Disciples News Service

Kentucky church heading for carbon neutral status

It did not take Midway Christian Church long to decide to be the first Disciples of Christ church to commit to going carbon neutral by 2030. Their first steps were to invite Lexington Theological Seminary Assistant Professor Rev. Dr. Leah Schade to help them plan. On Earth Day Sunday Schade taught Sunday School and preached, challenging the congregation to be bold in their commitment by focusing more time on advocacy and activism.

In the sermon, Schade told the creation story from the perspective of the Earth. “It was powerful to imagine how the Earth celebrated the gift of new life which then turned to pain and suffering through extraction and pollution. Imagine how Earth mourns the loss of God’s gift of wholeness,” said Rev. Heather McColl, pastor at Midway.

This became a visual from of prayer for the congregation. God heard this prayer and answered it through an invitation from Kentucky Interfaith Power and Light to purchase one array of solar panels at a reduced rate. They remembered Earth’s joy and pain and took a leap of faith. And to their surprise, the church raised the money for two arrays of solar panels.

But this was just the beginning of God’s answer to their prayer for now Midway is working with Green Chalice to take courageous steps to go carbon neutral by 2030 and through their journey to encourage and empower other congregations to do the same. “As always happens when we follow God’s lead, the pieces are falling into place, ” said  Midway’s pastor, Rev. Heather McColl. “We are not sure what this journey will bring or how it will go, but we know God’s Spirit is responding to our prayer, enabling us to create ripple effects beyond our congregation to bring forth life once more.”

The 2017 General Assembly adopted a resolution on carbon neutrality (GA 1724).