SSC partners with inner-city congregations: When sustainable practices make a difference

Colleen Simon, a leader at St. Mark’s Hope and Peace Lutheran Church located in the inner city, reached out to SSC a few months ago to ask for help incorporating sustainability into their social justice mission. Since then, an exciting new collaboration has begun.

Greening an Old Church Facility

One of SSC’s goals is to serve as a resource for congregations in greening their facilities. SSC was fortunate when Michael Harrison, an engineer and facilities manager, joined its board of directors and became the chair of the Facilities Team. When St. Mark’s needed help with their facilities, he responded to the need.

Harrison visited St. Mark’s and met Pastor Donna Simon to identify ways the church could save energy. After walking through the building and listening to Donna’s concerns, Harrison was able to make a few simple changes and suggestions to help them begin to reduce their energy costs.  Colleen remarked that within the same day of his visit, Harrison discovered how to heat their offices more efficiently and reduce their energy use because space heaters were no longer needed.

“My congregation has begun working with Sustainable Sanctuary and we are grateful for the changes they have helped us make. It is the right thing to do. And we are already seeing a savings on utilities thanks to their help,” Colleen said.

Interested in having an SSC representative visit your congregation to discuss your energy use? Contact us!

Education Programs for Inner City Churches

SSC presented an Awakening the Dreamer Symposium on April 13 for St. Mark’s and neighboring churches. Theo Bunch, a member at St. James Catholic Church and an organizer with Gillis, a local organization that provides services for children, attended the event and brought a few young men with him. It definitely made my young men think and we talked on the drive back about how people make things better and what they could do,” Bunch said, “I think it resonated.” Awakening the Dreamer is intended to inspire its attendees to make the connections between community, spirituality, and ecology. SSC offers it as a way to engage new people and develop a common passion within a community. Read Colleen’s blog post to better understand the event’s profound message.

On May 22, SSC will also be giving a Green Team Training to prepare St. Mark’s and other congregations to begin a sustainability ministry. We are prayerfully seeking funds to help us better serve this well-deserved community. With St. Mark Hope and Peace’s leadership and this new SSC partnership, we hope to serve parts of Kansas City that desire to make the transformation but don’t always have the resources.

Interested in getting involved or donating to this effort? Contact and find out how you can help.