Donate online with a credit card, in person with cash, or by check. See below for more information about ways to donate. Thank you!

About the Solar Energy Project

To offset the growing cost of electricity required to sustain its much-needed community missions, South Congregational Church has embarked upon a solar energy project. Vivint Solar is installing 100 solar panels on the church roof this summer, at a cost of $103,500. The church is seeking to raise funds to pay for the cost of this energy-saving solar project. 

More Than a Church

South Congregational Church is more than a church. Our historical downtown Pittsfield building is a welcoming complex that serves as a meeting house for many groups in our community.

Community organizations such as Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous, Al-Anon, Pittsfield Squares, Music Together, and the Pembury Bridge Club meet regularly in the church’s spaces. South Congregational also serves as an ecumenical gathering space for area faith organizations and missions. 

Food Insecurity

food insecurityOne of South Congregational Church’s primary missions is to address the issue of food insufficiency in the Berkshires, assisting the most vulnerable in our community. Our Community Food Pantry is the largest food pantry distribution in Berkshire County, serving 550 families each week.

The Food Pantry receives 7,000 pounds of food each week, much of which requires storage in our newly updated freezer and walk-in coolers — the most significant consumers of electricity in the building.

We also serve 80–100 hot, nutritious dinners each Wednesday at Saint Joseph’s Kitchen, and we recently began serving breakfast twice weekly. South Church is also home to the annual Thanksgiving Angels community collection and distribution of Thanksgiving meal ingredients to 1,300 local families.

Keeping Things Running

There are expenses associated with South Church’s community missions and services. In addition to manpower (780 volunteer hours per month!), electricity costs approximately $9,000/year to power the refrigerators and freezers that preserve the food for our Community Food Pantry, Saint Joseph’s Kitchen, and Thanksgiving Angels. The church has decided to offset this cost of electricity by installing solar panels on the roof of the building.

Solar power systems derive clean, pure energy from the sun, combatting greenhouse gas emissions, improving pubic health, and reducing our collective dependence on non-sustainable fossil fuels.

The total cost of the project is $103,500. In addition to fundraising, the church is investigating grant opportunities and Massachusetts (SMART) solar tax incentives.

With your help, solar panel installation will offset approximately 85% of electricity used by the church.

Why Now?

There is no better time to go ‘green’ at South Church. Electricity prices have been rising steadily, while at the same time, Food Pantry supporters are seeking to increase access to fresh and healthy food which must be refrigerated for viability. 

South Church has already made significant efforts to minimize energy use in the building, installing LED lights, and replacing old freezers & refrigerators with efficient walk-ins. Our kitchen was recently updated for efficiency, installing a new convection oven and stove (which doesn’t use pilot lights). Most church rooms now have newer, insulated windows.

We Need Your Help — Please Donate

The church is seeking to raise funds to pay for the cost of this solar energy project that will help to sustain much-needed community missions. We are planning a series of fundraising events (listed below), and we welcome your donations toward the project. 

Please donate to support our efforts to create a sustainable gathering space that will continue to allow us to serve our community in the long term. The lifespan of these panels is about 30 years. Donations of all sizes are welcome.

Each solar panel costs $1,035. Consider getting a group or organization to raise funds to sponsor a panel! 

100% of your donation is tax-deductible.

  • Donate online through our GoFundMe page.
  • Donation checks can be mailed directly to:
    South Congregational Church, 110 South Street, Pittsfield, MA 01201
    Please note on the check that you would like to designate this donation for the Solar Energy Project.

  • Cash or check donations may be brought to the church during business hours (9am–1pm, Tuesday–Friday), or offered during our weekly Sunday Worship (10am). Please note on the check or envelope that you would like to designate this donation for the Solar Energy Project.
Fundraising Events

We officially kicked off our Solar Energy Project on June 21, 2019 — the summer solstice! — at our June Bread & Roses Coffee House performance, which raised $500! An earlier pancake breakfast raised $620 for the project.

You helped us raise $20,000 by our July deadline, and The Left Coast Fund will match that amount with a generous grant as part of their 50-State Solar Project!

This project has been supported by a grant from the Berkshire Fresh & Healthy Food Fund of Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation.

Donors

Below is a list of donors to this project as of July 30, 2019 (grants, then individual donors listed chronologically). Thank you for supporting our vital community missions at South Church!

