Environmental Ministries

Live Love: Caring for Creation
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Welcome to First Congregational Church’s Environmental Ministries Page!

Theological Connections

Sustain Creation

Sustaining Creation

Explore how the Creation Story and the Great Commandment can help us to form our response to the greatest crisis humanity has ever faced.

The United Church of Christ

The United Church of Christ

The United Church of Christ is an inclusive and diverse community of Christians connected by faith that calls us to build a just world for all. 

The Acton Institute

The Acton Institute

 The Acton Institute describes itself as “a think-tank whose mission is to promote a free and virtuous society characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles.”

Eco Congregation of Scotland

Eco-Congregation Scotland

Eco-Congregation Scotland is a movement of Scottish church congregations, of all denominations and none, committed to addressing environmental issues through their life and mission.

Creation Justice Ministries

Creation Justice Ministries

Creation Justice Ministries educates, equips and mobilizes Christian communions/denominations, congregations and individuals to protect, restore, and rightly share God’s Creation.

Center for Earth Ethics

Center for Earth Ethics

National organization that works with religious communities to “cultivate the public consciousness needed to make changes in policy and culture that will establish a new value system that is based on this vision of the world.”

Local and Global Allies

Environmental groups active in the Elgin area

Elgin Sustainability Commission

Elgin Sustainability Commission

The Elgin Sustainability Commission works to address environmental issues in the city of Elgin.

The Izaak Walton League of America

Izaak Walton League of America

The Izaak Walton League of America  describes itself as “For nearly 100 years, the Izaak Walton League has fought for clean air and water, healthy fish and wildlife habitat, and conserving special places for future generations.”

The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy buys land to serve as habitat for endangered species of plants and animals. They describe themselves as “tackling some of the toughest problems facing people and nature today, replicating good ideas to save many places and improve people’s lives.”

Wild Ones Greater Kane County Chapter

Wild Ones Greater Kane County Chapter

Promote the use of native species of plants and sustainable landscaping.

Sierra Club

Sierra Club

A large national organization that combines lobbying to protect wild places and field trips to enjoy them.

Elgin Green Groups 350

Elgin Green Groups 350

Elgin’s local chapter of 350.org.  Elgin Green Groups 350 “was formed to support and share information about what environmental groups throughout the Fox Valley area are doing. We work to share information about events, actions, and goals so that we can pool resources.

Solar for All

In 2021, the First Congregational Church of Elgin made a historic leap towards sustainability by embracing solar energy. We embarked on a journey toward environmental stewardship that resonated not only with our congregation but also with the wider community.

With a forward-thinking vision and a commitment to reduce our carbon footprint, the church took a bold step by installing solar panels on our roof. This endeavor marked a significant milestone, as we became the first solar-powered church in the city.

The installation of solar panels wasn’t merely a practical decision but also a symbolic one. It represented a merging of faith and action, a tangible manifestation of the church’s dedication to caring for the Earth and its inhabitants. Congregants saw it as a fulfillment of their moral obligation to be good stewards of the environment, echoing the sentiment of many religious teachings emphasizing the importance of safeguarding the planet.

Moreover, the installation of solar panels brought tangible benefits to the church itself. By harnessing the abundant energy of the sun, the First Congregational Church of Elgin not only reduced its electricity bills but also generated clean, renewable energy, contributing to the overall well-being of the environment.

In 2022 we received the Elgin Mayors Award for this project.

Eco Group Events

The First Congregational Church of Elgin maintains an active Eco Group, whose dedication to ecological sustainability continues to flourish. In 2023, the group spearheaded a pivotal initiative to enhance the natural biodiversity of the church grounds by ensuring that all trees, plants, and flowers were native species. This conscientious effort not only promotes environmental health but also fosters a thriving ecosystem that supports local wildlife. While the Eco Group doesn’t convene monthly, they remain vigilant and responsive, gathering as needed throughout the Spring, Summer, and Fall months to coordinate the caretaking of the grounds, ensuring that the church remains a vibrant sanctuary of both faith and nature.

FCC Logo Icon

First Congregational

United Church of Christ - Elgin, IL


Embraces diversity, social justice, and progressive theology. Open and affirming, promoting love, acceptance, and inclusion.

About Us

Want to know more about our Church that started in Elgin founder, James Gifford's cabin? Meet our Church staff and learn more about the structure of First Congregational Church and the United Church of Christ.

Upcoming Events

Our Sunday services, special musical events, Ministry groups and community outreach offer ways to connect with our congregation regularly. Join us!

How We Give

We believe we are called to touch lives not only in our immediate, local community, but also in the larger world in need.

Welcome From Pastor Jesse

Welcome to First Congregational Church of Elgin! I’m so glad you found our website!

One of the important affirmations in the United Church of Christ is, “No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.”
Are you craving an authentic connection to God? Are you looking for a progressive message about faith and spirituality?
Are you ready for a sense of belonging and involvement? Are you seeking to find meaning in your unanswered questions?

Then FCC Elgin is the place for you!

We’re a spiritual community with a long, rich, diverse heritage here in Elgin for 184+ years. We’re a church that is proudly progressive, intentionally inclusive, and authentically Christian. We honor many paths to God, encourage questions, seek social justice, care for the planet, and welcome LGBTQ individuals and families.

There are many ways to learn more about us and get involved, so please explore our website and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.

Peace to you in Jesus Christ,

Pastor Jesse Tanner