Creation Care Alliance of Western North Carolina

CCA in Mtn Xpress. “Many Hands”

On a day with lots of other news to follow check out the Spirituality Issue of the Mountain Xpress. On Page 28, writer Daniel Walton outlines faith communities and lay leadership engaged in work for creation care. The upcoming CCA creation Care Retreat on Feb. 7-8 is highlighted! This retreat might be a great gift for your clergy or creation care lay leaders friends.

Greta Thunberg, Person of the Year, is not Alone

Greta Thunberg is Time’s Person of the Year for 2019. 

In an era where integrity and truth, compassion and creativity have been challenged and eroded Greta Thunberg has simply acted on her convictions.  It started with a strike from her school in Sweden and ending this year seeing millions step out of “business as usual” if only for an hour or a day. There are many youth and adults who have been leading in the climate struggle through litigation, energy efficiency, innovation, protest, and policy influence.

Greta stands on the shoulders of powerful voices and the work of many, but it is her voice that has most recently captured the prophetic imagination of people in over 100 countries. She continues to point people away from herself when she can, not wanting to be seen as a hero or savior.  She reminds us to listen to the scientists, to look at the future with honesty and act boldly.  Like all of us, she is not perfect. She is human. She will probably make mistakes and will be inconsistent. And yet the science of climate continues to unfold with terrible projections, the impacts of climate shifting are currently squeezing farmers, communities near the seas and almost all of humanity, particularly those most vulnerable. 

“Thunberg is not a leader of any political party or advocacy group. She is neither the first to sound the alarm about the climate crisis nor the most qualified to fix it. She is not a scientist or a politician. She has no access to traditional levers of influence: she’s not a billionaire or a princess, a pop star or even an adult. She is an ordinary teenage girl who, in summoning the courage to speak truth to power, became the icon of a generation. By clarifying an abstract danger with piercing outrage, Thunberg became the most compelling voice on the most important issue facing the planet.”

Greta is not perfect but she is not alone.  She has helped awaken millions to this work.  Here in Western North Carolina people of faith are engaged in climate change mitigation, adaptation and compassion building.  They may not all be protesting, committing acts of civil disobedience or fully aware of climate policy but more and more are waking up and organizing to take climate change action as an expression of their faith lives.

Creation Care Fall Hike with CCA and MountainTrue

BearWallow Mountain  sign up here
December 4, 9-noon.  
Join us for a contemplative fall hike up Bearwallow mountain.
This easy-to-moderate trail climbs one mile through lovely mountain forest, and opens up onto a large grassy field at the top. This spectacular summit will be the site for some guided reflection before looping back down the mountain. MountainTrue’s Forest Keeper Coordinator, Rhys Burns, will offer some ecological insights along the hike, and Creation Care Alliance director Scott Hardin-Nieri will provide some spiritual context around caring for our ecological neighbors. We will hope to catch some fall colors, but the view is outstanding regardless. We will meet at the trailhead at 9:00 (after hopefully carpooling from town!) and get everyone back to town by noon. Please bring water (1L recommended), snacks, layers, sturdy shoes, and anything else needed to enjoy a lovely fall morning outside.
Let us know you are coming- Sign up here.
Learn more about Bearwallow Mountain at

Creation Care Regional Retreat Feb. 7-8, 2020- Registration Closed (we are at capacity)

Creation Care Retreat 2020-Register Here

Resilience and Restoration in the Mountains 
February 7, 12:30-6pm (Designated for Clergy)
February 8, 8:30-6:00pm (all creation care advocates and leaders)
Montreat, NC

Designed with creation care volunteers and clergy in mind, this retreat allows you to spend the day with a theologian, a climate scientist, a forest biologist, and local colleagues and pastoral innovators. Whether you’re new to creation care or a long-time advocate, you’ll gain new language and tools to inspire your congregation to care for the environment, interwoven with space for rest, relationship, prayer and good food.

