What is the Pam De Young Net Zero Energy Fund?

The term, net zero energy describes buildings or communities that generate enough energy to meet their own needs. The Pam De Young Net Zero Energy Fund provides funds to assist Mennonite Church USA congregations interested in installing solar panels, car charging stations or other forms of renewable energy.

About Russell and Pam De Young 

The fund is provided by the generosity of Russell De Young, Newport News, Va., in memory of his wife, Pam De Young. Pam’s compassion, her delight in the natural world and her attention to household habits such as recycling made her a shining example of what creation care looks like on a daily basis.

Russell’s scientific work at NASA left him deeply concerned about climate change. He has worked with supercomputers that create models of climate change scenarios and helped his organization plan for the weather disruptions of the future. He offers this seed money to spur Mennonite churches to move toward net zero energy as rapidly as possible.

Who is eligible?

Mennonite Church USA congregations willing to craft and execute an ongoing plan that will move them toward net zero energy.

How may the funds be used?

The grants are for hardware purchases related to solar panels, car charging stations or other renewable energy projects. Most solar grants are $5000, but congregations may request up to $10,000. Grants for car charging stations are limited to $1800.

How can my congregation apply for a grant?

  • Contact Karla Stoltzfus Detweiler at Mennonite Church USA  to request the appropriate forms. Send your inquiry to climatejustice@MennoniteUSA.org.
  • Applications may be submitted between April 1 and June 15 each year.
  • Applicants are asked to show that their request is part of a larger creation care plan that includes energy conservation, engages many members and is a public witness to the community.

Related Writings 

Turning Away From Despair: NASA Scientist Calls Mennonite Churches to Pursue Renewable Energy, by Jennifer Schrock. This article was published in the August 2016 print issue of The Mennonite.

Net Zero Energy Grant Recipients


  • Hesston Mennonite Church, Hesston, KS $5,000
  • First Mennonite Church, Newton, KS $5,000
  • Laurelville Retreat Center with Scottdale Mennonite Church, Mount Pleasant, PA $1,800



  • Mountain Lake Community Church, Palmer Lake, CO $4,000
  • Paoli Mennonite Church, Paoli, IN $4,000
  • University Mennonite Church, State College, PA $4,000



  • Landisville Mennonite Church, Landisville, PA, $10,000



  • First Mennonite Church of Indianapolis, IN, $5000
  • Southern Hills Mennonite Church, Topeka, KS, $5000



  • Metamora Mennonite Church, Metamora, IL, $5,000
  • Millersburg Mennonite Church, Millersburg, OH, $7,500



  • East Chestnut Mennonite Church, Lancaster, PA,  $1,800
  • Hagerstown Mennonite Church, Hagerstown, MD, $5,000
  • Shalom Mennonite Church, Tucson, IN, $5,000



  • Walnut Hill Mennonite Church, Goshen, IN, $7,500
  • Berkey Avenue Mennonite Fellowship, Goshen, IN, $5,000



  • Taftsville Chapel Mennonite Fellowship, Taftsville, VT, $10,000
  • Albuquerque Mennonite Church, Albuquerque, NM,  $5,000