This week the congregation at First Presbyterian Church in Logan took another step on their journey of becoming a more environmentally conscious community — installing solar panels on their church’s roof.
“This congregation at First Presbyterian Church has had the dream of generating electricity from solar panels for probably close to a decade,” said Pastor Derek Forbes.
Over the years, the congregation has taken other steps to conserve energy and resources, such as switching to LED lights and installing double paned windows.
According to Forbes, all of these efforts are part of the Presbyterian U.S.A. Earth Care Congregation initiative.
“Caring for the earth is part of our calling as children of God,” Forbes said.
The process of installing solar panels began earlier this year with a pledge drive to gather funds for repairing the church’s roof and paying for the panels. Because of how expensive they are to install, Forbes said he wasn’t sure they would raise enough money.
But within just a few months, both projects were covered.
“I was absolutely surprised at the response,” Forbes said. “I knew there was a desire for us to put solar panels on the church among the congregation, but I was very pleasantly surprised at the speed of the response and the amount of the response.”
Christine and Nathan Hult are members of First Presbyterian in Logan and are very excited about the solar installation.
“Everybody felt the importance of not just making our energy bill less every month, which it will certainly do that, but also being part of the solution for environmental change in the country,” Christine said.
The couple has been a part of the Earth Care Committee at First Presbyterian for about 20 years but said they have been concerned about the environment for even longer. They put solar panels on their home and tried to be conscientious about recycling and water use.
“We have tried to in our personal life exemplify what we think is important and what God has put us on this Earth to do,” Christine said. “And so this is just taking it to another level, to our entire faith community and not just our own personal life.”
According to Nathan, the call they feel is a very scriptural one.
“Repeatedly in the scriptures, there is an emphasis on not only thinking about your own generation but thinking ahead seven generations of those that come after you,” Nathan said. “You think six or seven generations down the road, what is life going to be like for them unless we change some of our habits, some of our ways of doing things.”
Forbes agreed that caring for the earth is an important part of his faith.
“We believe that God has created all that is and God has called that good and as Christians, we have a responsibility to care for creation for ourselves and for future generations,” Forbes said.
Both the Hults and Forbes hope that the installation will encourage other churches in the valley to consider what they can do for the earth.
“We are thrilled to be part of the clean energy movement and to model this for the community around us,” Forbes said.