Creation Care Alliance of Western North Carolina

2020 Earth Day Vigil – Watch Here

The 50th Anniversary of Earth Day is an occasion that warrants reflection and deserves celebration. Above all, it honors and inspires community: both the community of people, past and present, that have cared for our earth and the community of living beings that our earth supports everyday.

For years, we have hosted an Earth Day Vigil in Asheville, bringing folks together to honor the natural beauty around us and the lessons it had taught us. This year we were unable to gather in person, which seemed like a challenge to vigil’s purpose. In many vigils, their power comes from the feeling of others worshiping alongside you, deeply connecting over a shared love and experience. To our surprise, we found that hosting the vigil virtually allowed us draw strength from this feeling of togetherness. We were able to expand our community by hearing from voices of faith leaders from throughout WNC and by allowing friends and family to join from near and far. The speakers were

Rev. Kevin Bates, United Methodist Church in Black Mountain, NC
Rev. Tamara Franks, High Country United Church of Christ in Vilas, NC
Rev. Scott Hardin-Nieri, Director of the Creation Care Alliance
Jenna Lindbo, Land of the Sky United Church of Christ
Rev. Naomi Tutu, Cathedral of All Souls
Rev. Wil Posey, First United Methodist Church in Murphy, NC
Rabbi Phil Bentley, Hendersonville
Rev. Laura Collins, Asheville, NC

If you were unable to join us for the event, we hope that you can take a moment to watch the recording and draw strength from the voices that gathered to celebrate our earth.

Earth Day Vigil April 26- 50th Anniversary

Earth Day Vigil Register Here.  
Although we are unable to gather in person this year, we are excited to host a virtual Earth Day Vigil in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day. The vigil will be focused around the idea of “Seeing with New Eyes” and will include readings, prayers, songs, and information about creation care from speakers from throughout Western North Carolina. Following the vigil, we will host a “reception” where we invite you to grab your dinner or favorite beverage and join us for a discussion and reflection. The vigil will run from 6-7:30pm and the reception will begin directly after it ends. We welcome you to join us for as long as you are able.The vigil will be hosted over Zoom, and you will receive a link to join the Zoom meeting after signing up. When you join for the vigil, you will be muted and your video will be turned off. For the reception, there will be more opportunities for interaction. You may join from your computer or your phone.Speakers:
Rev. Kevin Bates, United Methodist Church in Black Mountain, NC
Rev. Tamara Franks, High Country United Church of Christ in Vilas, NC
Rev. Scott Hardin-Nieri, Director of the Creation Care Alliance
Jenna Lindbo, Land of the Sky United Church of Christ
Rev. Naomi Tutu, Cathedral of All Souls
Rev. Wil Posey, First United Methodist Church in Murphy, NC
Rabbi Phil Bentley, Hendersonville
Rev. Laura Collins, Asheville, NC

Screen Shot 2020-04-25 at 10.30.14 AM

Scavenger Hunt: Neighborhood Natives and Meditation.

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

CARES ACT offers Financial Support for Faith Communities-Covid-19

CARES ACT PROVISIONS PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM for CONGREGATIONS.

Photo by Sheila Mraz at Earth Day Vigil 2018

Your denomination will know more about this opportunity but we wanted to offer this potential resource in the midst of the ongoing financial challenge. There is a limited supply of funding for this program and Small Business Administration started processing applications on April 3rd. Consult your denomination and check it out.

The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses including faith-based non-profits and religious institutions to keep their workers on the payroll. It can provide forgivable loans for payroll and utilities. 

The Small Business Administration will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.

You can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. You should consult with your local lender as to whether it is participating in the program.

Lenders may begin processing loan applications as soon as April 3, 2020. The Paycheck Protection Program will be available through June 30, 2020 but will be depleted first come first served.

More information from the Small Business Administration

The actual application can be found HERE. 

Article from Christianity Today

Some Denominational Resources.

African Methodist Episcopal Church

Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) 

Episcopal Church

Presbyterian Church  

Reform Judaism  

United Methodist Church 

United Church of Christ 

Unitarian Universalist 

Watch the CCA Solar Summit Video

This winter, the Creation Care Alliance held our first Solar Summit – a gathering of people of faith who have successfully implemented solar energy at their congregations.

