On Sunday, October 14, 2012, Congressman Ron Barber’s office hosted an Interfaith Solar Day Event at Temple Emanu-El to provide information to other faith communities about solar initiatives that their congregations could take advantage of.
The event began with an invocation from Rabbi Samuel Cohon, Temple Emanu-El, and was followed by a brief update from Congressman Barber about current initiatives in Congress surrounding alternative energy and federal financial and tax incentive programs in place. St. Philip’s In The Hills was represented by Steve Brong, Parish Administrator, who participated in a panel discussion with representatives from five other faith communities who have also installed solar panel arrays. The panel answered prepared questions about environmental stewardship and the role of faith, religious organizations and the decision to go solar, education of the congregation on solar issues, and finances and the bottom line. Other faith communities who have gone solar that were represented on the panel included Temple Emanu-El, Unitarian Universalist Church, Pantano Christian Church, St. Francis in the Foothills and Our Mother of Sorrows. After initial discussion by the panelists, questions from the audience were solicited and answered. The panel was moderated by James McAdams from the Office of Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild.
Carmine Tilghman, Director of Renewable Energy Resources at Tucson Electric Power Company, discussed the cost of solar and what current and future incentives are/will be available for funding installations. A benediction by Pastor Roger Blumenthal from Pantano Christian Church concluded the event.
In addition, outside activities under Temple Emanu-El’s covered solar parking included solar presentations from AzRISE, the U of A solar car, electric cars from Tucson Electric Vehicle Association, and an electric-powered ice cream truck from Isabella’s Ice Cream, complete with homemade ice cream.
—Steve Brong, Parish Administrator
Photos provided by Congressman Barber’s Staff