Creation Care Alliance of Western North Carolina

Pause that Disrupts- Letter to the Editor

This Letter to the Editor appeared in the Asheville Citizen-Time on Saturday, September 13, 2019. Many thanks to the collective wisdom of Eliza Stokes, Maureen Linneman, Karim Olaechea, and Mary and Kevin Bates.

A Pause that Disrupts

On Friday, September 20 at 5:30 at Pack Square, we at the Creation Care Alliance of WNC will step out of business as usual. At the invitation of young people across the globe, and in solidarity with Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg, we will join with the Youth Climate Strike in support of massive global climate action so the next generation can inherit a livable earth.

We need this holy disruption — a pause that transforms and reorients us toward life.

Indeed, this practice of stopping for the sake of life is as ancient as it is new. Many faith traditions encourage us to step out of normal routines and into a holy pause that renews our relationships with one another, creation and the Divine. In our faith tradition this practice is called Sabbath.

On the Sabbath we stop consuming, listen deeply and turn toward the sacred — facing the greater truths that lie beneath the clutter of compulsive and busy lives.

But we must follow such contemplation with action. In the current climate crisis, we cannot wait for others to do the hard work of addressing the ecological and social challenges of our day on our behalf. Instead, we must act with urgency on behalf of creation, our children and the most vulnerable among us.

So, we invite you to take a pause with us on September 20, to notice what it allows to come to the surface, and to follow such contemplation with intentional action — for the sake of life.

Rev. Scott Hardin-Nieri and Rev. Kevin Bates of the Creation Care Alliance of WNC.  The Creation Care Alliance of WNC is a program that inspires people of faith in WNC to act on climate change.

LTE A Pause that Disrupts

 

Youth are serving and learning at Mission Earth w/ Asheville Youth Mission and CCA on Oct. 20th

Our Fourth Annual Mission Earth Youth Service Learning event concerning faith and the environment is set for Sunday, October 20 from 12:30-5:30 pm at First Presbyterian Church, 40 Church Street.

Middle & high school youth groups are invited to join Asheville Youth Mission and Creation Care Alliance for an afternoon of service and reflection!  We’ll work at a variety of local agencies and learn about how our beliefs affect the way we care for our planet. This is an opportunity for local youth groups of all sizes to come together for a great opportunity to put our faith in action!

$15/person = lunch, service/program & donation to local agencies.

Register your group by Sept. 30 by emailing cristi@youthmissionco.org

Questions? Contact Michael Poulos (michael@youthmissionco.org) or Scott Hardin (scott@creationcarealliance.org)

 

World Day of Prayer for Creation

Today, September 1 is the World Day of Prayer for Creation.
Here are some prayers and resources on the first day of this Season of Creation. 

  1. Prayer for Creation and the Beatitudes by Baptist Rev. Katherine Smith
  2. Prayer with Food and Bodies in Baltimore with Rev. Dr. Heber Brown III 
  3. Sufi Prayer for Creation— Hazrat Inayat Khan- Sufi Teacher 
    Through the silence of nature,
    I attain Thy divine peace.
    Oh sublime nature,
    in thy stillness let my heart rest.
    Thou art patiently awaiting the moment
    to manifest through the silence of sublime nature.
    Oh nature sublime, speak to me through silence,
    for I am awaiting in silence like you the call of God.
    Oh nature sublime,
    through thy silence I hear Thy cry.
    My heart is tuned to the quietness,
    that the stillness of nature inspires.
  4. Gratitude prayer with Buddhist Thich Nhat Hanh

In gratitude, I bow to this land and all of the ancestors who made it available.I see that I am whole, protected, and nourished by this land and all the living beings that have been here and made life worthwhile and possible for me through all of their efforts. I see Chief Seattle, Thomas Jefferson, Dorothy Day, Cesar Chavez, Martin Luther King, Jr., and all the others known and unknown. I see those who have worked hard to build schools, hospitals, bridges, and roads, to protect human rights, to develop science and technology, and to fight for freedom and social justice. I see myself touching my ancestors of Native American origin who have lived on this land for such a long time and know the ways to live in peace and harmony with nature, protecting the mountains, forests, animals, vegetation, and minerals of this land. I feel the energy of this land penetrating my body and soul, supporting and accepting me. I vow to cultivate and maintain this energy and transmit it to future generations. I vow to contribute my part in transforming the violence, hatred, and delusion that still lie deep in the consciousness of this society so that future generations will have more safety, joy, and peace. I ask this land for its protection and support.

