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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Church goes green with solar power

A story by Tom Murray on WTMJ:

SHOREWOOD - The Presbyterian church at Bartlett Avenue and Capitol Drive claims to be the first green church on the North Shore.

The congregation believes in making God's green earth a little greener.

"It's a way of helping to reduce our carbon footprint," said Reverend Jim Bender.

The 55-year-old church has a new look. There are three rows of solar panels on the roof pointing toward heaven.

Jackie Keltner and Sam Kashou belong to North Shore Presbyterian's very own eco focus group.

"I think they look fabulous," said Keltner. "Even on a relatively small scale, you can make a difference."

It's quite a leap of faith for Sam, who's been attending this church since 1948.

"Solar panels? They didn't even have that in the vocabulary," he quipped.

The panels will not do all the work. Church leaders estimate they will provide about 10-20 percent of the building's electricity.

It does add up to energy bill savings of almost $2,000 a year. Reverend Bender says the project adds up to better ministry.

"Churches are beginning to get back to the true Biblical idea that the earth is not something to be dominated, but the earth is something to be maintained for future generations," Bender told TODAY'S TMJ4 reporter Tom Murray.

The panels are paid for by anonymous donations and grants from We Energies and Focus on Energy.

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