Rev. Daphne Cody of St. Elisabeth’s Episcopal Church in Glencoe believes that the introduction of the solar panels on the church roof “created a shift in our church on how to think about mission in our community in a really helpful way.”
Decades before putting up solar panels, the church had devoted much of their property to green initiatives.
Several memorial gardens, including the 90 foot Bethany Garden Labyrinth, demonstrate the congregation’s stewardship of the Earth and provide space for people to spend time outdoors interacting with the world around them.
Building on that momentum, the members of St. Elisabeth’s Episcopal Church decided to deepen their environmental conservation efforts.
With the support of Faith in Place, the church was able to connect with resources and individuals willing to help transition the parish into a green place of worship.
In 2012, the congregation received a grant for solar panels with the help of Lisa Albrecht and the Solar Service. That same year, the church installed thirty solar panels on the roof of the Parish Hall.
The addition of solar panels minimized the congregation’s dependence on nonrenewable energy, reduced their energy expenses by over 50%, and created excitement within the community about their progress in conservation.
They also reassured people that investing in the church and green energy would establish a legacy of environmentalism.
“Investing in solar panels not only helped us to all think in longer range for our efforts in conservation, or about the Earth. It also made us think longer term about our church, that's its mission in all areas will go on for longer than we'll all be here,” says Rev. Cody.
St. Elisabeth’s Episcopal Church has continued to transform their building over the past several years. The church has recently begun replacing their one hundred year old windows with more insulated, energy-saving windows.
The congregation has also connected with two nearby parishes, a synagogue and church, to encourage energy audits and investment in green retrofits. St. Elisabeth’s also hopes to incorporate more educational programs on water preservation.
St. Elisabeth's Episcopal Church preaches the importance of sustainability, and has applied those teachings within their own place of worship.
Are you interested in learning more about solar panels, energy audits, or water preservation? Visit our Climate Change & Energy page to learn more about how Faith in Place can assist your faith community with these projects.