West Market Street United Methodist Church’s Care4Creation team launched a “Let There Be Light” campaign during the month of April to educate the congregation about the benefits of LED light bulbs and to invite contributions towards purchasing bulbs for three highly used areas of the church. The emphasis built up to a worship service on April 28 to celebrate God’s creation and call on the congregation to “Love What God Loves.”
In the spring of 2012, the Care4Creation ministry team at West Market St. UMC, located in downtown Greensboro, NC, conceived of the idea of reducing energy consumption in the church facility by switching to LED light bulbs, which are estimated to last ten times longer that conventional bulbs. Not only would replacement reduce the wattage used by replacing 100 and 150 watt incandescent bulbs with 15 watt LED, the costs related to air conditioning in the Fellowship Hall and the Gathering Space where large groups of people convene for meetings, dinners, and a modern worship service would be greatly reduced. In addition, the team wanted to replace the bulbs in the historic sanctuary to cut costs there as well.
With the guidance of an electrical designer and contractor, C4C researched LED bulbs’ cost, color quality, wattage, etc. With bulbs costing $25-$40, the project seemed out of reach. But the team realized that most church members would probably be willing to invest in a light bulb to help cut electrical costs in our large facility. Information was shared with the church Trustees and Finance committees, who endorsed the project.
For four Sundays in April, the congregation members came to the LED Display which included a box wired with a incandescent bulb and an LED bulb to compare the light and the heat emitted from each. A potter in the congregation donated a handmade lamp and an artist donated a painting of the church, which were given to two donors whose names were chosen at the end of the campaign. Persons were invited to donate $25 toward the purchase of an LED bulb.
The good news is that the congregation responded! Over $3,500.00 was raised. Before purchasing bulbs, WMS will apply to the Duke Power Smart Saver Incentive program in hopes of being rewarded with a rebate for this proposal to cut energy costs. Then we will know what funds we will actually have to go towards the purchase and installation of LED bulbs. Let there be light: LED!