: News

D.C. Church Enters Green Movement By Blessing Its Solar Panels

Play associated audio

By Mana Rabiee

One of the oldest Episcopal churches in Washington entered the modern-day green energy movement by blessing its new solar panels.

In Northwest D.C., the bells of the National Cathedral tolled nearby as worshipers gathered behind the St. Albans rectory for the blessing. Several stories above on the roof, the Reverend Jered Weber-Johnson swung his incense boat at 76 solar panels.

Joelle Novey watched from below. She's Director of the Greater Washington Interfaith Power and Light, a group of more than 350 congregations in the D.C. area committed to a "religious response" to climate change. "These panels are a blessing because they generate power in harmony with nature," says Novey to the congregation. "It is literally electricity from above. Power from the Heavens."

Parish Rector Scott Benhase first came up with the idea. "We bless things. That's what we do," says Benhase. "In the Anglican tradition, we have a tendency to bless things that come from God's providence and God's grace, and we believe that these are a gift from God."

Jigar Shaah founded the solar services company SunEdison and was the main consultant on the project. He says the panels were provided by private investors. They sell the power to the church at a fixed rate, which makes a six percent rate of return after taxes.

"It's important that that's the case because if we're relying on people to simply donate these services you can imagine that it may not actually scale as fast." The church estimates the panels will save $20,000 over 20 years, money Rector Benhause says will be better served in mission work.

WAMU 88.5

It Takes A Nation: Art For Social Justice At The Katzen Arts Center

As the Minister of Culture for the Black Panther Party, graphic artist Emory Douglas created striking visual images for the movement's publications and posters.

NPR

Long Absent In China, Tipping Makes A Comeback At A Few Trendy Restaurants

Viewed for decades as capitalist exploitation, tipping is now being encouraged at some upscale urban restaurants catering to wealthy young customers. Restaurateurs insist it's strictly voluntary.
WAMU 88.5

It Takes A Nation: Art For Social Justice At The Katzen Arts Center

As the Minister of Culture for the Black Panther Party, graphic artist Emory Douglas created striking visual images for the movement's publications and posters.

WAMU 88.5

DDOT Questions Metro's Ability To Protect People With Disabilities For Ride-Hailing Paratransit Trips

As Metro looks to reduce the cost of its expensive MetroAccess paratransit service, they're turning to ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft to provide low-cost trips. Some critics say they represent a race to the bottom.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.