Lutsen Lutheran Church hosts January 7 event to assemble solar light kits for Ukraine
Photo by Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church

Lutsen Lutheran Church hosts January 7 event to assemble solar light kits for Ukraine

This Sunday, Jan. 7, the Lutsen Lutheran Church is hosting a hands-on community gathering to build solar light kits to send to those in need in Ukraine. 

The event is hosted and led by Dave Nonnemacher of the New Horizons Foundation, a Romania-based non-profit organization. It will take place at 10:15 a.m. following the Lutsen Lutheran church service. 

In Nov., the church chose the New Horizons Foundation and the solar light initiative called Ray of Life as one of the monthly missions of the month program. The church raised approximately $5000 to purchase the solar light kits. 

“A big part of this project for us is both that it’s a hands-on thing for us,” the Lutsen Lutheran Church Pastor Tom Murray, said. “It wasn’t just a project to raise money and then just write a check to an organization. We’ll get together, we’ll build these components.”

Once assembled, the Ray of Life solar lights will be sent to families and individuals in Ukraine. “That’s really the important part of this. That these will end up in families in need in a time of year when light is very short.”

In total, the church plans to build about 35 Ray of Life kits. The solar lights include a port for charging cell phones, provide up to 18 hours of 1000-lumen light, and are approximately the size of a laptop. Nonnemacher and the New Horizons Foundation partnered with New Vision Renewable Energy to supply solar light materials and components. 

Pastor Murray said the gathering is open to the public, and individuals don’t need to be members of the church to attend. “We’d love to have people stop by.”

“This gives us a chance to help a group of people who are, I think, maybe being forgotten a little bit. Families in Ukraine that have, you know, are a couple of years now into this war,” he said. “We wanted to have a project that helped people that are maybe a bit forgotten right now.”

WTIP’s Kalli Hawkins spoke with Pastor Tom Murray with the Lutsen Lutheran Church about the Jan. 7 gathering to construct Ray of Life solar kits. Audio from the interview is below.