation’s Green Team, what is the first image that springs to mind? A work crew installing solar panels? A community walk in prayer and gratitude for our waters led by Native American women? What about a group of your church’s greenest thumbs planting the flowers that draw pollinators?
How about looking in the mirror? Because your gift to Our Church’s Wider Mission is helping turn good ideas about how to care for the Earth into reality. Over the past two years, OWCM support has helped provide $20,000 in Catalyst Grants made by the Wisconsin Conference Creation Care Team to fund a variety of creation-sustaining projects. (Grace UCC in Two Rivers has provided an additional $2,000 from its endowment.) The projects include everything from solar arrays to installation of more efficient heating and cooling systems to expanded recycling options. Even the smallest projects matter.
“All of us, and all of creation globally, can benefit even from local projects to reduce the effects of climate changes and other environmental threats,” says Kathy Bartilson, a member of the Conference Creation Care Team. Kathy has prepared a list of projects funded in the past two years:
More efficient heating and cooling:
Solar array installation:
LED or other more efficient lighting:
Reusable products for plastic and packaging minimization:
More efficient appliances:
Community action and advocacy:
Expanded recycling options for the church and community:
Tree planting, native gardens or invasive species control:
Community or memorial gardens:
The Creation Care Team is grateful that these churches and chuch camps have stepped forward with a variety of faithful actions for the sake of God’s creation and our common home. Thanks, too, go to all of the churches that have pursued and achieved Creation Justice Church commitments through the national United Church of Christ, as well as Wisconsin churches that have adopted Kairos Call to Action covenants.
The Creation Care Team is seeking additional funding to offer these grants again next year. Also, there are other funding sources congregations have used through Neighbors in Need, our Associations, Focus on Energy, Renew Wisconsin and their Solar For Good program, and the Department of Natural Resources Urban Forestry and Surface Water Grants.
To quote the mission statement of McFarland United Church of Christ Ecojustice Committee: “We affirm the divine gifts of all creation and our interconnectedness with one another and with our environment. We commit ourselves to education, and to action to care for all of God’s creation, especially where there is inequity, suffering and environmental degradation. We acknowledge that the task is great but that no action is too small. For the sake of generations to come, it is vital that we take responsibility to protect the only [earthly] home God has given us.”