We are grateful for the work and ministry of Central United Methodist Church, First Presbyterian Church, Circle of Mercy Congregation and Givens Estates. They will include creation care in their worship and educational experiences within the next two weeks. The CCA team will share ways climate change, equity, and faith intersect as well as tangible ways that we can listen to the ongoing invitation to express our faith through creation care and justice. Our CCA toolkit and stories from other congregations will support our time together. Check out their websites and plan to join us tomorrow or next Sunday. Email or call us if you are interested in learning ways the Creation Care Alliance can support your congregational efforts.
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Last week about 45 faith leaders from 10 denominations gathered at Christmount Conference Center in Black Mountain to explore Sabbath as restorative resistance with Dr. Norman Wirzba, experience Story Medicine with Laura Lengnick, learn climate science from Deke Arndt and take a snow kissed walk in the forest with Bob Gale. Not only was I inspired by the speakers, spiritual directors and scientists teaching us but by the stories of people loving their communities well. So many of them are finding ways to both nurture community healing while nudging communities to have difficult conversations about faith, race, poverty, ecology and economics. We are grateful for the many volunteers, the Wake Forest University School of Divinity Food, Faith and Ecological Wellness Program, MountainTrue, the NC Council of Churches and Christmount for the collaborative support.
In November Creation Care Alliance Faith leaders helped support a 10-day public prayer and fast lead by Steve Norris. It was a heart centered reaction to the latest climate reports and deepened the spiritual roots of our collective action. Brook Randle wrote an article about it in the Mountain Xpress and took the photos as well.
“You know, if we inspire one person who really wants to take this seriously and who has imagination, genius, creativity, courage and some leadership skills, who knows where that can go?” -Steve Norris
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My children will both go back to school today after three and a half days off for snow-related cancellations and delays. During this time there was sled run building, movie watching, hot chocolate, fort creating, reading, knitting and anticipation. You see, Christmas is just around the corner, and for practicing Christians, this is the season of Advent. It is a time of worship, practice, and intentionally slowing down as we anticipate the coming of God revealed in Jesus. It is when we look forward to the coming Light even while naming the brokenness and darkness in the world.
It is a time of waiting.
The church hymn O Come, O Come Emmanuel reveals this season well.
O come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel,
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.
And this year, Advent coincides with the UN Climate talks in Katowice, Poland – also known as COP24 –where close to 200 nations are trying to map out a path to implement the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015. Read More
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Today will mark the 6th night of Hanukkah and as we face the predictions of darkened skies for an upcoming snowstorm in Western North Carolina our awareness of our need for Light at this time is deepened. Rabbi Arthur Waskow shares wisdom from the Jewish faith tradition as we seek light not only in snow storms or dark times in our history but also during this unique era of climate change.
“The first night of Hanukkah comes three days after the Northern Hemisphere’s winter solstice, when the sun is at its darkest and the night at its longest. It is during this time of darkness that we kindle a growing array of lights. Likewise, as we face the darkness of the current environmental crisis on our planet, it’s also the time to bring the power of our light to bear.” Rabbi Arthur Waskow
Read more about his work and invitation to address climate here.
Photo by Gil Dekel
Solar 101 for Faith Communities. Learn from experts, congregational leaders, Susannah Tuttle, the Director of NC Interfaith Power and Light, and community leaders as we explore ways for faith communities to unleash the power of the sun. We will be coming together to share compassion and ideas and learn about creation care work. We will share about CCA and community events and work. If you are connected to a faith community, a green team or creation care team member, clergy, or are interested in learning more about creation care in Western North Carolina this meeting is for you! We are grateful to have representatives from the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville and First Christian in Black Mountain join us as well to share their solar stories.