As you may have noticed, all the fluorescent light fixtures in the Social Hall have been replaced with LED fixtures as part of the Capital Campaign projects. This upgrade serves several purposes. First, the LED lights use far less electricity than the fluorescent ones did. And they last many times longer. Replacing the fixtures puts into practice the commitment we made in January in our Energy Resolution, “that Old First Reformed UCC is committed to incorporating energy conservation into the operation and maintenance of the church buildings.” The LED lights are closer to natural light as well, and not as harsh on the eyes.
Rather than trash all 56 light fixtures, we tried to sell them at the cut-rate price of $5 each on Craig’s list for a couple of weeks, with no takers. We investigated donating them to Habitat, but they no longer accept fluorescent fixtures. Finally we offered them for free on Craig’s list. Several people responded on the same day they were posted. We were able to help a woman in Philadelphia who was rehabbing a building to open a day care center in the city. We helped another woman who was redoing the first floor of her home to open a new restaurant in Chestnut Hill with her husband. She arrived dressed in a full black hijab. I asked about how it was to wear the hijab in the extreme heat and she talked openly with me about her garment and how it expresses her faith, that converting to Islam was not about a set of beliefs but a complete change of life and how the hijab symbolized that for her. More lights went to a man from Germantown who is building on his love of dogs and his experience as a breeder and is starting up a pet store.
With our recycling, we were able to assist 3 Philadelphia entrepreneurs who are working to improve their lives and those of their families and other families; Christian and Muslim, African American, working people who were grateful for our help.
In our Energy Resolution we committed to: “promote and encourage energy conservation and awareness, the importance of reducing our dependence on non-renewable resources such as fossil fuels by taking steps to reduce our carbon foot print in the Old First Reformed UCC community and beyond.” Do you have incandescent ceiling fixtures in your kitchen, family room or basement? Are you still using incandescent bulbs in your lamps? For those of you who are currently using incandescent or fluorescent fixtures and have the means and opportunity to replace them, let Old First be an example to you. As the Energy Resolution said this commitment to reduce our dependence on non-renewable resources is based on, “our Judeo-Christian faith teachings and traditions to preserve and sustain the environment.” How can you live out our faith in your own home?