Catalyst – Vital & Innovative Ministries

Worship materials for Catalyst Sunday

What is Catalyst?

Catalyst’s mission is to resource and encourage vital and innovative ministries that transform lives. The Catalyst Team, made up of representatives from all four associations, works to spur, spark and stimulate innovation and creativity in congregations throughout the Wisconsin Conference by providing grant funding to congregations in the Wisconsin conference. We look for projects through which congregations are developing vital and innovative ministries that transform lives in partnership with their local communities. We seek projects that further the Wisconsin Conference’s core justice initiatives: Racial Justice, Immigration and Care of Creation. We get excited about projects that reveal how local congregations are expanding the notion of the church beyond the walls of their building and the membership of their congregations.

Funding for vital and innovative ministries available now

We are seeking opportunities to support initiatives in congregations that:

  • Transform lives through community based initiatives (how might you partner with others in your community to meet your community’s needs?)
  • Stretch or deepen a congregation’s commitment to working for justice (how might you go beyond study to take action on a justice issue of importance in your local community?
  • Expand a congregation’s ideas about what constitutes ministry, who their members are and what their role is in their local community (How might you take steps to reimagine church?)

Catalyst accepts grant requests twice every year – on March 31 and September 30. For more information, view the Catalyst Grants page

For questions, and before filling out a grant application, contact Mary Kuenning Gross.

We look forward to hearing from you!

See how Catalyst grants are fueling innovation in Wisconsin churches!

Additional opportunities to secure funding for ministry are available through the United Church of Christ. Here are a few we are aware of:

UCC Granting sources: UCC Program Grants

Neighbors in Need

Neighbors in Need (NIN) is a special mission offering of the United Church of Christ that supports ministries of justice and compassion throughout the United States. One-third of NIN funds support the Council for American Indian Ministry (CAIM). Two-thirds of this offering is used by the UCC’s Justice and Witness Ministries (JWM) to support a variety of justice initiatives, advocacy efforts, and direct service projects through grants. Neighbors in Need grants are awarded to UCC churches and organizations doing justice work in their communities. These grants fund projects whose work ranges from direct service to community organizing and advocacy to address systemic injustice.

The Genesis Fund

The Genesis Fund, established in 1996 from funds raised through the Make a Difference Campaign, provides seed money for faith-based projects that are innovative or experimental, represent a new initiative in Christian mission, or that may be deemed controversial. Funds are available for domestic and international projects.

The New Spiritual Communities and ReNewing Churches Grant Program of the United Church of Christ

This grant program enacts the Vision, Mission, and Purpose of the United Church of Christ by investing in programs and ministries which live into the ethos of the United Church of Christ’s becoming. Ministries that are meant to be sustaining, as well as ministries that are meant to be impactful for a particular time and place, are encouraged to apply. Grants are awarded based on how the ministries are impacting their local communities in alignment with the Vision, Mission, and Purpose of the UCC.  Find out more here.

Adese Fellowship –

The Adese Fellowship:  A catalytic experience for emerging entrepreneurs who renew the Church’s mission to create a just world for all. 

The United Church of Christ’s Adese Fellowship is a groundbreaking, ecumenical program that will engage participants in theological reflection and business development as they create enterprises that help their communities follow the way of Jesus and live into God’s economy.

The all-expenses-paid, 12-month program will maximize the capacity of fellows to build sustainable ventures that counter systemic poverty.

While Adese is an initiative of the UCC, the program welcomes applications from any faith-driven entrepreneur who is committed to a just world for all

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(608) 846-7880