A friendly competition to:
Embrace our calling as earth keepers
Reduce carbon footprints
Nurture environmental leadership
Utilize and bless youth and young adult gifts
What is it?
Climate change, biodiversity loss, plastic pollution, chemical spills…Now, more than ever, all creation is groaning. But we are not powerless and we are not alone. God loves to work with us and through us!
Between July 1, 2023 and April 15, 2024, respond to environmental needs in one of two categories:
Reduce carbon emissions in your church building, congregation or local community and estimate how much carbon the measures you take will save.
Many problems involving people and planet don’t fit the energy category or are not easily measured with a carbon calculator. Follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in response to one of these. Creating a pollinator garden, addressing a food desert, or helping to clean up after a natural disaster are just a few examples.
Who can participate?
- Youth groups
- Young adult groups
- Mentor-mentee pairs
- Other intergenerational combinations involving at least two people
Everybody can do something! And people of all ages have something to contribute. If your church doesn’t have a group of Gen Z members, don’t let that stop you. All projects submitted by April 15, 2024, will be listed online and we will featured as many stories as we can.
One or two exceptional projects in each category will receive cash prizes toward an outdoor experience that nourishes participants’ relationship with creation. Ideas include:
- a camping trip in a national park,
- hiring an environmental educator for a day of guided hiking,
- a church camp experience.
Amounts will range from $500-$1000 depending on group size. Since travel has a carbon cost, we request that you choose an experience within 200 miles of your church.
Who qualifies for group prizes: Groups working within MCUSA congregations that include youth and young adults belonging to Generation Z. Generation Z is defined as people born between 1997 and 2012.
COLLEGE & UNIVERSITY GRANTS
MCUSA colleges value environmental sustainability. Participants who will graduate from high school in the class of 2024, 2025, 2026 or 2027 and who are accepted at one of the following schools will receive a $1000 Energy & Spirit Grant as part of their financial aid package. Participants enrolling in a college for the 2024-25 school year must be registered by October 15, 2023 to be included.
Participants graduating in 2025, 2026, or 2027 can still qualify for this grant if their group applies by November 30, 2023.
- See the following pages on this website: Youth and Young Adult Leader’s Guide…Energy Ideas…Spirit Ideas
- Contact ClimateJustice@MennoniteUSA.org with questions.
- By November 30, 2023: Register your interest here.
Group members who are in the class of 2024 will not be eligible for a higher education grant when applying after October 15, 2023
- By April 15, 2024: Submit a final report and register youth graduating later than 2024.