Catalyst grants to fuel innovation by 9 congregations

The Wisconsin Conference Catalyst Team has awarded grants totaling more than $33,000 to nine congregations to support innovative ministries designed to address unmet needs in their communities. The team received a record 13 applications.

“It is exciting and inspirational to see so many churches trying new things and having a positive impact on their communities,” said Mike Whiteley, chair of the Catalyst Team. “The applications represented a wide range of diverse projects addressing critical needs in many communities such as hunger, homelessness and refugee resettlement. We are grateful to see so many people doing God’s work in our Conference.”

The congregations and their projects:

  • United Church of Christ, Neillsville: Feeding the Hungry, a program to supply one homemade meal a month to community members living with food insecurity.
  • Delavan United Church of Christ: Community Dinner Table, a community dinner for those facing economic uncertainty or food insecurity.
  • St. Stephen’s UCC, Merrill: Love Your Neighbor, an initiative designed to foster a sense of community, cooperation and connection around sometimes overwhelming local issues.
  • Peace UCC/Manitowoc Cooperative Ministry: Manitowoc Warming Shelter, which provides a save, warm and nonjudgmental place for adults who find themselves without a warm place to stay overnight in winter. MCM is a partnership of Peace and First Presbyterian Church.
  • First Congregational Church of Genesee, Mukwonago: Learning in Retirement, Film and Faith, an effort to reach and educate the community through extravagant hospitality.
  • Memorial UCC, Fitchburg: Friends of the Arbor Good Neighbor House, a project intended to secure allies or “friends” to support refugee-led efforts that help arriving refugees transition from immigration to integration.
  • Middleton Community Church: Neighbor Day Project, which strives to build lasting connections by helping neighbors volunteer to help neighbors.
  • First Congregational UCC, Watertown: Gingerbread Preschool, which aims to expand the community’s capacity to care for infants and toddlers by upgrading an existing facility.
  • St. Paul’s UCC, Ellsworth: Random Acts of Kindness, whose vision is to promote selfless acts of kindness with no expectations.
  • St. John’s UCC, LaPointe: Soup Suppers and Game Night, which will provide meals and fellowship opportunities for people of all ages during winter on Madeline Island.

The Catalyst Team awards grants of up to $5,000 each spring and fall. For more information about Catalyst, email Mary Kuenning Gross, grants and scholarship coordinator for the Wisconsin Conference.

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