A row of newly installed solar panels at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in San Andreas recently received a blessing, part of a larger movement by the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin to equip 95% of its churches with solar power by the end of 2022.
The Right Rev. David Rice delivered the blessing on Aug. 22, embodying the church’s mission to “care for creation.”
“Episcopalians believe that creation continues to occur, that it’s a gift to all of God’s people, whether they are part of a faith community or not, and that acknowledging creation care is to acknowledge that creation is a gift to all of us,” Rice said in a press release.
According to the diocese’s committee member from San Andreas, Jennifer Brock, the diocese's goal of installing solar panels at its church sites is “consistent with that of the wider Episcopal Church’s goal to be good stewards of God’s creation – earth and its environment.”
During Phase I of the Diocesan Solar Project, which occurred in 2020, solar installation was completed on seven sites.
“After six months, these solar installations are generating 55% of the energy needs of the diocese. Solar will be added to six sites in Phase II, which will be at 75% completion by December 2021. Ultimately, with completion of Phase II, 93% of the diocese’s energy needs will be renewable,” the release reads.