The Minneapolis Area Synod recently announced two new programs that provide resources to help congregations improve the health of their neighborhoods and the energy efficiency of their buildings. The projects – one a grant program, the other a loan program — were announced at the Synod Assembly on May 15, 2015.

As part of the synodical commitment that all people live in just and healthy neighborhoods, the synod is accepting proposals from congregations for grants of $3000-5000 to partner on innovative efforts. The guidelines explain eligibility for the grants.

The funds for this Just and Healthy Neighborhoods Grant Program are available because more than 65% of the synod’s plan members took the Portico Health Assessment in 2014.

The Energy Efficiency Loan Fund will support the environmental and financial stewardship of congregations by providing loans to congregations that have meet certain requirements. Property improvements like new lighting, programmable thermostats, and water-saving technologies will qualify. Applications are available on the synod website.

The funds for this loan program come from a seed InFaith Foundation grant and conservative fiscal management within the synod.