Creation Care Alliance of Western North Carolina

Youth: Listening to those who stand to lose so much

Ehret, a 12th grader from Loveland, Colorado who is a youth group member of Heart of the Rockies Christian Church where I served years ago called me last week to tell me about how his faith had driven him to help organize a student demonstration about climate change. He told me about the U.S. School Climate Strike happening this Friday and asked me if I knew of other faith communities and people of faith that might be interested in this movement for climate justice.

I quickly told him about you and the many other people and congregations who are seeking right relationship with people, planet, and the Divine. 

This Friday, youth in Western North Carolina will join a growing movement of teenagers and children who are seeking to accelerate progress on climate action.  The rallies, marches and school strikes in the US represent just a fraction of the global action, with young voices being lifted in forty countries. Youth as well as adults have been inspired by 15-year-old Greta Thunberg, a Swedish student whose weekly school strikes have won a global following.  Greta’s decision to skip school and bike to Stockholms’ Parliament House with a hand painted “School Strike for Climate” sign reveals a growing impatience with the current leadership and continues to inspire tangible change. Among the many powerful demands from the US students that resonate with me are the calls for “an equitable transition for marginalized communities that will be most impacted by climate change and an equitable transition for fossil-fuel reliant communities to a renewable economy.”

We know that the young people who are courageously speaking out this week are among those with the most to lose in the years and decades to come. I am standing in solidarity with them this week, and encourage young people and adult allies to attend the Asheville Climate Strike Rally in Pritchard Park on March 15 at 4:30.

We cannot do this work alone and recognize that human and ecological connections are at the root of our future.  Tonight the “Hidden Life of Trees” book study at Jubilee at 6pm will give you some time with like-minded and hearted humans. If not tonight, see below for other ways to connect.

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Fossil Free Presbyterians reflect on Clergy Retreat

Farmers, faith leaders and scientists came together at the Creation Care Alliance of Western North Carolina‘s clergy retreat in January. They explored how the damage the Dust Bowl caused a climate scientist’s family farm affected his outlook, the connection between climate change and the Sabbath, stories of first understanding climate change and more.

We offer gratitude for these words from Rev. Jess Rigel

Spirit and World Climate- Climate Interactive Role Playing


Build hope and possibility for a sustainable climate: Join Creation Care Alliance and Mountaintrue at First Congregational Church to play a climate solutions game!  This will be a great opportunity for you, your green team/creation care team, and congregational leadership to connect with other people who are engaged in or are curious about climate work.  Let us know you are coming to this free event here.
March 31 @ 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
First Congregational Church Fellowship Hall Downstairs 
20 Oak St, Asheville, NC 28801  
Play the role of global leaders engaging in UN Climate Negotiations as you simulate scenarios of success in a powerful computer model used by top global leaders. This game will allow you to explore what it will actually take to address climate change.  Creation Care Alliance Director Scott Hardin-Nieri, and MountainTrue staff members Rhys Burns and Catie Morris will lead the event and guide you on your way to a restored climate. This is part of the Faith Track within The Climate City Expo offered by the Collider.  There will be snacks and drinks.
Climate Interactive is a think tank that develops simulation tools to help people explore what works to address climate change and other systemic challenges. From their office at the Collider, they have worked closely with top decision-makers from the UN, US Congress, and other governments around the world and have published in the NY Times, Washington Post, and other media outlets. Climate leaders in over 85 countries have participated in their games.  Learn more with this brief video. 


Sign up for this free event here. 




Let There Be (LED) Light

The Creation Care Alliance of WNC Helps Congregations Save Money With Climate Solutions-

Like they do on most Sundays, the Jubilee! Congregation in downtown Asheville sang sacred songs, read from scripture, and took in the sermon from their Rev. Howard Hanger on January 13. But on this day, something different happened: when the pastor repeated the beloved sacred passage “Let there Be Light,” the sanctuary filled up with beautiful LED light.

As one of the pilot congregations for the Creation Care Alliance’s LED Renewal Project, Jubilee! was celebrating the completion of their LED lighting upgrades. By replacing 160 bulbs and nine light bays in their church building with LEDS, Jubilee! will save an estimated $2,119 and reduce their estimated energy consumption by 14,250 kilowatt hours in this year alone. That’s the equivalent of 10 metric tons of carbon or offsets, and about the same as planting and growing 167 trees for ten years.   Read More

“What people of faith are doing to help the environment” Hendersonville, Green Drinks

March 14, 5:30-7:00pm
Black Bear Coffee Co. 218 Main Street Hendersonville, NC

Rev. Scott Hardin-Nieri, the Director of the Creation Care Alliance of Western North Carolina and other community and faith leaders will be sharing at the monthly Green Drinks meeting in Hendersonville from 5:30 pm-7:00pm 

Come enjoy a beverage, connect with other sustainability and spirituality minded people, and learn about faith communities in Western North Carolina that see “Loving neighbors” as highly interconnected with how we love our rivers, mountains, forests and air.

CCA listens and shares creation care ideas with Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians and Givens Estates

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.

Clergy/Faith Leader Retreat echoes

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.


Webinar: From Climate Reports to Moral Imperative

Wednesday, January 9, 2019 at 1:00 PM


Recently, a couple of major climate reports have been released that highlight the impact of climate change on our world and the urgent need to act. To help faith communities understand the insights of these reports and the moral imperatives that arise from them, we will have three special guests: Katharine Hayhoe, Naomi Oreskes, and Jim Antal.
Hayhoe is a climate scientist at Texas Tech University and is one of the coauthors of the National Climate Assessment. Oreskes is a professor at Harvard University and has been a leading public voice in discussions about the science of climate change. Antal is a long-time leader in faith activism on climate change and is the recent author of “Climate Church, Climate World: How People of Faith Must Work for Change.”
This webinar is co-hosted by the Rev. Dr. Brooks Berndt of the United Church of Christ Environmental Justice Ministry and the Rev. Michael Malcom of Alabama Interfaith Power & Light.Sign-up now to join the webinar! If you can’t make its scheduled time, sign-up to receive a recording of it.