Daylight Saving Time (DST)

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

As many of you know, this early Sunday morning at 2AM, we are going to observe the Daylight Saving Time. This will be probably one of the earliest times in history to observe DST. So my mind began to think – what are the motivations for changing the DST? It just left me clueless until one of our members who works for an energy company forwarded an e-mail to me.

Here is the real reason for the DST change (drum roll please)….

One of the biggest reasons we change our clocks to Daylight Saving Time (DST) is that it saves energy. Energy use and the demand for electricity for lighting our homes is directly connected to when we go to bed and when we get up. Bedtime for most of us is late evening through the year. When we go to bed, we turn off the lights and TV.

In the average home, 25 percent of all the electricity we use is for lighting and small appliances, such as TVs, VCRs and stereos. A good percentage of energy consumed by lighting and appliances occurs in the evening when families are home. By moving the clock ahead one hour, we can cut the amount of electricity we consume each day.

Studies done in the 1970s by the U.S. Department of Transportation show that we trim the entire
country’s electricity usage by about one percent EACH DAY with Daylight Saving Time.

Daylight Saving Time ‘makes’ the sun ‘set’ one hour later and therefore reduces the period between sunset and bedtime by one hour. This means that less electricity would be used for lighting and appliances late in the day.

We also use less electricity because we are home fewer hours during the ‘longer’ days of spring and summer. Most people plan outdoor activities in the extra daylight hours. When we are not at home, we don’t turn on the appliances and lights. A poll done by the U.S. Department of Transportation indicated that Americans liked Daylight Saving Time because ‘there is more light in the evenings – you can do more in the evenings.’ While the amounts of energy saved per household are small… added up they can be very large.

In the winter, the afternoon Daylight Saving Time advantage is offset by the morning’s need for
more lighting. In spring and fall, the advantage is less than one hour. So, Daylight Saving Time saves energy for lighting in all seasons of the year except for the four darkest months of the year (November, December, January and February) when the afternoon advantage is offset by the need for lighting because of late sunrise.

A report was released in May 2001 by the California Energy Commission to see if creating an early DST or going to a year-round DST will help with the electricity problems the state faced in 2000-2002. The study concluded that both Winter Daylight Saving Time and Summer-season Double Daylight SavingTime (DDST) would probably save marginal amounts of electricity – around 3,400 megawatt-hours (MWh) a day in winter (one-half of one percent of winter electricity use – 0.5%) and around 1,500 MWh a day during the summer season (one-fifth of one percent of summer-season use – 0.20%). Winter DST would cut winter peak electricity use by around 1,100 megawatts on average, or 3.4 percent. Summer Double DST would cause a smaller (220 MW) and more uncertain drop in the peak, but it could still save hundreds of millions of dollars because it would shift electricity use to low demand (cheaper) morning hours and decrease electricity use during higher demand hours.

The model used in the Energy Commission’s study is now being used by the U.S. Department of Energy in a larger national study of daylight saving time. It’s unknown when that study will be completed. In May 2001, the California state legislature sent a Senate Joint Resolution (SJRX2 1) to the White House and Congress asking that states be allowed to extend Daylight Saving Time year round. Congress and the White House did not act on the request because of the world-changing events of September 11, 2001. No new legislation has been passed in California since then.

Blah, blah, blah… so the bottom line is we save energy and we have more daylight… yahoo!

Recapturing the Heart of Prayer

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values

I remember the countless number of hours that were clocked in the early stages of our church here in Ann Arbor. We just knew that without God we would not be able to accomplish anything – that was 10+ years ago.

There is something about “success” or being “more established” that causes us to pray less and depend more on ourselves. This is a cycle that we need to try to break, especially here at HMCC. In some sense, this is the reason why it is refreshing to be in Chicago on Sundays. Since it is a new church plant, I am seeing that same desperate and dependent attitude that we had here in Ann Arbor some years ago.

As we turn another chapter of our church history here in Ann Arbor, we will have an opportunity to recapture the heart of prayer. This Friday we are going to have an all-night prayer gathering – I think the last one we had was about 3-4 years ago. Therefore, this experience of praying all night will be a new experience for many people in our church.

Some people have asked me:

1) What do we do at an all-nighter prayer? Uh… I don’t know if I have to answer this one… definitely, we won’t be playing Settlers of Catan!

2) Can we actually pray all throughout the wee-hours of the night? Well, we will probably integrate various things (i.e. worship, praying for one another, journaling, etc) so it is definitely possible.

3) Won’t we get tired? Yes. Read Mt 26:40-41.

4) Do we have to stay for the whole thing? Stay as long as you can. There is something about starting together and ending things together.

5) What if we fall asleep during our prayer time? As long as you are dreaming about God, it should be fine. Sometimes the most holy thing to do is to sleep… just make it look like you are praying ;-)

I hope many of you will be able to join us. I am praying that God will meet us with a special visitation. In the past, God has used these all-night prayer gatherings in a powerful way. See you there!

Meeting with the Mayor

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Viewpoint

Tomorrow a handful of the pastors in the Washtenaw County and I will be heading over to City Hall. We were able to get an appointment in Mayor John Hieftje’s schedule. Our goal is to simply go to his office and ask him if there is anything that the Christian community can do to be a blessing to the city of Ann Arbor.

For many years the members of PACT (the spiritual leaders of Washtenaw County) have been trying to figure out how we can be the salt and light in this community. It never occurred to us that instead of trying to “figure” out what the city needs, we should just go directly to the source and ask the mayor.

It is our prayer that God will strategically use this meeting to build better bridges to our community.

As I have been sharing in the last year or so, I really believe that the Church of Jesus needs to engage in the arena of government and politics. I am not advocating a coup d’état or an overturning of the “church and state” laws, but rather allow the Christian voice to be heard. We need people to stand up for justice and also people who will pass laws that reflect the justice of God. I can’t think of a better example than William Wilberforce and what he did for the abolition of the slave trade.

It will be exciting to see a day where many Christ followers, who love God will fill the Senate, House of Representatives and city councils to make a difference for Christ.