Take a look at our Solar Summit video to hear some of the successes, challenges, and wisdom attendees learned from throughout the solar process. Our hope is for this video to be a resource for other congregations who may be interested in solar, but don’t know where to start.

Learn more about Congregational Solar!  CCA and NC Interfaith Power and Light will be hosting a Solar 101 for congregations on May 28th, 2020 at 6pm.  

Earth Day Sunday Resources

April 22nd will be the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day

CCA has gathered some resources to support your congregation in honoring, celebrating or teaching about creation care in this season. Several congregations will offer sermons, classes or teachings on the Sunday before or just after Earth Day.  A 2020 theme “The Fierce Urgency of Now” was coordinated by Creation Justice Ministries, an ecumenical organization that carries out the creation care and environmental justice priorities of dozens of Christian denominations and communions. The theme comes from a quote by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there ‘is’ such a thing as being too late. This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action.”

Earth Day Sunday Experiences on April 19th or 26th.

MULTI-FAITH EARTH DAY SERVICE
Sunday, April 19, 2020 | 2:00pm
Washington National Cathedral

Creation Care Alliance Earth Day Vigil
Sunday, April 26, 2020 | 6:00pm
Virtual experience with a variety of voices. Register Here. 

Faith Climate Action Week with Interfaith Power and Light

Find local congregations offering worship online here. 

Earth Week Days of Prayer for our Climate with Interfaith Power and Light April 20-24

Earth Day Sunday Worship Resources

Creation Justice Ministries Liturgies

Season of Creation-Designed for the fall “Season of Creation” but offers many good resources.

Earth Ministries Resources

Green Faith- This offers a robust set of resources, prayers and scriptures from a variety of faith traditions

Presbyterians for Earth Care- Creation Care Resources with a Presbyterian perspective

Interfaith Power and Light- Has a variety of resources including sample sermons, prayers, and liturgies.

2017-A-Liturgy-for-Earth-DayByron Forester

Hymns and Songs for Creation Care

Creation-Centered-Hymns IPL
Creation Care Hymns and Songs:from Earth Ministries and Presbyterian Church

Resources regarding Environmental Justice

United Church of Christ-One-stop EcoJustice Research site

NAACP Climate Justice Resources

Eco-Challenge Team 2020- Join us

This month we will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day!  We recognize that we are in the midst of collective trauma and chaos. However, if you are able and interested in joining us as we focus on individual ecological and social actions that add up please consider joining the Creation Care Alliance Eco-Challenge team. We still have about 24 days left of the challenge and would love for you to join us.  Join us here. 

I have 73 points so far but I am starting to get the hang of it.  Also, we are excited to share that Asheville High School is the TOP RANKED TEAM out of over 600 teams globally.

If you want to learn more about the Eco-Challenge you can watch this short video.

 

Peace,
Scott Hardin-Nieri

Couch Church- Seeking the Sacred

A week ago today, my disheveled family gathered on the couch with coffee and breakfast tacos in hand.  I did not have high expectations at all for online worship or prayer. We negotiated on what time and which congregation we would tune into since our regular community was not online until later in the evening. It was surreal to see colleagues spread 6-feet apart, to hear music with few voices, and the children’s moment with no children (except mine on the couch). I was distracted at best as I glanced regularly at the screen. Then somewhere between the sacred readings and the sermon, I found myself in the moment. The readings were familiar, the wisdom spoken by the pastor powerful. I was challenged and comforted by prayers and songs. When the courageous congregational leaders spoke the Christian Lord’s Prayer, “Our Father, who art in heaven…” I quietly spoke along with them, then I noticed other couch sitters speaking as well. For a moment, there was a sacred connection within our family, with this scattered faith community, the human family and with God. I may not see it all the time (I probably won’t) but I want to look for those sacred moments more often. Whether on walks, hearing birds (like this post-rain morning), worshipping with a scattered community or seeking to bring wholeness, hope, and compassion in a world that is hurting. May you find ways to seek the sacred.

Find Worship services online-