Faith in Place/CUCC

Faith in Place

Faith in Place is an organization that works to empower Illinois people of all faiths to be leaders in caring for the earth, providing resources to educate, connect, and advocate for healthier communities. Covenant United Church of Christ is an Afrocentric church in South Holland, Illinois, serving more than 3,500 members.

Project Description: 

Faith in Place and Covenant United Church of Christ (CUCC) joined forces with Connect to engage the 3,500-member African American community of the CUCC in understanding climate change and taking personal and collective responsibility to lessen its impact.


Introduce climate change to the congregation through culturally relevant educational activities and workshops, including migration stories linking monarchs to African American migration, green movies, informational tabling, and intergenerational environmental stewardship activities.

Read more about FIP/CUCC's approach here.

Tools in Action: 

Story Circle Events

The Green Team hosted numerous story circle events, using the Connect Migration Stories tool and the Faith in Place Migration & Me Toolkit to highlight the migration stories of their members, young and old alike. The stories were then linked to the effects of climate change on both human habitats and the natural habitats of other species like the monarch butterfly. The similarities of the African American migration and that of the monarch was the thread that ultimately connected the community to thinking about how to be better stewards of nature for the next generation.

Workshops, Workshops, and More Workshops

Throughout our Connect project, members of Covenant UCC and our Green Team hosted numerous workshops and participated in workshops sponsored by Faith in Place to educate the community about climate change and the environment, including how our personal choices and behaviors affect them both. During these workshops, we used a number of Connect tools, including the Climate Change 101 Presentation, Visual Collages that we displayed at every event, along with the Climate Jeopardy and Climate-Community Connections: Gardens and Landscaping.

story circle
Partner Tools: 

Faith in Place: Migration & Me Toolkit, Environmental Advocacy Clean Jobs /Clean Air Petitions and Green Movie Event Format

Climate Change and African-American Bible Study: National Council of Churches-Eco Justice Program

Organizations and People Involved: 

Veronica Kyle, Chicagoland Outreach Director, Faith in Place & CUCC Green Team Member
Rev. Debbie Williams, Outreach Coordinator: Migration & Me Program: Faith in Place
Lorena Lopez, Outreach Coordinator: Energy Programs, Faith in Place
Samantha Miller, Outreach Support Staff: Energy Programs, Faith in Place
Velma Pate, Co-Chair, Covenant UCC Green Ministry Team
CUCC Green Team Members: Marlon Townsen, Diane Dorsey, Kim Frazier, Angela Digg Taylor, Lisa Jeff
Rev. Gwendolyn Kirkland, Associate Pastor of Stewardship and Liaison to the CUCC Green Ministry
Rev. William Kyle, Co-Advisor, CUCC Green Ministry
Rev. Vanessa Monroe, Associate Pastor to Youth, CUCC
Rev. Rhoda J. Barnes, Director of Pastoral Services, CUCC
Rev. Dr. Ozzie E. Smith Jr., Senior Pastor, CUCC
Commissioner Carrie Steele and Sharon Cannon, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District
Sheila Porter, Water Reclamation of Public Affairs
Sharon Green, Account Executive of Graphics Promotions
Ashley Dowden, Director of Five Cluster, South Holland, IL
Rev. Melbalenia Evans, Director of Illinois Conference
Tony Williamson, Farmer of Mother Carr’s, Vernon Park UCC
Diane Dunn, Trinity All Nations Church
CUCC North Youth & Teens