Environmentally Conscious Church to Dedicate Installed Solar Panels
Madison, Wis., Nov. 6, 2002 -- The Madison Christian Community will hold a service of dedication on Sunday, Nov. 10, for a photovoltaic energy unit that was installed mid-October on the churchs rooftop. The service will take place outdoors at approximately 11:30 a.m., immediately following regular Sunday worship services.
Located at 7118 Old Sauk Rd., the Madison Christian Community (MCC) is an ecumenical partnership between Community of Hope, a United Church of Christ congregation, and Advent Lutheran, a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
The photovoltaic energy unit, or solar panels, was funded in part by a $15,000 demonstration grant from Wisconsins Focus on Energy. In installing the unit, the Madison Christian Community hopes to reduce energy consumption and emission into the atmosphere, and be a visible example to the general public of their commitment to stewardship of the environment. The faith community also plans to encourage and assist other churches to adopt strategies that reduce their propertys impact on the environment.
Installation of the photovoltaic unit is the culmination of more than a years focus on stewardship of the environment by the Madison Christian Community. In 2001 a task force was formed to explore the possibility of using a wind generator to provide energy for the church building. A site assessment was not favorable to a wind generator, but other components evolved out of the work of the task force.
As the result of several energy audits, the MCC has taken many steps to save energy. A rebate of $1,000 from Focus on Energy helped pay to change most of the ballasts and fluorescent lights in the building to more energy-efficient lighting. Kevin Little of Informing Ecological Design, LLC, installed a prototype of a computer monitoring system to track energy use around the clock. Now the church also monitors how much energy comes in through the solar panels, and computes the net result. Well be the first church in the country that I know of to have this system in place, said the Rev. Jeff Wild, pastor of Advent Lutheran Church.
In addition to changes to the building, the 400 members of Madison Christian Community were encouraged to make lifestyle changes that are environmentally responsible. A stewardship of our natural resources fair was held at the church in January of this year, and members made pledges to adopt specific practices as stewards of the environment. During the summer months of this year, more than 30 members participated on two eco-teams, learning about steps they could take as individuals to make their lifestyles more sustainable.
The people here have a genuine concern for caring for the environment, and helped make this project a reality, reflects Wild.
While this recent emphasis on stewardship of creation has brought about the dramatic addition of a photovoltaic energy unit, the Madison Christian Community has a long history of caring for the environment. When the original church building was constructed in 1970, it was built to be shared by the two congregations. Much of the MCCs five-acre site has been restored to native prairie plants and a portion of the property is divided into community garden plots. The church has an annual tradition of sending its high school youth to the Boundary Waters, which fosters an appreciation of creation, Wild said.
Focus on Energy is a public-private partnership offering energy information and services to energy utility customers throughout Wisconsin. The goals of the program are to encourage energy efficiency and use of renewable energy, enhance the environment, and ensure the future supply of energy for Wisconsin. For information about Focus on Energy services and programs, call 800-762-7077 or visit www.focusonenergy.com.
For more information on the MCC energy usage or prairie, click on the following links.
Have you ever needed something for a one time event and didn't want to buy it? Maybe a rototiller? How about a canoe trailer? Or an air mattress? The Environmental Task Force has published a list of items that MCC members are willing to loan to other members. Please contact Edd Hellmer (email@example.com or 829-2923) if you have items that you would be willing to share. For privacy reasons, the list is posted with your first name and last initial. If you wish to borrow the item, look up the lender in the directory to find their contact information.