The steeple of the Wellesley Village Church towers over downtown Wellesley as the sun rises.


“Let’s Talk About Power” – Empowering the Future: A Greener Journey for Our Church

July 2, 2024

We need to replace the way we cool and heat our church. The current system in Wellesley creaks toward its well-earned old age. We now have an opportunity to go from a fossil-fuel-based system to a geothermal one that would allow us to approach the future using renewable energy while saving on ongoing fuel costs.

We are at a crossroads where the congregation must make a choice during a congregational meeting this fall.

A leadership task force secured two bids for a replacement system.

  • A natural-gas system that includes an upgrade to gas boilers and electric heat pumps with a 30-year life. The estimated cost, with rebates, is $1.85 million, with a fossil-fuel running cost of $25,000 per year.
  • A geothermal system that includes ground-sourced units powered by wells with a life of 100 years. The estimated cost, with rebates, is $2.3 million (to be finalized in late August), and eliminates the spend on fossil fuel.

Both options represent a significant improvement over the current system. And both options also will require a significant fundraising campaign, which will be part of a broader capital campaign, “Empowering Our Future.” The combined campaign is an ambitious effort to ensure a bright future for the next 225 years and would include:

  • Kitchen upgrades to enhance our Village Table ministry’s capacity to serve our community.
  • Upgrades to the Weston campus for congregational use and as an interfaith center.
  • Energy-efficient lighting upgrades throughout the church building.
  • A backup generator and sanctuary window replacements to complete the building’s “greening” efforts.
  • Endowment enhancement to secure funds for future needs.

With a potential goal of raising $3 million in 3 years, we understand that Sarah’s reminder that “God makes more of us together” takes on special meaning. We pray for the congregation’s discernment, a clear call, and an ever-stronger community. A feasibility and planning study will soon be underway to help us prepare.

This journey requires your participation. We need volunteers for various tasks, from short-term activities to working groups. Please contact Joe Morray, Kathy Schleyer, Candace Sutcliff, or Mark Lenci to offer your expertise and energy.