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Sheltering the faith

Brief news items about congregational building programs.
By Allison Bennett
Winter 2012 11.1.12

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Steeple, UU Parish on Monson, Mass.

A crane lifts the new steeple of the UU Parish of Monson, Mass., into place. (Courtesy The Republican)

Damaged church steeple replaced

The Unitarian Universalist Parish of Monson, Mass., has installed a new steeple. Built in 1888, the previous steeple had been destroyed by a tornado that tore through western Massachusetts in the summer of 2011. The new steeple is designed to look exactly like the old one. Approximately 30 feet tall, it will be covered with slate shingles to match the look of the granite church. The $600,000 cost to restore the steeple was covered by insurance, Edward S. Harrison, treasurer and trustee of the church, told The Republican.

Church charges electric cars

First Unitarian Church of Cleveland, in Shaker Heights, Ohio, has added a garden and solar panels in an effort to go green and produce its own power. The garden was dedicated in October and is intended to be sustainable and self-sufficient, with stone seating walls that provide a gathering space for congregation members.

Behind the garden is a solar array to harness sunlight and provide shade for cars. The structure also includes an electric car-charging station. The array, completed in July, is a 91.2 kilowatt installation, and provides shade for 38 cars. The 19-foot structure is capable of providing enough energy for 10 homes and will eventually offset almost 80 percent of the power consumed by the church.

This article appeared in the Winter 2012 issue of UU World (page 50). See sidebar for links to related resources.

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