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Grand Rapids Church Selected for the Sacred Places Clean Energy Grant

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Eleven Low-Income Houses of Worship to Receive Energy Efficiency Retrofitting

Help Your Congregation Become More Energy Efficient

Beyond energy efficiency, a goal of the project is to help congregations be better stewards of the earth and bring Earth care into their congregational lives. If your congregation is interested in learning more, please visit

/Erik Karits

/Markus Spiske

Grand Rapids, Michigan — In July 2022, Grand Rapids-based relief agency World Renew received a grant from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) to fund a pilot project focused on places of worship throughout Michigan. This pilot project is providing retrofitting for energy efficiency for eleven religious buildings in low-income neighborhoods, including Trinity Reformed Church here in Grand Rapids.

“The true leaders in this project are the eleven houses of worship who are willing to step up and partner with the Climate Witness Project (CWP) and EGLE. Making renovations to a busy community service oriented building isn't easy, so we plan to provide support to make it a smooth process,” commented Kris Van Engen, Justice Mobilizer with World Renew. “We expect that this grant will be a resource for and bring deserved positive attention to leaders who are already making a difference on environmental justice issues in their communities.”

World Renew developed a committee which selected Michigan Interfaith Power & Light (Michigan IPL) as the project lead for this grant. Leah Wiste, Michigan IPL’s executive director shared,"Congregations are on the frontlines of meeting the spiritual and material needs of their communities. By investing in energy improvements in these 11 under-resourced congregations, we are shoring up the economic and environmental sustainability of vital community hubs and funneling resources to those with the greatest need.”

An eleven member selection committee met over the course of several weeks and reviewed 65 applications, 11 of which were selected for this project. The awarded houses of worship were selected based upon meeting certain criteria including demonstrating a financial need and a ministry serving low-income communities. Participating congregations are located across the state including the Upper Peninsula.

World Renew is excited to announce the 11 congregations who will be receiving the energy retrofitting. These program participants are investing in the future as they seek to fight climate change and better serve their congregants and their community through this clean energy project.Program participants include:

  • Greensky Hill Indian United Methodist Church, Charlevoix
  • Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Chassell
  • Muslim Center Mosque and Community Center, Detroit
  • Pilgrim Baptist Church, Detroit
  • New Mt. Hermon Baptist Church, Detroit
  • St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Detroit
  • St. Suzanne Our Lady Gate of Heaven Catholic Parish, Detroit
  • Asbury United Methodist Church, Flint
  • Trinity Reformed Church, Grand Rapids
  • Allen Chapel AME Church, Kalamazoo
  • St. Luke CME Church, Saginaw

Steve Wasko, a program director with St. Suzanne Our Lady Gate of Heaven Catholic Parish, is looking forward to the project’s potential for community learning. “This grant enables us to be as innovative as we can. We see education and programming for both youth and adults as a key component of the project. This is an opportunity to educate our community on green practices and what that could mean in their communities.”

Grand Rapids contractors interested in receiving notification once Request for Proposals are released are encouraged to fill out the “Contractor Interest” form at

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