Announcing the Climate Justice Congregation Program

In support of our mission, we are excited to announce a new congregational certificate program, Be the Spark: Climate Justice Congregations. This year long process will help you and your community gain the focus, resources and support that can help galvanize your faith community into committed climate action. Join a growing number of faith communities doing the same, joining together across many faiths raising a collective voice and driving concrete projects for faithful action on climate justice.  

To get started, fill out the interest form here. 

We invite you to join us for the Climate Justice Congregation kickoff event on Thursday, January 24 at 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church to learn about the program and connect with fellow community members. We’ll gather for discussion with heavy appetizers at St. Mary’s, located at 1895 Laurel Ave in St. Paul.


Program Activities

This certificate program provides resources and a map to deeply engage your faith community in the work of climate justice. To be certified, your congregation will participate in most of the following activities:

  • Be the Spark: Have one or more people from your faith community attend the two-part Be the Spark Leadership Development and Organizing Training this winter, 2019!
  • Community Connector: Maintain at least one active Community Connector who serves as a liaison between your congregation and MNIPL.
  • Host an MNIPL programming event in your community. Based on the needs and interests of your community this could be a Community Climate Conversation, a Just Solar House Party, or an event to learn about being a Water Protector Congregation and supporting Native American communities resisting the Line 3 pipeline, or host a tailored Be the Spark organizing training. You will schedule the event, extend invitations, and provide the space. MNIPL staff will speak about a process that broadens the involvement of your community and leads to action planning.
  • Develop an annual or ongoing Three-Legged Stool action plan which includes engaging specifically in your area or region on issues relevant to you as well as on a systemic level with the MNIPL network and participating in MNIPL events and/or having a volunteer on one of MNIPL’s action teams:
    • Just Solar
    • Youth Leadership
    • Policy Advocacy
  • The action plan will include a congregational commitment to the Beyond Paris -> We’re Still In pledge. The pledge involves committing to supporting and taking action on the carbon reduction goals specified in the Climate Paris Agreement.
  • Sustaining congregation: This is required for certification. You can become a sustaining congregation by donating annually to MNIPL to provide essential ongoing support for outreach and climate justice actions.


Steps to Certification

Step 1:
Fill out the interest form!

Step 2: We will contact you and set up an initial phone call.  And then a meeting with you and other people from your congregation who will work with you on the certification process. We will send you an assessment to complete prior to our meeting.  In that meeting we will:

  • Assess goals, history and accomplishments
  • Clarify what’s required to be certified and determine what your “stretch goal” will be.  The spirit of this certification is that it helps your community expand, deepen and grow your engagement.  Given that we will support you in creating a plan to achieve the certification that helps you do that.

Step 3: Your team will complete your certification plan and submit it to MNIPL.  After this we encourage participating in the Be the Spark training offered this February and March 2019 or as a tailored workshop you host.  We will look for updates on your progress and be available to troubleshoot any obstacles that arise.

Step 4: Become a Sustaining Congregation.

Step 5: We will offer Spring and Fall gatherings for you to meet with other folks from faith communities participating and to learn more about ongoing campaigns and resources available to you.  

Step 6: December 2019 or after you will receive your certification, which includes statewide recognition of your accomplishments and status. We will distribute a media release that celebrates all of the communities doing this work and that compiles numbers of how much carbon we have saved and the number of people who have been positively impacted by your work!

Step 7: There is an annual recertification process. Each year you will fill out a form to report your accomplishments and outline the coming years action plan and plan for being a Sustaining Congregation.