Justice and Advocacy



The Grove Church believes that every person is a beloved child of God, wonderfully made in God’s image. The Grove Pride Team advocates for full inclusion and affirmation of LGBT+ people in our church and community by initiating conversations, celebrating diversity, promoting education, advocating justice and challenging anti-LGBT+ prejudice, bigotry and hate.  All are welcome to join the PRIDE team!

Conversation, Advocacy, and Education

The Grove uses the following resources as discussion starters in our work of advocating for equal rights of persons who identify as LGBTQIA.  

The Gender Bread Person teaching tool breaks the big concept of gender into bite-sized pieces.  Occasionally workshops are offered using Gender Bread. 

Offered yearly, the Faithful and Inclusive small group encourages participants in developing perspectives on Bible passages related to homosexuality.  

A quick read with great depth, Beyond the Gender Binary provides a personal account of being too much and not enough. 

A guide for teens, Queerfully and Wonderfully Made includes support and insights from professionals as well as testimonials from teens.  It’s companion, Welcoming and Affirming, provides guidance to those working with LGBTQIA+ teens.


Same Gender Weddings

The Grove Pastors commit to supporting and celebrating same-gender marriages in the same way that we support and celebrate other marriages.  Pastors at The Grove are honored to officiate same-gender weddings to celebrate love and commitment.  As with any wedding conducted, supportive premarital counseling and thoughtful wedding planning is available.  Reach out to any pastor for more information.  


Parent Support Groups

This support group is for parents with kids and teens who identify as LGBTQIA or are questioning.  Meeting sometimes weekly and sometimes monthly, this group supports and encourages families who are on the journey of understanding and celebrating their fullness of their kids.


Mission Statement
To promote care of God’s creation by adopting practices that make our church campuses more sustainable and by working with our community on sustainable practices and environmental justice.

By 2030, The Grove will be recognized in the community as a leader in conservation, sustainability, renewable energy and an advocate for Climate Justice.

Church Property Improvements


Solar panels were installed on the roof of The Grove Church which supplied 20% of our electricity needs.


The Grove’s Sustainability Committee established


An Excel energy audit was performed and recommendations were made to improve our campus efficiency.

A Campus Improvement Campaign funded replacing all existing light bulbs on both campuses with LED lighting, improving our external electricity reduction to 40%. Improvements were also made with energy saving entrance doors and better insulation.


Applied for and received a grant from BizRecycling grant to improve our recycling and education efforts with church staff, the congregation and church preschool program.

Commissioned an arborist to evaluate the trees in our grove and develop a treatment and care plan.


Initiated a multi-year effort to restore a portion of our property to its original oak savanna state, with some accommodations to changing climate. This involves removing invasive buckthorn and replanting with native grasses and trees.


The Grove transitioned to 100% renewable electricity combining our solar panels and Xcel Energy’s Renewable Connect program.

Future goals include installing more efficient heating and cooling systems (e.g. heat pumps) in the church and we are interested in grants that would help with costs in these endeavors.

Other Activities

  • We encourage our congregation to reduce their individual and family carbon footprints with our Sustainability Pledge and to make sustainable choices in Christmas giving with our Green Gift Giving guides.
  • We created and adopted a Land Acknowledgement Statement in 2022 in conjunction with our Racial Justice team, and plan to continue to work together on environmental justice issues going forward.
  • We organize smaller events such as The Great Backyard Bird Count, nature hikes, book clubs, and movie screenings throughout the year.
  • We are now incorporating sustainability themes in the curriculum for children and youth within the church.
  • We maintain a team social media presence for communication and community surrounding environmental issues.
  • We encourage nonpartisan environmental political activism in our congregation that includes attendance of city council and committee meetings, letter writing and direct meetings with political leaders, and door knocking for voter turnout prior to elections. In addition to the 2020 fall event with Steve Simon, we also held a Caucus and Primary Training event earlier in that year.


As disciples of Jesus Christ who honor the sacred worth of all people and love our neighbors, The Grove United Methodist Church, through education and action to heal our broken world, is an advocate for racial justice and equity, cultural transformation, and an inclusive community.

Growing Goodness through Racial Justice Work

In the weeks that followed the murder of George Floyd in May 2020 the Core Leadership Team discerned a way forward in beginning the important work of addressing racial injustice. A Racial Justice Steering Committee was commissioned in January of 2021 to lead the first wave of a racial justice initiative for The Grove. Partnering with the Core Team, staff and the Racial Justice Steering Committee the purpose statement was developed and a three-year strategic plan was finalized in December of 2021.

The framework for The Grove’s Racial Justice Strategic Plan was informed by The Mission of the UMC & Spiritual Imperatives of our Annual Conference, The Grove’s Motivating Vision to “Grow Goodness” and the Anti-Racism Work in the Greater United Methodist Church.

Three racial justice action teams have been commissioned and action steps have been identified based on the strategic plan:

Congregational Awareness: Working to bring book studies, movie nights, sermon series and other experiences for the congregation to educate and build awareness around racial justice issues.


Training Opportunities: Working to bring workshops and other educational or training opportunities to the congregation.

Congregational Resources
: Working to develop a meaningful and accessible justice resource list (books, movies, podcasts, e-learning opportunities, TV shows, etc.) for The Grove and to develop & organize justice sections in the library.

Land Acknowledgment

The People of The Grove UMC acknowledge that our church sites are located on the ancestral home of the Wahpekute Dakota people who continue to live on and steward this land as they have for generations.

We acknowledge the history of trauma the Dakota people suffered due to unjust practices by the government of the United States and complicity of North American Christianity including progenitors of the United Methodist Church. This trauma is not just historic, it is also generational and contemporary. These unjust practices are inconsistent with The Grove’s mission to Grow Goodness.

We acknowledge the sanctity of Dakota heritage, their connection to the land and their unique ability to serve as examples of land stewardship as well as supportive, connected communities.

The Grove UMC commits to making connections with Indigenous people and to listen to their stories and learn how we can help address the errors of the past and make a better today and tomorrow for Indigenous people.