Walnut Hill Mennonite Church and Berkey Avenue Mennonite Fellowship, both of Goshen, Ind., received grants from the Pam De Young Net Zero Energy Fund in November 2017.
About 70 people attend Walnut Hill on most Sundays. This congregation emphasizes peace and justice. They reach out to their local community by offering a peace camp for neighborhood children and maintaining a regular presence in their park. Walnut Hill received $7,000 toward the purchase of a solar ray that will cover most of their electricity needs.
Berkey Avenue is a congregation of about 200 people on the west side of Goshen. Nurturing its many young children and caring for homeless families through Interfaith Hospitality Network are key ministries for this group. Smart thermostats, insulation upgrades, lighting upgrades and a more efficient refrigerator are a few of the actions that preceded the solar decision. The congregation also voted to raise its mission giving to match the amount the solar panels will save each year.
Berkey received $5,000 toward their solar array, which volunteers were able to install themselves. Pictured left to right: Curt Wenger, Amos Hostetler, Jonathan Neufeld, Dan Schrock, David Birky, John Hooley, Rick Hostetter. One helper dubbed the slide on the right a “solar relocator.” Another just called in ingenious.