Solarize Ohio, a task group in the diocese striving to put solar electric systems on as many diocesan buildings as possible, sent the following letter to the participating churches and sites. The project progressed last week in having 12 churches, Procter Center, and St. Monica’s Rec Center all agree to proceed with having a total 453 kilowatts of solar electric systems installed to offset grid power and help reduce the impacts of climate change. Solarize Ohio has learned that the Trustees of the Church Foundation have elected not to sign a Master Power Purchase Agreement for Solar Power as explained in the attached memo. In essence, this decision means we are unable to continue down our current path of installing solar panels on diocesan buildings. We continue to pursue other options to continue our work and will keep all informed about any possibilities.
Admittedly, the Solarize Ohio team is saddened with the Trustees’ decision. A thorough plan was presented that would have the dual effect of lowering energy costs for parishes and reducing environmental impact. Although the Trustees did not choose to move forward, they have expressed to Solarize Ohio that the last 18 months of work on this project has opened their eyes to the importance of caring for God’s creation as a key part of our diocesan commitment to ministry. We will continue to move forward on Creation Care initiatives across our diocese.
God wastes nothing. The time, effort, and commitment put into this process by the congregations involved has shaped us all and has opened our eyes to the potential ways we can fight climate change, resist environmental injustice, and efficiently maintain our worship and gathering spaces. We are grateful that for all who were willing to move forward with us on this journey, and we hope that in the coming weeks and months the whole diocese will join us as we develop a new path forward to realize the same shared goals. Please pray with us for God to light a way to that path. God’s creation still needs our care and we are committed to that task.
May you have a blessed Advent as we await the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Rev. Craig Foster