 5. Live amid the Play of Infinite Thought By UU Pastor Rev. Thomas Starr King

“I believe that if, on every Sunday morning before going to church, we could be lifted to a mountain-peak and see a horizon line of six hundred miles enfolding the copious splendor of the light on such a varied expanse; or if we could look upon a square mile of flowers representing all the species with which the Creative Spirit embroiders a zone; or if we could be made to realize the distance of the earth from the sun, the light of which travels every morning twelve millions of miles a minute to feed and bless us, and which the force of gravitation pervades without intermission to hold our globe calmly in its orbit and on its poise; if we could fairly perceive, through our outward senses, one or two features of the constant order and glory of nature, our materialistic dullness would be broken, surprise and joy would be awakened, we should feel that we live amid the play of Infinite thought; and the devout spirit would be stimulated so potently that our hearts would naturally mount in praise and prayer.”—Universalist and Unitarian minister Rev. Thomas Starr King, from a 1863 sermon entitled “Lessons from the Sierra Nevada”

6. Prayer from National Council of Churches

Gracious God, your amazing love extends through all time and space, to all parts of your creation, which you created and called good. You made a covenant with Noah and his family, putting a rainbow in the sky to symbolize your promise of love and blessing to every living creature, and to all successive generations. You made a covenant with Abraham and Sarah, blessing them and their descendants throughout the generations. You made a covenant with Moses and the Israelite people to all generations, giving them the 10 commandments and challenging them to choose life. In Jesus, you invite us to enter into a new covenant, in communion with all who seek to be faithful to you.

As people of faith, we are called into covenant. Your covenant of faithfulness and love extends to the whole creation. We pray for the healing of the earth, that present and future generations may enjoy the fruits of creation, and continue to glorify and praise you.—National Council of Churches 

7. A prayer for our earth- From Pope Francis  Laudato Si

All-powerful God, you are present in the whole universe and in the smallest of your creatures.
You embrace with your tenderness all that exists.
Pour out upon us the power of your love,
that we may protect life and beauty.
Fill us with peace, that we may live
as brothers and sisters, harming no one.
O God of the poor,
help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth, so precious in your eyes.
Bring healing to our lives,
that we may protect the world and not prey on it,
that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction. Touch the hearts
of those who look only for gain
at the expense of the poor and the earth.
Teach us to discover the worth of each thing,
to be filled with awe and contemplation,
to recognize that we are profoundly united
with every creature
as we journey towards your infinite light.
We thank you for being with us each day.
Encourage us, we pray, in our struggle
for justice, love and peace.

8. Earth, Teach Me
Earth teach me quiet ~ as the grasses are still with new light.
Earth teach me suffering ~ as old stones suffer with memory.
Earth teach me humility ~ as blossoms are humble with beginning.
Earth teach me caring ~ as mothers nurture their young.
Earth teach me courage ~ as the tree that stands alone.
Earth teach me limitation ~ as the ant that crawls on the ground.
Earth teach me freedom ~ as the eagle that soars in the sky.
Earth teach me acceptance ~ as the leaves that die each fall.
Earth teach me renewal ~ as the seed that rises in the spring.
Earth teach me to forget myself ~ as melted snow forgets its life.
Earth teach me to remember kindness ~ as dry fields weep with rain.
~Ute Prayer

9. Prayer outside NC Utilities Commission Hearing Jan. 26 2016– Scott Hardin-Nieri

Other Resources for this Season

Denominational Resources

Daily Blessings: For Wonders of Nature in the Jewish Tradition

Prayer at Utilities Commission meeting

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LED Light Renewal Project

Through a generous grant from the Asheville Merchant Fund, the support of Duke Energy and Lime Energy, and congregational efforts and financing, the Creation Care Alliance has been able to support the work of 6 congregations while reducing energy bills, the energy load in Western North Carolina and supporting a healthier environment.  This pilot project if replicated has the potential to transform communities across WNC and the U.S. as it saves money, supports the economic viability of neighborhoods and helps improve the environment.

