Thirteen volunteers from Second recently accompanied others from Heartland Presbytery in traveling to Guatemala. There, they shared in the life of the El Arca Church. The group shared stories and updates from the trip on their blog: buenviajeheartland.wordpress.com.
In 2012, Second gave a $25,000 grant from our Endowment Fund to help construct a new church for our friends in Guatemala. The grant, combined with funds from Heartland Presbytery, Rolling Hills Presbyterian, and three individual donors, enabled the El Arca congregation to purchase land, bring utilities to the site, and begin construction. The El Arca congregation has close to 70 members, and had previously been worshiping under a large plastic tarp in a yard. The new building has provided them with a sanctuary and spaces for education and meetings. View photos of the new church building here:
Second has officially been certified as an Earth Care Congregation by the Presbyterian Church (USA). This certification recognizes Second’s environmental achievements in worship, education, facilities, and outreach activities in the life of the church. With our Earth Shepherds leading the way, Second is always looking for ways to go green. Here are just a few of the things we’ve done lately:
– Installed energy efficient lighting
– Installed motion sensors on restroom lights
– Promoted recycling within our building
– Provided a community recycling bin
– Installed new double-pane thermal windows to cut down on energy costs
– Installed air dryers in restrooms
– Built an outdoor stairway with composite wood
– Planted additional trees
– Installed an efficient HVAC furnace system
– Promoted a “Give up the plastic bottle campaign” during Lent
Last, but not least, we recently installed 102 new solar panels on our facility’s roof, becoming the first church in Kansas City, Missouri to be powered with solar energy. Check out the news coverage by KCTV5:
Our solar energy system is capable of producing 25,000 watts of electricity, and will contribute significantly in reducing the church’s carbon footprint. Overall, the system is projected to cover approximately 8% of Second’s energy costs, and will save an estimated $100,000 over the next 20 years.
The project began as an initiative of Second’s Building and Grounds Committee, chaired by Jason Jeffries. After investigating several options, the Committee agreed to partner with Lawrence, KS-based contractor Cromwell Solar. Through a special lease agreement, Second was able to pursue two programs not commonly available to non-profits, including a tax incentive through the Department of Energy and a utility credit through Kansas City Power and Light.
Press coverage of the solar panel installation: