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Here Comes the Sun
18 June, 2016 @ 11:30 am - 3:00 pm
Lake View Congregation takes Lead in Move to Renewable Energy!
It’s urgent! The recent study showing melting ice sheets in western Antarctica threatening coastal cities like New York alerts us to the dangers of our continued dependence on fossil fuels. Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ has heard this message and is taking action, installing photovoltaic panels on its roof to produce the building’s electricity (Includes Timeline Theatre) and when the production exceeds the building’s needs, will go directly to supplying the local power grid. (See the solar production in action at http://bit.ly/1S2BsEj )
But this Lake View faith community isn’t satisfied with this achievement alone. Their June celebration “Here Comes the Sun” will focus on encouraging other faith communities and organizations to make the move to solar as well.
“We hope our move to solar will motivate other congregations, businesses and schools to see this as an investment in the future,” says Pam Richart, Wellington member who has helped guide this process with Ailey Solar. “It’s a smart investment- in only 7 years the savings will have covered our costs, but it’s also meant to help show the way toward a healthier planet”
This action follows the surge of new commitments that came out of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change to divest from fossil fuels and transition to renewable energy. While the Agreement was an important step, most scientists agree that the timetable for transition is too slow. NOW is the time to push the transition to renewables forward.
Climate change is only one of several issues where this faith community has taken leadership. In 1984 they were the first congregation in Chicago to offer sanctuary to refugees from Central America. They were the first UCC congregation in Illinois to ordain an openly Gay man in 1976. They have been on the leading edge fighting for the end to the death penalty and are currently an Immigrant Welcoming Congregation.
What: Here Comes the Sun! A Celebration of the Move to Solar Energy
When: June 18, 2016
Where: Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ 615 W. Wellington, Chicago IL
11:30 Family Eco Festival
Music, Refreshments, Solar Production Info and Art Project
1-3pm Eco Solar Educational Event: Taking the Lake View Lead in Solar
Learn how you or your institution can move the solar agenda forward in Lake View and the city from the experience of this congregation. No more waiting for “the right moment” It’s urgent that everyone work for more renewable energy and free ourselves from fossil fuels. This “Solar Panel” will discuss the urgency of this effort and the “how-to’s” from grants to installation.
Pam Richart, Eco Justice Collaborative; David Ulrich, Executive Director of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Imitative; Kathy Engert, Project Coordinator; Dorian Breuer, Ailey Solar.
Interview Available with Pam Richart
Pam Richart is co-founder of Eco-Justice Collaborative and has been a member of Wellington Avenue UCC since 2002. During that time, she worked with her church community to help lower household carbon footprints via workshops and community-wide educational events; co-led efforts that resulted in making Wellington’s historic, 104-year old church building more energy efficient; and, most recently, obtained the grant that made the new solar array at Wellington possible. Eco Justice Collaborative is a nonprofit thathas been instrumental in reducing power plant pollution; fighting coal subsidies; and creating public forums that explore pathways to a just, resilient, and environmentally-sustainable future.