As someone born and raised in Los Angeles County, my experiences with ‘small’ and ‘rural’ are far and few. Furthermore, when I read books on sustainability and agriculture, I typically pick up books written in universities by professors who spend their lives writing, researching, and teaching indoors in a classroom. While there is certainly great content in books like these, perhaps a better place to learn about sustainability and agriculture is in a community that practices it. Although Los Angeles can teach us many things about culture and diversity, the mountains of western North Carolina is one place we can learn about the intersection of eco-justice and faith. Blackburn’s Chapel is a very small community of people in a town called Todd. Todd is a stretch of land that sits on the line between Ashe and Watauga county. This area is so small, there are about 4 buildings that form the center of town. One of these buildings is the local church, Blackburn’s Chapel. On most Sundays, the church has about 20-30 members who join together in worship. Although Blackburn’s is small in number, when it comes to caring for God’s creation, they are mighty. Read More
Share your faith and passion for a clean energy future. Learn more here. On July 21, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners will vote on whether or not to move forward with a plan to install solar panels at 40 sites of county government, city and public school and community college properties. The project is the equivalent of powering 677 homes entirely with solar. The solar energy systems will save county taxpayers $27 million by reducing electricity payments to Duke Energy over the next 30 years. This vote is a huge opportunity to move our county forward to a renewable energy future. In addition, the prices offered to install these solar projects are millions of dollars cheaper than expected, and the energy savings from the solar panels would actually save the county and schools money.
To make this happen, we need at least 4 out of 7 County Commissioners to vote YES to this proposal on July 21. We are asking people who value renewable energy to write personalized letters to the County Commissioners to encourage them to vote yes.
Sharing how your faith or spiritual life informs your beliefs about clean energy and creation care is a unique and helpful way to communicate values that we all hold dear regardless of political affiliation. You can also spread the word to your friends and family about the need to make your voice heard before this vote.
Geared for high-school students, young adults, and adults, we invite you to seek shalom with us, joining other groups/families in stimulating discussion, prayer, and brainstorming about how they are turning challenges into opportunities, how to re-frame our daily lived practices, and how to foster a fuller imagination for our world! We want this experience to meet you where you are, so if attending all the sessions is not a possibility, let’s be in touch about creative alternatives! Sliding scale registration can be found at: https://christmount.
Join us to experience what it’s like to negotiate a climate deal to address one of the greatest human and environmental challenges of this century. The Climate Action Simulation is a highly interactive, role-playing game. It uses the En-ROADS simulation model to engage a wide range of participants in exploring key technology and policy solutions for addressing climate change. The game is conducted as a simulated emergency summit organized by the United Nations that convenes global stakeholders. In the game, it’s our job to establish a concrete plan that limits global warming to Paris Agreement goals.
This two-hour workshop hosted by Climate Interactive allows you to do a deep dive into the decisions that have to made to create a world that meets Paris Climate Agreement goals. You’ll have the opportunity to negotiate over factors such as decreasing deforestation worldwide, improving building efficient, or increasing oil taxes and watch as the models respond to your decisions.
You may join as an individual or invite your congregation’s creation care team. If you’ve joined us previously for the Climate Interactive experience, we are using a new version that was released recently, so the experience will be different than previous ones.
What do Oaks, Violets, Native Bees and Robins have in common? They are native species in Western North Carolina and they are part of the CCA Neighborhood Natives Scavenger Hunt. While we are caring for our human neighbors by maintaining social distance, this can be a wonderful time to get to know some of our other neighbors- our local botanical and animal friends! The next time you’re out for a stroll, consider taking this guide with you and seeing if you can identify some of these common urban and suburban dwellers. Then if you like, try one of the mindfulness activities. We are so impressed and excited to try and find these ten neighbors and deepen our spiritual lives in the process. Many thanks to Rhys Burns, Kevin Bates and Emma Childs for this inspirational work.
Find it here: CCA Neighborhood Natives Scavenger Hunt
Several faith communities are offering worship and prayer services online- click the links below to learn more. Let us know if you would like us to add your congregation to the list by filling out this form. Photo Credit to Land of the Sky UCC.
Waynesville- First United Methodist Church, Worship 8:30 Trad, 8:40 Contemporary
With passion, wisdom and wit, Dr. Orr offered insights into some of the symptoms of our sickened Democracy. The interplay of his conversation included climate change, spirituality, racism and the role of government and the commons. He reflected the concern for a lack of curiosity, compassion, and connection with others as he spoke. You can see the entire talk with the questions and answers on the Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church YouTube Channel.
Here is a response to a question about faith in these times.
This Friday at 7pm, CCA and Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church will host Dr. David Orr for a discussion regarding the pandemics of COVID-19, racism, climate change and how Democracy may be impacted. “Pandemics and Prejudice: How Can Democracy Survive in a Hotter Time?” will be presented by Dr. David Orr, EMERITUS Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics at Oberlin College via Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church’s Youtube Channel (“GCPC Video”) on Friday 7/10/2020 at 7pm. It will be a lecture about the Moral Imperative to Restore our Democracy as well as the urgency of Environmental Stewardship, regardless of any particular religious persuasion.
Dr. Orr writes: “The COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing crisis of race in America are both an indictment and a preview of what’s coming in a hotter, more divided world with vast economic inequities. Both are symptoms of the tragic failure of democratic institutions. Dr. Orr’s democracy initiative (stateofamericandemocracy.org) is working toward the repair and strengthening of democratic institutions beginning with restoring a moral vision of democracy.” Dr. Orr will not present in person, but we will do this via livestream on Youtube. This event is sponsored by the EARTH Team at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church and Creation Care Alliance. Dr. Orr will be introduced by Rev. Marcia Mount Shoop who will facilitate the question and answer period after his presentation.
Join Steering Team Member, Janet Mitchell and Wake Forest Intern Jessica Rowe for a conversational experience of The Pope’s landmark expression of faith, social justice and ecology that was released five years ago. In Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home Pope Francis implores all people to “dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet” (14). He continues his call saying, “We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all” (14). This six-week introductory study will engage participants on the importance of caring for the Earth and how this endeavor is connected to justice for the poor and interior peace. Each week we will gather on Zoom to check in, pray, and discuss a chapter of Laudato Si. This study convenes on June 3rd, and will meet weekly on Wednesdays for six consecutive weeks. Please sign up here.