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First Congregational Church of Minnesota UCC

In the historic building housing First Congregational Church of Minneapolis, energy is stirring. 15 years ago, the environmental action team launched and built the framework for the energy efficiency, social justice, and spiritual action happening today.

Reverend Jane McBride supports efforts to mitigate First Congregational’s contribution to climate change. As she says, “The Christian faith is about living here and now, not about attaining the next life or getting up to heaven.” Members are doing exactly that, supporting urgent campaigns to protect wilderness areas and making immediate, significant changes to improve the energy efficiency of the building.

Save the Boundary Waters campaign explorers Dave and Amy Freeman, who are spending a year in the BWCA to help protect against the threat of proposed sulfide-ore copper mining, spoke at the faith community’s Earth Day celebration last year. In the building itself, EnerChange conducted an energy audit and spurred a variety of changes. LED lighting brightens the sanctuary, there are low-flow toilets in the restrooms, and rebates help to cover the cost of some bigger ticket efficiency upgrades.

On a smaller scale, members enjoy fair trade coffee as a way to support economically and socially just farming practices. First Congregational also acts as a drop site for Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) through Twin Cities Local Food, a program that coordinates sites for local farmers to distribute their products.

The focus on addressing climate change extends beyond only tangible projects; racial justice and standing up for inequality are also at the forefront of spiritual beliefs. Rev. McBride remarked, “Creation is this beautiful, interconnected body in which every part of those connections are made in God’s image. The welfare of all of us are dependent on the web of those relationships.” As the ministry restructures this year, members will address the intersectionality of acting on climate and the responsibility to be present in racial justice conversations and issues.

To learn more about how First Congregational Church is being present in the climate movement, visit their website.