WOLFEBORO, NH —During his parish visit to All Saints' in Wolfeboro on September 11, The Rt. Rev. A. Robert Hirschfeld, Bishop of the Episcopal Church of New Hampshire, braved threatening skies following a torrential rainstorm to bless and dedicate the newly installed solar photovoltaic system at All Saints’ Church, 258 South Main Street, following 10 a.m. worship. The Bishop blessed the panels from 20 feet off the ground thanks to a lift provided by the Hunt Family, members of All Saints’ and owners of Bradley’s Hardware in Wolfeboro. The installation contractor was Frase Electric of South Tamworth, a company that has completed nearly 300 public and residential solar installations throughout New Hampshire.
“Stewardship of the Earth” was a major component of a recent successful capital campaign at All Saints’ Church. The congregation sees addressing their campus footprint on the earth and seeking ways to reduce consumption of the earth’s resources as part of their mission. Efforts completed in 2016 include an energy audit to identify and implement practical efficiencies in the building envelope, heating and cooling, lighting; and the installation of a 25.2 KW solar photovoltaic panel system on the southeast and southwest roofs of the main church building. “The solar installation completed on Sept. 6, 2016, will support our stewardship and be a visible witness for Wolfeboro residents and visitors,” says Senior Warden Don Holm.
Rector Bill Petersen opened the dedication with these words, “The sun is the source of life and warmth, seasons and food. In recent decades, however, the reality of global warming has made us realize that our behaviors can alter the impact of the sun on our planet. We rejoice today that this new solar array will reduce our carbon footprint as a church, caring more effectively for God’s good creation, the work of our generous and gracious God.” The Bishop then blessed the 88-panel array saying, “Christ calls us to be disciples, to serve with love and compassion, to serve Earth by caring for creation. May all who look upon these solar panels that reflect the sky, be reminded of our constant prayer that God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
Stewardship of creation is something all Christians are called to do. Therefore, All Saints’ leadership determined that the community of faith should be playing a lead role in modeling better energy conservation and addressing climate change. “Our solar array is one component of our caring for our corner of creation,” says Petersen. “This stewardship is central to who we are and who we strive to be. It is a faithful response that flows from our gratitude for the abundant beauty and blessings of creation.”