Photo: Randall, Ellen and son Connor Stoesz met with Jennifer Schrock of Mennonite Creation Care Network at the Michiana Mennonite Relief Sale. Randall is one of four children of Edgar Stoesz, and an administrator of the Stoesz Family Fund. Photo by Jennifer Schrock.
Mennonite Creation Care Network (MCCN) has a new benefit to share called Green Mustard Seed Grants. Congregations within Mennonite Church USA or Mennonite Church Canada and Anabaptist-related nonprofits are eligible to apply for $500 to $1,000 to assist with creation care projects.
The Green Mustard Seed Grants were made possible by a $10,000 donation to MCCN from the family of Edgar Stoesz of Akron, Pennsylvania. Stoesz, who served Mennonite Central Committee as an administrator over a span of 34 years, developed the Stoesz Family Fund in order to donate proceeds from the sale of a family farm. He and his four children, Susan Stoesz Bauman, Dean Stoesz, Randall Stoesz and Kris Stoesz are each involved in choosing causes and making decisions collectively.
“Our priority is to seek out and fund deserving but underfunded causes, preferably with some Christian (Anabaptist/ Mennonite) orientation,” Edgar Stoesz says.
The fact that environmental benefits are not distributed evenly, and that minority and poor communities bear the brunt of environmental burdens, is well-documented. MCCN particularly welcomes applications from congregations in communities suffering the effects of environmental injustice. Such projects could include but are not limited to goals such as providing healthy food in food deserts, addressing an air or water pollution problem or weather stripping a church building.
“We’ve administered our Net Zero Energy Grant for several years now, and I’ve seen how funding can inspire and encourage good work,” says Jennifer Schrock, leader of Mennonite Creation Care Network. “I look forward to seeing what kinds of projects our churches will come up with for this new grant.”
Grant requests will be reviewed twice per year until the fund is depleted. Deadlines are March 1 and Sept. 1. Application information is available on the MCCN website. Other donors are welcome to add to MCCN’s Green Mustard Seed Fund.