Helping Churches Care for Creation
“More churches are approaching us and asking for resources to help them address climate change,” said Mulder. “We can equip them with knowledge and resources they can use to make a real difference. With over 1,200 partners from hundreds of congregations, we are facilitating congregations sharing and learning from each other.” Read the full story here.
Churches Supported to Move to Solar
Many churches engaged with our network have made the move towards solar energy. Emmanuel Episcopal was able to instal panels on their 19th-century building. Other churches have also added solar such as Church of the Servant, Plymouth, Ann Arbour Campus Chapel, and Bethany. Read more here.
The series was designed to help individuals and families look at their lifestyle and find ways to get serious about reducing their carbon footprints. Hear quotes from different participants explaining the impact that attending the series had on them. Read the full story here.
Putting A Face on Climate Change
Deanna Geelhoed, 24, and Anneke Spoelma, 14, attended a Climate Witness Project Bootcamp. They travelled to parts of Kenya and Uganda, the two said they observed first hand its far-reaching effects. The trip also allowed them to better understand the way these effects are felt in developing countries where many people make their living as subsistence farmers.They talk about how the expeience shaped their perspective in this story.
Valley CRC Signs up for Community Solar
In 2015, Valley CRC of Binghamton, N.Y., looked into installing solar panels on its roof, but due to expense, aesthetic, and structural concerns, they decided not to pursue the project at that time. In 2018, however, the option of community solar became available in the area, and it seemed like a natural fit for Valley CRC. Earlier this year, they officially signed up with solar company Nexamp for community solar. Valley CRC sees many benefits in pursuing community solar:
Renewable solar energy helps the church be a better environmental steward.
They’re supporting a project run by a local company.
They’re supporting New York State's Energy Plan (50% electricity will come from renewable energy resources).
They will save 10% on their electric bill, with no capital expense required.
It encourages members of the congregation to follow suit in their own homes.
Valley CRC has taken additional energy stewardship steps as well, including installing roof insulation, an energy efficient boiler, and LED lighting. In the future, Valley CRC hopes to explore ENERGY STAR certification.
Medowlands CRC and LED Lighting
Meadowlands Fellowship CRC in Ancaster, ON recently upgraded its lighting, replacing about 380 fluorescent tubes (32W) with 325 LED tubes (18W, 2200 lumens, 3500K colour; designed for use in existing electronic ballasts). This will reduce the lighting energy demand in the building by about 50%. Many of the fixtures that had multiple tubes (two, three or four) were replaced with one less LED tube, without noticeably affecting the light output. This is because not only are the LEDs brighter, the light is also directed downward, rather than in all directions as with fluorescent tubes. This project received a grant of $7 per tube from the Save On Energy program in Ontario (saveonenergy.ca); as part of that program, old fluorescent tubes must be returned for proper recycling. The estimated pay-back period is less than two years. Several years earlier, the outside lights, which used mercury vapor bulbs, were replaced with LED lamps, leading to an 80% decrease in energy demand.
On September 27, 2016, this worshiping community turned on 44 rooftop solar panels and began producing our own electricity for the Campus Chapel. This moment was the culmination of a year-long process of exploring options for producing renewable energy for their building. Learn more about their experience installing solar panels and the connections they see between creation/energy stewardship and faith in this article.
Last fall, Dr. Henry Brouwer was able to show the Director of Physical Plant and Security at Redeemer University College that changing the common fluorescent tubes used throughout the academic building to LED tubes would have a pay-back of generally less than two years. In addition, through a rebate program in Ontario each LED tube received a rebate of $7.00. Initially about 1,000 fluorescent tubes that were on most of the time were replaced, leading to an estimated cost savings of at least $12,000 per year, along with a reduction of about 44% in energy usage. An added benefit is reduced maintenance (as the LEDs should last longer than the fluorescent tubes) and more light. Based on the success of this initiative, Redeemer has replaced nearly all of the fluorescent tubes in its academic building. Read more about their efforts here.
Several churches in Classis Red Mesa have been able to install energy-efficient lighting and take other steps to save money and protect the environment thanks to financial support from the CRC Foundation and OSJ. Read more about their efforts here.
Hope CRC in Oak Forest, Illinois was the first church in the Christian Reformed Church in North America to receive ENERGY STAR certification! Read about their energy-saving efforts here.
Church of the Servant CRC in Grand Rapids, Michigan was the second church in the Christian Reformed Church in North America to receive ENERGY STAR certification! Read about their efforts here, including solar panels, recycling initiatives, and more.
Lagrave Ave CRC in Grand Rapids, Michigan was the third church in the Christian Reformed Church in North America to receive ENERGY STAR certification! Read about their journey to achieving the certification here.