Mennonite Creation Care Network’s Pam De Young Net Zero Energy Fund will assist two congregations planning to install solar panels in 2019. Millersburg Mennonite Church, Millersburg, Ohio, was awarded $7,500 and Metamora Mennonite Church, Metamora, Ill., will receive $5,000.

Millersburg Mennonite Church

According to Jamie Rye who pastors at Millersburg Mennonite Church, creation care is one of the congregation’s key ministries. Many members are involved in sustainable and organic agriculture, conservation, nature education, solar energy, and recycling in various forms, including second-hand retail.

Rye says that even though solar panels are commonly used by the Amish in their area, churches are not using solar, perhaps because creation care is not part of many people’s theological frameworks. As far as they know, Millersburg will be the first church in a four-county radius to fully transition to solar.

“We hope that our solar project will encourage local churches to explore the same possibility for their congregations,” Rye commented.

Metamora Mennonite Church

Metamora Mennonite Church is planning to install a 10-kilowatt ground-mounted array. The solar panels are part of a range of actions the church is working on since their Creation Care Team began meeting over a year ago. These include having an energy audit, installing efficient lighting, adding more green space to their outdoor areas and holding plant exchange days with partners in economically challenged neighborhoods. After the panels are functioning, the Metamora congregation plans to host an open house for their community.

MCCN’s Pam De Young Net Zero Energy Fund distributes about $12,000 annually. Russell De Young, Newport News, Va., makes the fund available in memory of his first wife, Pam. The next grant deadline is June 30, 2020. Learn more. Email to request forms.