Creation Care Grants Spurred Action in UCC Congregations Across Wisconsin in 2021

By John Helt

At the end of 2020, with the assistance of the Conference Catalyst Fund, the Creation Care Team made Kairos grants to 10 congregations and to United Church Camps, Inc. The projects made possible by these grants expressed the “Kairos Call to Action” urgency of this decade for climate justice. Each project was a local “catalyst” during 2021, focusing mission energy and making something significant happen, even in the midst of the pandemic.

Here are the 2021 Kairos/Catalyst Grant recipients and their projects:

McFarland UCC, McFarland: installed native plantings
Grace Congregational UCC, Two Rivers: installed LED lighting
Saint Stephens UCC, Merrill: began to replace an inefficient heating system
United Church Camps, Inc.: enabled study and reaffirmation of indigenous roots
Trinity UCC, LaCrosse: installed a dishwasher and planted trees
Memorial UCC, Fitchburg: introduced reusable products in an outreach program
Congregational UCC, Ladysmith: installed LED lighting
Bethel-Bethany UCC, Milwaukee: led neighborhood greening projects
First Congregational UCC, Madison: installed rooftop solar
Plymouth Congregational UCC, Madison: installed rooftop solar
First Congregational UCC, Wisconsin Rapids: installed roof-top solar

I was honored to participate in the solar dedications at Plymouth Congregational, Madison, and First Congregational, Wisconsin Rapids. I was so impressed with the organization, dedication and widespread buy-in for these projects, completed in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic last year. All 11 Kairos/Catalyst projects make a hopeful difference toward becoming more sustainable, reducing carbon footprints and demonstrating to the wider community that something can be done on the local level to care for God’s creation and combat climate change.

These projects are making a difference in their local communities and beyond. Consider a project in your church that helps you to respond to the Kairos Call to Action. Additional grants will be available soon. Watch for details in coming Kairos newsletters and Wisconsin Conference Life.

For more information on Creation Care grants, click here.

Rev. John Helt is a retired pastor and co-chair of the Wisconsin Conference Creation Care Team. Contact John.

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