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Maryland church given ‘Cool Congregations Challenge’ award

Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church is one of 12 churches to receive a runner-up award from Interfaith Power & Light

by Interfaith Power & Light | Special to Presbyterian News Service

Image by Amy Shamblen via Unsplash

LOUISVILLE — Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church in Severna Park, Maryland, has been named one of 12 national Interfaith Power & Light 2022 Cool Congregations Challenge winners receiving a runner-up award.

The annual contest accepts applications from congregations across the United States who are doing work to reduce their carbon footprint and create models of sustainability within their communities.

Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church won the Energy Saver Award for reducing its energy consumption by 52%. Church members had an engineering study conducted and, IPL said, were “methodical in their phased approach.” Woods Memorial addressed the building envelope with weatherization, sealing and insulation. Thirty volunteers worked to make the church’s vision for more efficient energy use a reality.

The church has engaged in a capital campaign called Renew to significantly reduce its energy usage through installation of ultra-high efficiency HVAC systems, upgrades to all LED lighting, installation of highly efficient windows and numerous building insulation improvements. The collective improvements yield an annual reduction in carbon emissions of over 400 metric tons of CO2, with an annual cost savings of $30,000.

“Our congregation is honored to be acknowledged for our environmental work,” said the Rev. Nancy Lincoln Reynolds, Woods Memorial’s associate pastor for pastoral care and evangelism. “As a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Earth Care Congregation, we have made a commitment to work toward sustainability.  Receiving the Cool Congregations Challenge Award is exciting for us, and we hope it will inspire greater emphasis on sustainability as a faith practice.”

“Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church and the other national winning congregations are carrying out practical actions that make a real difference in creating lasting solutions to climate change,” said the Rev. Susan Hendershot, president of Interfaith Power & Light.

Interfaith Power & Light is empowering congregations through the promotion of energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy. The Cool Congregations Challenge shows that people of faith are taking action to be better stewards of this planet. Their activities serve as an example for people in their own homes.

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