Stone Harbor, New Jersey,  Episcopal Church blesses addition of 123 solar panels

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Parishioners at St. Mary's Episcopal Church on Third Avenue took 123 steps toward being a greener, more Earth-friendly parish Sunday in the form of a dedication ceremony for 123 solar panels that were installed in August and September.

The Rev. John Sosnowski said Monday that the project will result in parishioners being "better stewards" of the Earth.

"It's an investment in our future," Sosnowski said, adding that once the power-purchase agreement is completed between the church and 95th Street Power Associates LLC, the company that funded most of the project, the panels will become church property.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Economics, PoliticsEnergy, Natural Resources

Posted November 30, 2010 at 9:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. AnglicanFirst wrote:

Beyond these solar panels, which may say more about its incipient idolotry based upon secular ‘earth worship,’ rather than a sense of mission, what is this church doing to carry out The Great Commision?

November 30, 10:18 am | [comment link]
2. Adam 12 wrote:

I wish these things were more cost efficient.
They probably could have invested the cost in an endowment that would have easily paid a regular electric bill in perpetuity, with income to spare.

November 30, 10:39 am | [comment link]
3. Betsybrowneyes wrote:

What a blast from the past! I remember as a child attending service at St Mary’s when on vacation. With three daughters in tow, Mom put her extra chapel veil on my older sister’s head and bobby-pinned handkerchiefs to my hair and to my younger sister’s. Although off topic, thanks for the memory. grin

November 30, 2:56 pm | [comment link]
4. magnolia wrote:

no. 1 i don’t get how investing in solar panels means anyone is ‘earth worshiping’. why not use the sun for energy? it doesn’t contribute to pollution. are you saying that Christians should only suppport polluting technologies??

November 30, 6:47 pm | [comment link]
5. clayton wrote:

If the power-purchase agreement is anything like the one at my office, basically the solar panels are installed free, and the church will pay an amount that is basically equal to a typical power bill for X number of months, to “buy” the energy from the company that installed the panels.  At the end of the agreement, they own the panels and no longer pay this energy bill, and are free to sell any excess energy back to the power grid.  It’s pretty much a win-win; the installing company gets all of the excess energy produced until the solar panels are paid for, and the church keeps paying the same amount for energy every month and there’s not a big up-front cost.  If I owned my own home, I’d be looking into something similar for my roof. 
</solar geek>

November 30, 7:34 pm | [comment link]
6. AnglicanFirst wrote:

“are you saying that Christians should only suppport polluting technologies??”

What I am saying is that Christian churches should focus their full energies on carrying out the Great Commission.

Its fine outside of church to do environmental things, but if it is a focus of church ministry, it should be a secondary and possibly even a tertiary focus.

I would have been much happier to have seen this church involved in feeding starving Christians in Africa and other places as a ministry in support of the Great Commandment.

What I tend to see in these ‘extracurricular activities’ within ECUSA are parishes doing a whole lot about things that very neatly ‘tie in’ with the secular activities of the ‘politically correct’ of the secular world and very little regarding both the Great Commission and the Great Commandment.

Carry this solar panel thing far enough and it can become a form of ‘ministry to the earth’ or ‘worship of the earth’ which is of course a form of idolatry.

November 30, 8:38 pm | [comment link]
7. clayton wrote:

I am totally confused by your hostility toward this.  What form of utilities is a better fit for the Great Commission?  If, as I suspect, the deal is cost-neutral in the short-term and eliminates energy costs and is possibly revenue-generating before the current crop of Sunday schoolers graduates from high school…how does the Great Commission suffer? I agree that there’s as much Eco-silliness in the church as other kinds of silliness, but good stewardship is still good stewardship.

December 1, 4:19 am | [comment link]
8. aldenjr wrote:

I wouldn’t mind seeing the Church invest its energy income after the solar panels are paid, to mission activity in the developing world.  Perhaps they could actually support solar panels for light in churches and schools in Africa where they do not have electricity.

December 1, 8:21 pm | [comment link]
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