The project lasted about 9 months while supporting six properties hosting seven congregations, Trinity United Methodist Church, Jubilee! Congregation, Land of the Sky United Church of Christ, Skyland United Methodist Church,  Black Mountain Presbyterian Church, Circle of Mercy United Church of Christ, and Trinity Presbyterian Church.

LED Light Renewal Project by the Numbers 

15 Congregations received Energy Assessments
6 congregations received grant assistance
3170 people directly impacted
1296 replacements (772 fixtures changed, 524 LED Bulbs)
$14,760 Saved Annually ($200 per month on average)
147 metric tons of carbon saved
207,276 KwH total saved annually (equivalent to energy for 17 homes,
160,000 lbs of coal or 31 cars driven for 1 year)
$103,204.93 – Total Value of Lighting Upgrades Delivered
3170 people directly impacted

Download the Graphic by Caryn Hanna Here. LED Light Graphic 6 congregations lower quality Read More

Cool Communities Book Study: Living the Low-Carbon Life

Cool Communities: Living the Low-Carbon Life  SPACE LIMITED– RSVP Here

Tuesdays, September 24th-October 15th, 2019 6:30 PM –  8:00 PM ET  

Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville, 1 Edwin Place, Asheville, NC 28801 

Join us as we translate our care for our Earth and climate into specific actions to reduce our carbon footprints. Individual actions count, and they are so much easier to make when others are doing it with you. The Low Carbon Diet is an easy-to-use guide that will show you, step by step, how to dramatically reduce your carbon dioxide output in just a month’s time. By making simple changes to actions you take every day, you’ll learn how to reduce your annual household carbon footprint by at least 15%. That translates into savings for you and saving Creation. In this 4-week small group class, we will take actions each week and report back the following week. The workbooks are provided. Sign up here.  Class size is limited to 15. For more information, contact Jane at janelaping@sbcglobal.net.

Cellist Judith Glixon was on Blue Ridge Public Radio this morning

Cellist Judith Glixon was on Blue Ridge Public Radio this morning discussing “One Cello, One Planet,” her solo cello concert series highlighting the urgency of climate change.

Glixon’s tour has stops in Black Mountain, Tryon, Hendersonville and Asheville this month, and proceeds will benefit the Creation Care Alliance of Western North Carolina. There’s still time to get your tickets here:

https://creationcarealliance.org/…/one-cello-one-planet-co…/

Wild Goose Festival 2019 Reflections

The Creation Care Alliance was part of the rich ecosystem of the Wild Goose Festival again this summer in Hot Springs. Our team hosted table conversations and workshops about climate change and creation care for faith communities, using our Guide for Cultivating Creation Care, as a basis for our work.  We prayed with one another, played with one another and were moved by the profoundly deep connections among those teaching about spirituality, anti-racism, ecological healing, economic and social justice. Several times our team heard gratitude from participants for our presence and for more voices to be heard regarding the environment and faith.  The Mountaintrue Outings Coordinator, Catie, provided amazing leadership for a robust volunteer team attending to the transportation needs of guests and musicians.

A Personal Reflection.  On the last day, as I listened to Rev. Brian McClaren I was struck by the conversation about holding the tension between being prophetic and pastoral.  Read More

Two Concerts Left! One Cello, One Planet: Music, Science, and Spirituality- Radio Interview and Video Reflection Below

Cellist Judith Glixon Returns to WNC for Tour Supporting Creation Care and Climate Action. She was on Blue Ridge Public Radio discussing “One Cello, One Planet,” her solo cello concert series highlighting the urgency of climate change. Listen Here.

Glixon’s tour has 2 more stops in Hendersonville and Asheville this weekend, and proceeds will benefit the Creation Care Alliance of Western North Carolina. There’s still time to get your tickets here:

Judith Glixon, a former Asheville resident who was once the principal cellist with the Asheville Symphony and the Brevard Chamber Orchestra, is returning to WNC to perform a series of solo cello concerts highlighting the urgency of climate change. Proceeds will support the work of the Creation Care Alliance of WNC, a program that empowers faith organizations to act on climate change.  

“The goal of the tour is three-fold,” says Glixon. “It’s to raise awareness about the urgency of our changing climate; to inspire people to act; and to raise funds for organizations like the Creation Care Alliance of WNC whose primary mission addresses climate change.” Read More