  1. GRANT — Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, Berkshire Fresh & Healthy Food Fund
  2. GRANT — The Left Coast Fund’s 50-State Solar Project
  3. Paula Morey — I donated because of the wonderful work that is done at South Church by all for benefit of the poor and for the Rev. Joel’s many contributions to the life of this community. Best of luck in reaching your goal.
  4. Darlene Berryman — One solar panel is $1035 installed. I believe in the future of the work at south church in feeding and providing care for the neediest in our community. I am grateful for all that is done day to day by so many volunteers. Our community is cared for in that old meeting house. Solar is our commitment to continue to do so together!
  5. Anonymous Donor
  6. Ann Tyler — in memory of Judie Grady
  7. Community — South Church Pancake Breakfast
  8. Laura Saldarini — I believe in the great work South Church does and support them going Green(er)!
  9. Debra Morawski — This church is a tremendous blessing to our community! Let’s support this project.
  10. Cindy Haven
  11. Lutitia Tibbetts
  12. Erin & John Murphy — South Church is a historic, central meeting place for ALL in our Berkshire community. Utilizing green, affordable energy is a great plan to keep the church’s community missions alive and strong into the future.
  13. Celeste Morton
  14. Robert Harris
  15. Peter & Mary Rentz
  16. Patricia Pritchard
  17. Erika Haverstick — Anything for Erin Murphy! Praise God for good people!
  18. Michael Nichols — This is such a worthwhile cause, plus would like to honor Sr. Kathryn for her legacy of St. Joseph Kitchen.
  19. Bobby & Dot Stowe
  20. South Church May Mattoon Class
  21. Community — Bread & Roses Coffee House with The Hoping Machine, June 21
  22. Pat Politis
  23. Kerry & Mike Sullivan
  24. Mary Wheat
  25. Ann Clark-Killan
  26. Meribah Haugey
  27. Patricia Woodlock
  28. Andrew Clarke
  29. Dale Prindle
  30. Patrick & Marie Gormalley
  31. A & M Jonas
  32. Christine & Gerard Hurley
  33. Julia Sims — in memory of her mother
  34. Lee Ann & Mark Pettus
  35. Sharon Mercier
  36. Sandy Russell, Central Berkshire Music Togetherin appreciation for use of the building for many years
  37. Arlene & Bernard Flaherty
  38. Ann Lesser & Thom Lipiczky
  39. Margot & Kip Towl
  40. Virginia Akabane
  41. Robert & Carla Skidmore
  42. Rosie Bleyer & Sally Baumer
  43. Stacia Bissell
  44. The Hoping Machine
  45. James Amaral
  46. Nancy deForest
  47. Linda Leskovitz
  48. Joe Johnson — Good on you for doing the right thing!!!
  49. Elaine Lee
  50. Sisters of St. Joseph (Sister Kathryn & Sister Barbara)
  51. Thomas Damrosch
  52. South Church Ladies Benevolent Society
  53. Sandie Smith
  54. Dorothy Walchenback
  55. Jean & John Robertson
  56. Mary Pope Osborne
  57. Liz & Les Clifford
  58. Ginny & Paul Durwin
  59. Pat & Bob Hill
  60. Susan & Art Kaufman
  61. Paula & Scott Haskell
  62. Cheryl Zaccaro
  63. Debbie & John Rentz-Moore — Happy to support South Church’s sustainability as it supports our community!! This gift is in honor of Mary Rentz’s birthday.
  64. Kim Cobb — Thank you so much for hosting a lovely event on climate change on July 25, and for making the leap to low-carbon solar energy!
  65. Chester & Alice Gallup
  66. Kimberly Clark
  67. Judith Quackenbush — in memory of Harriet White
  68. Susan Cook
  69. Gretchen DeBartolo
  70. Polly Grieve
  71. Joanna Peverett
  72. Ruth Campbell
  73. John & Lois Moore
  74. Barbara & Doug Brand
  75. Community — Berkshire Eagle Climate Change Conversation Series
  76. Quentin & Amy Chin
  77. Ruth & Fred Austin
  78. Katherine & John Keenum
  79. Carol Messerschmitt
  80. Ruth Bass
  81. Robert & Kiyoko Mills
  82. Judith Thompson
  83. Bruce & Barbara Munson
  84. Dot Walchenbach — in memory of Roy Walchenbach
  85. Marjorie & John Demary
  86. Barry & Sally Kellogg
  87. Becky & Doug Crane
  88. Anonymous Donor
  89. Patricia Nixon
  90. Katherine Shanahan Kennedy
  91. Marcella Nevin
  92. Ann Brennan — In memory of Karen Allender on her August 8 birthday
  93. Audra & Dick Kinner
  94. William Sexton
  95. Barbara & Ward Johnson
  96. Pam Kueppers
  97. Anonymous Donor
  98. Anonymous Donor
  99. Nancy Easton
  100. Albert & Susan Easton