In light of the Biblical mandate to be faithful stewards of God’s earth and the financial resources he provides, the COS Facility Team has always sought to maintain and enhance the physical plant in ways that honor God’s creation and reduce operational costs. By God’s grace we have:

  • Increased the building’s insulation and installed a white thermal plastic roof over the original building to reduce heating/cooling costs (2010, 2013 & 2016)
  • Converted indoor lighting to T-8 fluorescent tubes, CFLs and LEDs to decrease electricity consumption (2011, 2013 & 2015)
  • Converted outdoor lighting to Induction fluorescent and LED lighting to decrease electricity consumption (2011)
  • Replaced the original building’s HVAC systems with more energy efficient systems (2015)
  • Installed a Building Automation System with occupancy and daylight sensors to reduce unnecessary energy usage (2006 & 2013)
  • Planted drought resistant grass and native gardens to minimize water usage, protect local water ways and provide nesting and feeding areas for native birds and insects (1994, 2006, 2012).
  • Built a community garden where up to 22 members and community guests can work together to grow local produce and relationships.

Solar Panel Production:

In September 2015, COS installed a 20 Kw solar panel array system on the northwest end of the property, just west of the community garden. Since installation, the solar panels have created over 10 MWH of energy and are projected to produce approximately 25,000 KWH of energy a year. Click on the button below for a real-time dashboard of our solar power production.

Resource Savings:

To date, these initiatives have contributed to:

70,000 kg of CO2 eliminated per year (the equivalent CO2 removed by 68 acres of forest)

1.5 million gallons of water preserved/yr. (the equivalent of 2.3 Olympic-sized swimming pools)

95,000 KWH of energy saved/yr. (the equivalent KWH consumption of 12 average Michigan homes)

25,000 KWH of energy produced/yr. (the equivalent KWH consumption of 3.2 average Michigan homes)

$25,000 saved per year

Stewardship is Doing Justice

Though our stewardship initiatives were not a response to the work of the CRC’s Creation Stewardship Task Force and the CRC’s Climate Witness Project,  we believe that they fit into the CRC’s call to action that:

  1. Churches, members, and denominational bodies be voices for justice and public examples in the effort to live sustainably within our God-given resources, to promote stewardship in our own communities and our nations, and to seek justice for the poor and vulnerable among us and for future generations.
  2. Churches and their members reduce individual and collective carbon emissions to the atmosphere. We should examine energy choices in our homes, lives, businesses, farms, and institutions from a perspective of stewardship, challenging ourselves to use less energy and to use it more wisely.

It is the hope of the COS Facility Team that the success of our stewardship initiatives will serve both as an example and inspiration to other congregations and individuals to join us in honoring God by being faithful stewards of his earth and doing justice for our neighbors near and far. To learn more about the stewardship work of the CRC’s Office of Social Justice click here

Read an update on our involvement in the CRC Climate Witness project

Future Facility Projects

The following list of projects are initiatives or improvements that have been recommended by the Facility Team or others. Many of these projects will be funded through the money allocated to the Facility Reserves through our annual budget. A number of the larger projects will have to wait until special gifts are received to fund them.

• Expand solar array system to at least a 50 Kw system
• Replace roof over the 2006 addition with a white thermal plastic roof
Convert all indoor and outdoor lighting to LEDs
• Replace Fellowship Rooms’ stage lighting with an LED system
• Expand the Building Automation System to include all of the HVAC and Lighting systems, and create individualized controls for each office and Fellowship Rooms
• Expand the community garden
• Install low-flow toilets and faucets
• Install hand dryers in bathrooms
• Install a water bottle filling station in the ARTery
• Plant more Native storm water treatment gardens and restorations
• Convert HVAC systems to Geothermal
• Replace the remaining original HVAC systems
• Build additional storage space
• Install new street signs and landscaping
• Replace remaining wood exterior doors and windows
• Build a new larger, better located and functioning Kitchen
• Expand Children’s and Youth Center
• Build pole barn for vans and tractors, expand Boys & Girls Clubs’ workshop in current garage
• Implement Memorial Garden master plan
• New sanctuary seating