Our conversations will be supported by
Dr. Emily Askew, Associate Professor of Theology at Lexington Theological Seminary
Deke Arndt, Climate Scientist
Rev. Carol Devine, Pastor and Green Chalice Innovator,
Rhys Burns, MountainTrueForest Keeper
Karim Olaechea, Communication Director
Catie Morris, Social Media advisor
Mary Anne Ingles, A’Rocha- Children and Youth Ministry Educator
Sarah Ogletree,  NCIPL Program Coordinator and climate advocate
Scott Hardin-Nieri, Director of Creation Care Alliance and Green Chalice Assoc. Minister

Proposed workshop topics include:

  • Hope in times of challenge
  • Creating and Sustaining a Creation Care team
  • Discerning next steps for Creation Care
  • Food and Faith
  • Faithfully Exploring Solar
  • Loving your neighbor: Environmental Justice and Climate
  • Children, nature, and ministry
  • Communication for change (Social Media and print media storytelling and advocacy)

COST: One day= $25 Two days=$40
Group Discount: Pay only $15 per person if 3 or more from same congregation
(Snacks and Saturday breakfast and lunch included)
Register here. or email questions to

Register at or email questions to

Youth, Faithful action and Climate Concerns: Mission Earth 2019

70 Middle School and High School aged youth & adults from seven local congregations (Grace Covenant Presbyterian, Circle of Mercy, First Congregational, Grace Baptist, First Presbyterian Church, the Cathedral of All Souls, and Land of the Sky UCC) came together Sunday to put their faith into action at several mission sites: Root Cause Farm, 12 Baskets Cafe, Haw Creek Commons, and MountainTrue’s Sandy Bottom Forest Wetland project. Grateful for the partnership with Asheville Youth Mission and Michael Poulos! As part of our time together we learned about justice/mercy, social transformation and reflected in small groups.

Here are some of the reflections of the day.
Where they saw mercy, justice or glimpses of God…
Read More

First United Methodist, Waynesville Launches a Creation Care Ministry!

First United Methodist Church of Waynesville is launching a Creation Care Ministry this month.  Read this beautiful theological celebration Blog Post by Rev. Keith Turman. 

“FUMC Waynesville has always had a heart full of love for the humans around us, but we also have a growing passion to be faithful caretakers of the creation around us. We love our mountains and streams—the seas and dry land. And we love the swimmers, flyers, grazers and creeping things that inhabit the good places God spoke into being at the genesis of all things. This love and concern for our planet, and a deep desire to save it, has caused the transformation of our Green Team. Creation Care Ministries will launch in October. It’s a new beginning.”

Recommended Ecology Books for Children and Youth-Guest Blog from NCIPL

Celebrate National Book Month with these Stories & Resources

In honor of National Book Month, we at NCIPL have compiled this list of books dealing with climate and environmental issues for children and young adults. Here you will find resources to educate the kids in your life about climate change, stories about environmental heroes and she-roes to inspire the youth in your world, and resources to help you and your family mobilize and take action to protect our one and only home.

Books connecting faith and ecology, in addition to a few texts to empower your teens, have also been included. We know that reading plays an enormous role in learning about our world, and we hope these resources will help guide you and your loved ones through important climate conversations. Happy reading from all of us at NCIPL! 

Educate: Chances are, the children in your life are already learning about climate change and related environmental challenges in school and elsewhere. But learning with you will make this often scary topic a bit less scary. Check out these great texts and consider how you can begin climate conversations in your own home.

  1. What is Climate Change? by Gail Herman
  2. The Lonely Polar Bear by Khoa Le
  3. The Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge by Joanna Cole
  4. Bee & Me by Alison Jay
  5. Don’t Let Them Disappear: 12 Endangered Species Across the Globe by Chelsea Clinton
  6. Save the Ocean by Bethany Stahl
  7. Somebody Swallowed Stanley  by Sarah Roberts
  8. A Warmer World: From Polar Bears to Butterflies, How Climate Change Affects Wildlife by Caroline Arnold
  9. The Wondrous Workings of Planet Earth: Understanding Our World & Its Ecosystems by Rachel Ignotofsky
  10. What A Waste: Trash, Recycling, & Protecting Our Planet  by Jess French

Inspire: Consider the incredible work of environmentalists the world over by checking out the below texts! Help the children in your life discover these worthy environmental heroes and she-roes. Doing so will inspire them and give them hope. It will likely do the same for you.

