Congregations across the nation are caring for the earth we call home in a variety of creative ways. We know that Presbyterian congregations can become recognized as Earth Care Congregations through the Presbyterian Hunger Program.
But also, in an interfaith and national setting, there is also the annual contest offered by our wonderful partner Interfaith Power & Light. This organization and this competition recognized two of our PC(USA) Earth Care Congregations for their achievements!
Congratulations to Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church, Severna Park, Maryland, recognized in the Energy Saver category; and to Oak Grove Presbyterian Church, Bloomington, Minnesota, for its achievement as an Electric Vehicle Leader.
ENERGY SAVER Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church – Woods Church Renew Energy Savings Campaign
Woods has an old facility that operates 24/7. They addressed HVAC and lighting, with a clear goal of reducing energy use by 50%. They had an engineering study conducted with a statement of work and proposals offered. They were methodical in their phased approach, addressing the building envelope with weatherization, sealing and insulation. 30 volunteers worked to make it a reality. They achieved a 52% total energy reduction, with $35,000 in cost savings!
ELECTRIC VEHICLE LEADER Oak Grove Presbyterian Church – Electric Vehicle Expos 2018, 2019, 2021
The Oak Grove Presbyterian Church clearly exemplifies community care and climate alignment. Of the 490 members, 12 are electric vehicle owners, resulting in 2.4% ownership rate. The church offers two on-site level 2 chargers with free charging; these chargers are accessible by church members and to the surrounding public. This free infrastructure accessibility is crucial to supporting additional community members with transitioning from gas to electric vehicles. Both the Mission Committee and Green Committee advocate for climate equity advancements at their church and within their community. In addition to infrastructure accessibility and advocacy, Oak Grove elevates climate equity through various EV education and engagement efforts. Their church is aware of and actively participating in local climate and climate equity spaces. See their latest Electric Vehicle expo page.
The Presbyterian Hunger Program is thankful for these Earth Care Congregations – and many others around the nation – who are seeking to better care for God’s creation and walk in healthy ways in their communities. We are also thankful to Interfaith Power and Light for their partnership in encouraging congregations to help make a difference for now and for the future.
Photos courtesy of the congregations, shared from the IPL Cool Congregations web page. To read more about the winners and the contest, see: 2022 Cool Congregations Challenge Winners.
The work of the Presbyterian Hunger Program is possible thanks to your gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing.