St. Simon of Cyrene blessed the congregation’s new photovoltaic solar system during a special creation-themed liturgy celebrating St. Francis of Assisi on October 9.
Pastor Mary Laymon led the service, which blessed a 15.4 kW system consisting of 41 Silfab photovoltaic panels on the church’s south-facing roof. Installed by Solar Power & Light of Miamisburg, the system has been generating approximately 60 percent of the congregation’s electrical power since it went online on July 30, said Ken Wright, a member of the congregation who serves on the Creation Care and Environmental Justice Commission.
St. Simon’s paid for the installation through a parishioner’s gift, church funding and a matching grant from the BQuest Foundation of California, Wright said. The grant was obtained through the Moonshot Solar Program administered by Hammond Climate Solutions of San Diego. St. Simon’s qualified on the basis of its long history of community service in and to the Village of Lincoln Heights.
Wright said the congregation hoped its initiative—which has reduced the church’s carbon dioxide emission by the equivalent of planting 22 trees each month—would inspire other congregations to investigate the use of solar energy. Interested parties should contact Ken Wright via email.