MAPLEWOOD, NJ — A long-held ambition of the Morrow Church Green Team is about to be realized. Solar panels installed on the roof of the church’s Fellowship Hall will soon begin generating about half of the church’s electricity needs, another step forward in the congregation’s ongoing effort to increase its sustainability, according to a release from the Maplewood church. The system will dramatically reduce Morrow’s carbon footprint over its expected 25-year life and will save an estimated quarter of a million dollars in electricity bills. It’s a win for the planet, a win for the church’s budget and a win for God’s creation, according to the church.
The solar project is another milestone in Morrow’s concerted efforts to demonstrate ways in which all people can be responsible stewards of the earth. Last year, Morrow was awarded the GreenFaith certification. The process translated practices for more sustainable living in members’ homes as well as in the church. In 2017 a renovation of the sanctuary replaced all the existing incandescent and halogen lighting with LED and reduced energy consumption from 60,000 to 5,000 KwH annually. By participating in New Jersey’s Direct Install program and mobilizing many volunteers, Morrow replaced all of the remaining light fixtures with LED and high-efficiency fluorescent and cut another 23,000 KwH.
“The Morrow community is comprised of people willing to work hard and sacrifice to uphold the ideals of faith through action, and in our case includes outreach to neighbors in need and caring for God’s creation,” said Jennifer Nielsen, co-chairwoman of the Morrow Green Team.
The project was made possible by a donation from Fred and Sue Profeta, longtime members of the congregation. Fred Profeta served as mayor of Maplewood from 2004 to 2008, was a founder of the Maplewood Green Team, serves on the board of directors of GreenFaith and was awarded the 2010 New Jersey Governor’s Environmental Leadership Excellence Award.
“We are extremely grateful for this gift, given and labored over by our members,” the Rev. Janice Sutton Lynn, Morrow’s senior pastor, said. “We believe that God is calling us to care for, and be good stewards of the cosmos. And we believe that each of us, and our community, can make a difference and do our part. We teach our children and youth accordingly. And maybe, just maybe, we can come to understand the miracles of God’s creation.”
To encourage more households to join the solar movement, Morrow Church will host a table at Maplewood Green Day on Oct. 12, at which the team from EZ Energy that installed Morrow’s solar system will be available to explain how.