In the beginning of the Bible — whether read as gospel or literature — God said, “Let there be light. And there was light. God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness. God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening, and there was morning — the first day.”
I’m down with that. Clearly solar was the first thing on God’s mind! Who are we to leave that divine love on the table now?
Sadly, as a passionate and devoted Christian, I’ve been troubled by the church (with a capital “C”) making little effort over the years to make creation care or earth stewardship much of a message in Sunday sermons. When churches take social justice action, feeding and clothing are right up there. But where are the food-producing gardens and the jobs these could create, or stream cleanings, or “reduce, reuse, recycle” messages? The latter are often paltry at best — the least the church could do but nothing more.
And when the church gets political, again, on our shared habitat, there’s been the sound of silence rather than a voice crying out in the wild. Instead a million other issues, often quite divisive, have taken center stage.
I don’t mean to sound critical, but it’s our job as members of the body of Christ, of the church, to participate in the shaping of its deeds in the world. And to me as a Christian conservationist, it seems that clean energy and earth stewardship are a long-overdue aspect of daily faith in action.
Solar blessings all around
But what might be problematic lag for the church is a boon for solar marketing campaigns. The role of God in selling solar is at hand and my bet is that God would call this good.
I don’t say this cynically or opportunistically. I say it with an earth-loving conviction that if solar is to succeed, and especially if it’s to increasingly displace dirty, earth-destroying fossil fuels, it’s time to recognize a shift that’s finally happening in the church toward greater and more visible action on clean energy, conservation, and balanced living.
And that’s got to mean solar.
Sure, some earthier Jesus freaks have been praising PV panels for decades. But this was largely the exception.
Now, with the greenest pope ever, Pope Francis, calling on Catholics to put creation care and climate change action at the center of their lives, the conservative Christian Coalition taking an active pro-solar political stance, and churches everywhere putting solar on their roofs, it’s clear that the faithful believe the Holy Spirit has a soft spot for photovoltaics.
So shouldn’t your solar marketing campaign spread that gospel?
When you’re crafting the editorial calendar for your solar blog, scout around for stories like these — from national religious organizations to parishes in your own region that are either helping to promote solar-friendly laws, arguing for clean energy as the duty of the faithful, or putting solar up there next to their steeple.
Interview a pro-solar priest, rector, or pastor and find out what makes his or her solar spirit shine. Was it cost savings for the parish? Teaching the kids to “love creation through caring action?” Motivation to break away from fossil-fuel dependence and gain greater energy independence and more national security? Or all of the above and more?
All of these offer great solar storytelling opportunities.
There’s an added benefit, too. Since churches and mosques and synagogues (and the Church of Stop Shopping and other faithful outliers) range in belief and doctrine and so can seem very different from each other, where solar and other green practices are at play there’s a common bond to be celebrated among all of the clean energy faithful. Solar companies can help foster unity with these stories. Don’t be afraid to embrace solar churches in your blog — be willing to give them a voice since their aims merge with your own.
As a solar marketer you don’t need to be a believer to recognize the excellent work that faith communities do when they choose to put that solar up there on the roof just a little closer to God (and for everyone in the neighborhood to see, too). Congregations remain influential in their communities — and overall still resonate with the voice of moral striving — so shining some love on their sun-worshipping is a win-win for heaven and earth.
Now that’s seeing the light, and it is good!
— Lindsay Curren, Creative Director, Curren Media Group
Lindsay Curren is a rabble-rousing idea factory with solar ideas to spare. Follow her on Twitter @lindsaycurren.