“O God, the King of saints, we praise and glorify your holy Name for all your servants who have finished their course in your faith and fear:…and we pray that, encouraged by their examples, aided by their prayers, and strengthened by their fellowship, we also may be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light…Amen.”Book of Common Prayer, p. 504
Memorial Gifts are special donations given to St Luke’s with praise and thanksgiving to God and in the memory of the faithful departed. Many of the beautiful appointments you see during worship services, such as vestments, altar hangings, candelabras, and communion vessels, are memorials to loved ones who have touched our lives and whose legacy continues to inspire us. Memorials gifts may also be used to fund special purchases such as Godly Play materials, to hire a brass ensemble at Easter, or to benefit the continuing education of our staff members. Memorial gifts may be designated either to the St Luke’s Memorial Fund or the Heritage Fund. It is possible for an individual or the family of the deceased to work with the appropriate committees to plan a designated gift. While it is ultimately the rector and the vestry who determine what memorials are placed in the church, or expended for the mission of the church, the wishes of the deceased or the family of the deceased are given the utmost consideration.
A recent memorial gift at work
In 2022, St. Luke’s saw the completion of a long-awaited solar panel installation, enabling the church to save substantially on utility bills well into the future. The church received a number of donations from parishioners in memory of Jim Hooker, a parishioner who was on the original St. Luke’s Green Team which spearheaded the project beginning in 2012. The rest, as they say, is history.
History of St. Luke’s Solar Panels
1982: The parish hall, later dedicated in 1994 as Johnson Hall in honor of Bob and Connie Johnson, is completed. The building’s sunny, south-facing roof is an ideal location for installing solar panels, but the technology isn’t ready yet.
February 2012: The St. Luke’s Green Team, chaired by Jim Hooker and John Wyman, first propose a solar array on the south roof of Johnson Hall. By this time the technology exists, but it’s still too expensive: the cost and return on investment don’t work for St. Luke’s.
June 2020: Under the leadership of John Hodges-Copple and others, St. Luke’s receives a $5,000 Green Grant from the Diocese to cover part of the initial cost of solar panels. Beginning with a very generous donation from a parishioner of $30,000 and additional parishioner donations totaling approximately $14,000, together with a $49,500 rebate from Duke Energy, St. Luke’s is able to complete the project without incurring any new debt. Some of the St. Luke’s donations were given in memory of Jim Hooker, who died shortly after the February 2012 Green Team presentation.
Late 2021 / early 2022: On behalf of the Vestry, Mike Henry leads the final stages of getting the panels installed and operating.
February 2022: The solar panels are fully installed and begin generating clean and renewable electricity for St. Luke’s and the grid. In April, monitoring software is added to provide for remote diagnostics and monitoring via a mobile application and to track savings.
May 22, 2022: Interim Rector Rhonda Lee led us in a Rogation Sunday liturgy to bless the solar panels and thank all of the people who made them possible.
The future: We anticipate generating a minimum of 86,000 kWh per year. Compared to previous, non-solar electricity usage, this equates to 65% of our electricity needs. Energy prices of course fluctuate but at the time of installation we projected an approximate annual savings of $7,700. The system has an expected life of 25+ years. There are extensive warranties, and maintenance costs are estimated at less than $5,000 over the course of the 25 years, most of them well into the future. As it stands now, we installed the maximum capacity feasible with panels on the roof of Johnson Hall and above the Sprague Room. There are facilities and related code requirements, but it is certainly possible in the future that incremental capacity may be added.