So you’ve resolved to go on a diet. After a year of church dinners, I’m with you! But have you considered putting your church on a diet—an energy diet? You’ll be in good company if you do.
Richards Memorial United Church in London, Ontario, for one, is among the growing number of churches that are exercising good energy stewardship. They will dedicate their cross-shaped array of new solar panels on January 6 to mark the Christian celebration of Epiphany, when wise men are believed to have followed the light to find young Jesus. They describe it as a visible sign of hope and a statement to their community—especially to children and youth—about their commitment to be a light to God’s future for this world that God loves. Their annual greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by 11 tonnes, compared with energy produced by fossil fuels. (Read the full London Free Press story, which includes a photo.)
I’ve lost track of how many United Church congregations have been in touch over the past year describing similar initiatives. I find it interesting that they often also describe how these globally minded initiatives have reignited spiritual renewal and community interest.
At every time of year Christians look to the Light of Christ to guide our resolution-making. Sometimes we begin with renewed commitments to our prayer practices, improving the health of our souls; sometimes we begin with resolutions focused on improving relationships with those of our “village,” addressing the health of community; sometimes we begin with resolutions for the sake of the whole of God’s world, the health of creation. Thankfully, Spirit moves through each of these renewed practices in ways that bless the other two.
So Epiphany resolutions to any one of these—soul, community, or creation—represent a commitment to them all. May you be blessed as you renew your commitments in response to the Light of Christ breaking into the world that God loves.