Change your community with a Catalyst Grant; applications due March 31

By Mary Kuenning Gross

Do you have a dream for how your congregation can do ministry beyond the walls of your church? Are there partners in your community that you could work with to transform lives? Do you have an idea of how you can meet a need? Does a justice issue — racial justice, immigration, care of creation — cry out for your attention in your setting? What does a Sacred Conversation on Race look like? How might your church minister to youth, the elderly, the homeless, the hungry, the refugee, the migrant, the addicted, those with special needs, the unemployed, the prisoner, communities plagued by violence and despair? How is God calling you to respond?

Can you be a catalyst for something great? The Good News of the Gospel is that God came near to us and walked among us through Jesus. Jesus taught us: Love your neighbor as you love yourself. How can we be Christ, his hands and feet today? What beauty, love and joy can be shared and nurtured?

Last year, Catalyst Grants supported the creation of music by a Native American composer, youth group retreats, an arts, literacy and science summer camp for kids, a free clothes closet, environmental projects identified by the Creation Care Team, welcoming of an asylum-seeking family, a coffee shop where minority college students can practice business and entrepreneurial skills, a free weekly Dinner at Five, a co-ministry bridging ties between a black and a white congregation doing some shared ministry together in the local schools. What dream do you have? What risks are you willing to take? How can you nurture connection?

If you have a project idea for which you need funding, apply for a Catalyst Grant through the Wisconsin Conference of the United Church of Christ. The deadline is March 31. Learn more at The Catalyst Team wants to hear from you!

Mary Kuenning Gross is grants and scholarship coordinator for the Wisconsin Conference. It you have questions about the Catalyst Grant program, email her at     

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