There’s a saying in the penny-pinching world of non-profit organizations: “no money, no mission.” We like to think of this in reverse: more money = more mission!
Finding extra money in your budget by spending less on utility bills is one important— and often easier than you’d think— way to put more resources into the things that really matter.
According to Dave Arnosti, who has been part of Haslett Community Church for 20 years and is also a member of its Green Team, conserving resources is just one of the congregation’s habits. For some, it’s a value that lingers from growing up during the Depression. For many, the impulse comes from a keen awareness of the effects of unchecked consumption on our earth and a sense of duty to live more sustainably.
Conserving energy is, for Haslett Community, a worthwhile end in its own right. But the monetary savings the church reaps– from good habits and the extensive energy optimization work done to the building– also help the church fulfill its mission: “to joyfully and prayerfully provide a warm welcome to all.” The church’s Food Pantry, which was started in the 80s, extends this warmth and hospitality to the community by providing food and other necessities to 80-100 households a month—a service for which demand has markedly increased since 2008. The Pantry also relies on the commitment and generosity of 2-3 dozen volunteers to keep it running.
As an exciting next step, Rich Baumgartner shared that the Green Team is investigating the feasibility of solar panels for the church.
The Team is enthusiastic about the project and interested in seeing whether a solar array might be able to offset the energy use of all of the Pantry’s freezers and refrigerators (the most electricity-intensive appliances to operate). How’s that for putting energy savings right back into mission?
Solar panels would be a shining, public example of Haslett Community Church’s commitment to Earth stewardship. And they would be another, unique way to get food from the sun!