Church Named Cool Congregation

Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church earned an award for their efforts to reduce energy use. Photo: Bob Royer.

By Kathy Knotts

Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church in Severna Park has another environmental award to brag about. They have been named one of 12 national Interfaith Power and Light Cool Congregation Challenge winners.

The annual contest recognizes religious congregations across the country that work to reduce their carbon footprint and create models of sustainability within the communities.

Woods Church won the Energy Saver Award for reducing energy consumption by 52 percent thanks to a campaign that included installation of ultra-high efficiency HVAC systems, upgrades to all LED lighting, installation of highly efficient windows and numerous building insulation improvements.

“Our congregation is honored to be acknowledged for our environmental work,” said Pastor Nancy Lincoln. “As a Presbyterian Church (USA) Earth Care Congregation we have made a commitment to work toward sustainability. Receiving the Cool Congregations Challenge Award is exciting for us and we hope it will inspire greater emphasis on sustainability as a faith practice.” 

“Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church and the other national winning congregations are carrying out practical actions that make a real difference in creating lasting solutions to climate change,” said the Rev. Susan Hendershot, president of Interfaith Power & Light.

The church was a winner in the 2021 contest for its effort to restore a 4-acre pollinator and wildlife habitat on the grounds. In 2019, the church worked with several grants to reforest their property to prevent runoff into nearby Cypress Creek, as reported by Bay Bulletin.