In the summer of 2012, St Elisabeth’s took a bold step for the future by investing in solar panels. The 7.2kW array not only helps offset our own operating costs, but also puts excess energy back onto the local power grid. In the first four months alone, the panels had reduced our own electric bill and generated enough additional energy to power 122 houses for a day saving 65 trees in the process. And that was just the beginning.
What a fabulous image for the St Elisabeth community of faith! Ours is indeed a solar panel community. On the one hand, we at St Elisabeth’s apply their creativity and energy to make possible all that we do within. We constantly seek to ‘offset our own operating costs’ by nurturing and sustaining our own community. From parish retreats to Christian formation, from buildings and grounds to budgeting, from worship to fellowship, the people of this parish make possible a tremendous amount. Over and over people step up in ways that are inspiring and exciting. We make the most of what we have. There is a profound and infectious desire to grow and deepen our connection with each other and God. Ours is a community of faith that is a beautiful power source.
In addition, we are deeply invested in making a difference in the world around us. The people of St Elisabeth’s understand and appreciate using what we have for more than just ‘our sole benefit.’ With Family Promise and Soup Kitchen, Christmas baskets and Diocesan support, this small parish puts a high value on making a difference in this world. In addition to what the parish does as a whole, the people of St Elisabeth’s give significantly of both time and effort to other organizations making important differences in the world. We have mapped all the organizations and efforts we help lead, contribute to or are active in in some way. We truly believe in sharing our power and energy beyond our own community!
Much of what happens here isn’t either/or but both/and. Parenting conversations, singing together, sharing our stories and holding a family promise infant are all solar panel moments. When we are fed and nurtured in loving community of faith, we grow and deepen as faithful people, more alive and capable of making a greater difference in the world around us. There is amazing energy being generated and fostered here that spreads out beyond these red doors putting excess love and energy into the power grid of life.
All of this is made possible by the generous contributions of those who believe in the mission and ministry of St. Elisabeth’s. We thank all who have contributed to the 2013 year, and we invite others to join in our exciting adventure.