Artisan Electric recently installed an 11.76 kilowatt (kW) solar system at All-Merciful Saviour Monastery on Vashon Island, Washington. We love working with spiritual organizations as they offer a unique and purposeful perspective on what it means to take care of our natural environment.
Father Abbot Tryphon wrote a beautiful piece discussing this relationship. Thank you, Father Tryphon and the rest of All-Merciful Saviour. We are so honored that you chose us to help you achieve your sustainability goals.
As Orthodox monks we hold to the importance of respecting the environment, which requires us to be good stewards of what God has given us. An important part of that stewardship is working towards sustainability, based on a simple principle that everything we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment. When balance is maintained, we can coexist with the environment, rather than fight it.
With our goal of sustainability before us, we maintain bee hives, and grow as much of our own food as we can, always without pesticides. We eat eggs from our happy, free range hens. We limit our use of water, keep our thermostats at lower temperatures, and turn off lights when they are not needed. We try as best we can not to waste energy, ever doing our part to giving witness to the importance, as Christians, to take good care of this beautiful world God has given us. And after years of planning, we finally had solar panels installed on the roofs of our southern facing buildings.
As monks we believe it important to leave as little “footprint” as possible, using the natural resources with gratitude before God. A eucharistic ethos means that we must use the natural resources with thankfulness, and offer them back to God. Such an attitude is, for we Christians, incompatible with wastefulness. As monks, our ascetic practices remind us that even the simplest foods and the simplest comforts, which have been provided for our needs, are gifts from God. They are not ours to be abused or wasted.
As Christians we should all be concerned with how we impact the earth. Sustainability and simple living is all a part of taking better care of our planet as custodians of what God has given us.
With love in Christ,
The Very. Rev. Abbot Tryphon All-Merciful Saviour Monastery on Vashon Island, Washington. The Monastery is under the omophore of The Most Rev. Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America, of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. Situated in the heart of a beautiful forest, surrounded by the Salish Sea, the monastery is reached by ferry from either Seattle or Tacoma, Washington.