  1. Seeds of Change: Wangari’s Gift to the World by Jen Cullerton Johnson
  2. Who Was Rachel Carson? By Sarah Fabiny
  3. Spring After Spring: How Rachel Carson Inspired the Environmental Movement by Stephanie Roth Sisson
  4. Our House is On Fire: Greta Thunberg’s Call to Save the Planet by Jeanette Winter
  5. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba & Bryan Mealer
  6. Wangari Maathai: The Woman Who Planted a Million Trees by Franck Prevot
  7. One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia by Miranda Paul
  8. Luna & Me: The True Story of a Girl Who Lived in a Tree to Save a Forest by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw
  9. Greta’s Story: The Schoolgirl Who Went on Strike to Save the Planet by Valentina Camerini
  10. The Tree Lady: The True Story of How One Tree Loving Lady Changed a City Forever by H. Joseph Hawkins

Mobilize: Having learned about climate change and the many challenges facing our world, commit to helping the kids in your life take action in the ways they see fit. There are many ways to work for a more sustainable and just future. These books contain great ideas and starting points for your kids and your family as a whole!

  1. Keepers of the Earth: Native American Stories & Environmental Activities for Children by Michael J. Caduto
  2. Outside Your Window: A First Book of Nature by Nicola Davies
  3. 10 Things I Can Do to Help My World by Melanie Walsh
  4. Grow: A Family Guide to Growing Fruits & Vegetables by Ben Raskin
  5. Compost: A Family Guide to Making Soil from Scraps by Ben Raskin
  6. Don’t Throw That Away by Lara Bergen
  7. The EARTH Book by Todd Parr
  8. Up in the Garden, and Down in the Dirt by Kate Messner
  9. Renewable Energy: Discover the Fuel of the Future with 20 Projects by Joshua Sneideman
  10. 365 Ways to Live Green by Sheri Amsel

Faith & Environment: While you’re at it, consider adding these texts to your congregational library or incorporating them in your children’s ministry. These are great resources connecting faith and environmental action.

  1. Brother Sun, Sister Moon by Katherine Paterson
  2. Old Turtle by Douglas Wood
  3. Old Turtle and the Broken Truth by Douglas Wood
  4. Grandad’s Prayers of the Earth by Douglas Wood

For Teens: These texts would make a great addition to your teen’s library. The first three are written by well-known youth climate activists.  The last text is a parable adopted from Kenyan environmentalist, Wangari Maathai. Share these with the teen in your life and empower them to act on climate.

  1. Youth to Power: Your Voice & How to Use It by Jamie Margolin
  2. No One is Too Small to Make a Difference by Greta Thunberg
  3. We Rise: The Earth Guardians Guide to Building a Movement that Restores the Planet by Xiuhtezcatl Martinez
  4. Flight of the Hummingbird: A Parable for the Environment by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas

Creation Care Alliance Gratitude Celebration!

Collaborators, Supporters, Volunteers, and Friends join us for the
Creation Care Alliance Pre-MountainTrue Gathering Celebration!
Wednesday, October 23, 5:00-6pm Just before the Mountaintrue Fall Gathering
New Belgium Brewery (outside at the Liquid Center) 21 Craven Street


cca celebration 2018 group

Wednesday, October 23, people will come together for the MountainTrue Fall Gathering,  friends of Creation Care Alliance are invited to a special pre-event at the New Belgium Liquid Center just a little bit before the larger gathering so we can celebrate together the work of compassion and love that continues to grow. Come hear good news stories, say hello to CCA Steering team and friends, then if you are planning on heading to the MountainTrue Members Gathering at 6pm we will walk over together to the Brewhouse to continue the celebration with the greater MountainTrue community. Come just to the CCA Celebration or stay for 2 celebrations. Snacks and non-alcoholic beverages will be served.

More about the MountainTrue Gathering Below.

Stronger Together: MountainTrue’s 2019 Annual Gathering

October 23 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
The MountainTrue event is free to all MountainTrue members. If you’re not a current member but would like to attend, complete this form and become a member today for only $30. To check and see if your membership is current, click here.