Brief news items about congregational building programs.
First Universalist Church of Rockland, Maine, won the 2012 Cool Congregations Challenge award in the Engaging Congregants and Communities category this winter. The award is the result of an interfaith effort to help low-income Mainers keep their heating bills low. Research showed that a significant amount of heat is lost through windows, so after installing easy-to-build thermal window inserts into their own church, members went about installing them into the homes of local low-income families free of charge. In its challenge entry, the church stated that it had produced 1,350 window inserts for more than 105 homes. Over the past year, First Universalist members turned the “Window Dresser Project” into a non-profit and reached out to Quakers, Methodists, Baptists, and others to expand into an interfaith effort.
The Indiana Office of Energy Development, Hoosier Interfaith Power and Light (H-IPL) announced that six congregations, including the UU Church of Bloomington and the UU Church of Indianapolis, Ind., will share a grant of $150,000. The money will be used to install solar panels. The congregations have also become involved in the H-IPL’s Seventh Day Initiative, based on the biblical teaching that the seventh day of the week is a day of rest—a day to conserve energy. To do this they have enlisted a third of their members to reduce their household energy by one-seventh.
The 300-member Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Hendersonville, N.C., held a community open house in January to show off its recently remodeled building, including a refurbished sanctuary, new carpet, chairs in place of pews, and a new wooden stage. “I hope people come here to be inspired and connected,” the Rev. James McKinley told the Hendersonville Times-News.
This article appeared in the Summer 2013 issue of UU World (page 49).
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Allison Bennett was a UU World editorial intern in the fall and winter of 2012. She is a recent graduate of Westfield State University and grew up in the Unitarian Universalist Church of Reading, Massachusetts.
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