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Mid-Kentucky Presbytery is one of 18 national runners-up for Interfaith Power & Light’s ‘Cool Congregations’ awards

The presbytery prioritizes energy efficiency, renewables and sustainability. Four congregations are also honored for their work

by Interfaith Power & Light | Special to Presbyterian News Service

Photo by Chuttersnap via Unsplash

LOUISVILLE — Mid-Kentucky Presbytery is one of the 18 national Interfaith Power & Light 2023 Cool Congregations Challenge awarded a $500 runner-up award. The annual contest accepts applications from religious congregations and organizations around the United States doing work to address global warming by reducing their carbon footprint as they create models of sustainability within their communities.

Mid-Kentucky Presbytery, a regional governing body of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), is composed of 47 congregations in 29 counties in the center of the Commonwealth. The presbytery won the Electric Vehicle Leader award for helping eight congregations in Kentucky install fee-free, EV charging stations, in partnership with Evolve Kentucky. The presbytery hopes to inspire other congregations to follow its example and install EV charging stations.

“Mid-Kentucky Presbytery and the other national awardees are casting a vision for the kind of world in which they want to live, and then carrying out that vision with practical actions that make a real difference in creating lasting solutions to climate change,” said the Rev. Susan Hendershot, president of Interfaith Power & Light.

Four PC(USA) congregations won recognition in the runner-up category:

  • New Providence Presbyterian Church in Maryville, Tennessee, which won a Cool Planner award for its plans for an organic vegetable garden to support a free weekly meals service the church provides to the community.
  • First Presbyterian Church in Conway, Arkansas, which won the Electric vehicle Leader award for its EV demo day, when church members and friends distributed helpful educational information on electric vehicles, including incentives and environmental and health impacts.
  • Second Presbyterian Church in Little Rock, Arkansas, which won the Electric Vehicle Leader award for its EV demo day and its two solar-powered EV chargers offered free to the community.
  • First Presbyterian Church of Haddonfield, New Jersey, which won the Renewable Role Model award for advocating with the local utility, the state Board of Public Utilities, the city’s Historic Preservation Commission and Planning Board, and for working with local authorities to enable the church to install panels that are preventing 45 tons of carbon emissions annually. The church’s advocacy is paving the way for others to install solar panels in Haddonfield.

The “Cool Congregations Challenge” shows that people of faith are united by concerns about climate change and are taking action. The winners provide strong, moral role models for their communities, and their activities have a ripple effect with people in their own homes.

“The installation of free electric vehicle charging stations witnesses to the Church’s commitment to the stewardship of all Creation,” said the Rev. Dr. John Odom, general presbyter for Mid-Kentucky Presbytery. “It is one small step that shows the world that the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) seeks to practice the Earth care that we preach.”

Interfaith Power & Light is mobilizing a religious response to global warming in congregations through the promotion of energy conservation, energy efficiency and renewable energy. Find Interfaith Power & Light on Facebook here and on Twitter here.

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