Great Lakes Creation Care Collaborative Retreat Forms Action Plan

The Minnesota Conference UCC is dedicated to combining our voices to further courageous action, justice, and mercy.

The Great Lakes Creation Care Collaborative finished its August 2023 retreat with a plan of action around plastic pollution and transforming divestment from fossil fuels into investing in alternative sustainable energies.

The Collaborative spent two days discussing the issues of pollution and use of the Great Lakes and their watersheds. The discussion also included how to demand change from government agencies and corporate entities that continue to harm the water, land, and air.

Between the six UCC conferences represented at this first in-person meeting, we mapped out action plans and discussed ca events that we could all do simultaneously from our respected locations, such as worship services, cleanup around our lakes and rivers, and advocacy at our state capitals. We hope that our promotion and documentation of these events will spur action around all the conferences of the United Church of Christ and beyond.

This collaborative has grown so much over two years of education and connection through Zoom meetings and conversations. It now is a movement of individuals at both congregational and Conference levels who are determined to advocate for our Living Earth by continuing to speak for government and corporate changes.

With the newly named Great Lakes Collaborative-UCC, the Heartland, Michigan, Indiana-Kentucky, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota Conferences are hoping to encourage more Conferences and individuals to join us in healing and protecting our five Sisters–Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, Ontario–and their watersheds.

Rev. John Helt, a core leader and participant from the Wisconsin Conferences, aid, “My sense of the retreat is that while we gathered with the intention to protect our ‘Five Sisters,’ it turns out that they blessed us with new hope, joy and resolve to further our care for the Earth.”

More information about future meetings, resources, and activities, contact Rev. Sheri Nelson at or Rev. Mike Mulberry at

© Minnesota Conference United Church of Christ | 2023