By the Rev. Canon Pam Hyde, Canon for Creation Care
When I began as the Canon for Creation Care a little over a year ago, the most common question I got from congregations in the diocese was, “Can you help us get solar for our church?” It was a question that I was thrilled to hear! Our continued use of fossil fuels is one of the greatest drivers of our changing climate, which in turn is one of the greatest threats our planet has ever faced. If we are to be faithful caretakers of God’s gift of the Earth, which was created, loved and placed into our keeping by the Al-mighty, we must address this climate crisis. Transitioning to renewable energy is a life-giving way of doing it.
Solar energy is the most abundant energy resource on earth. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 173,000 terawatts of solar energy strikes the Earth continuously — more than 10,000 times the world’s total energy use. And fortunately, the cost of solar has fallen over 20% over the past five years, making a move to solar easier.
All of these factors led to the decision to find a way to answer the question I’d been getting with a resounding
“Yes!” Following the lead of a few other dioceses, we developed a diocesan-level program that would facilitate the installation of solar panels on as many interested churches as possible. Through the Harvesting the Sun program, the diocese is committed to not only support and assist churches as they seek to transition to this abundant source of clean energy, but to provide something of real value to them and to share the work.
Furthermore, the program is designed with the goal of eliminating up-front payments and spreading out costs over time, making participation an option for more churches.
The first step is to identify the churches that wish to investigate this opportunity. We invite all of you to explore the potential for making the solar transition at your church through the Harvesting the Sun pro-gram! No commitment to obtain so-lar is required at this point — just a desire to see what’s possible. If your church hasn’t already accepted the invitation to explore further and wishes to do so, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Email Canon Pam: email@example.com to learn more.