Creation Care Alliance of Western North Carolina

Join Solar 101 For Faith Communities on May 28!

Join the Creation Care Alliance and NC Interfaith Power & Light on Thursday, May 28 to keep building momentum for solar energy in faith communities in our mountain region. This gathering will feature solar energy experts and highlight the experiences of faith communities that have already installed solar, providing guidance for congregations that are interested in starting their solar journey.

Find Solar Resources HERE  Steps to Solar – Updated Jan 31 2020  and CCA SOLAR SURVEY – SUMMARY- PDF From Enrique

This gathering will be hosted virtually. You will receive the link to join the virtual meeting once you register. When you join, you will be muted automatically and your video with be disabled.

All are welcome. Sign up here:

Welcome CCA Intern Jessica Rowe!

Welcome to the newest CCA team member.  Jessica Rowe grew up in a small town in South Central Virginia on a piece of farmland. She is currently in her first year at Wake Forest University Divinity School pursuing a Masters in Divinity with a focus in food, faith, and sustainability. Before moving to North Carolina she lived in New York City with her husband Stephen for four years. While living in New York, Jessica worked with a couple of nonprofits, ministries, and a small business serving and building communities seeking justice in response to faith commitments. Each of these workplaces connected her to the reality and daily rhythms of faith-based justice work and ministry. Her experiences serving people experiencing homelessness, college students and ministry staff, and people with barriers to employment further reinforced her passion to seek justice across racial and economic barriers. They also clarified her convictions of the unique role and supreme importance of pursuing environmental stewardship and sustainable practices in faith-based justice work and ministry spaces. She looks forward to learning more about CCA and hopes to learn important formation skills from working with congregations around caring for and preserving the Earth.

She will be growing together with CCA in these ways this summer (and a few more).

Co-Leading a Book Study on the Pope’s Encyclical on Climate Change
Offering outreach to CCA Congregation
Participating in groups and events

Climate Interactive – May 12th

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.

Please RSVP here to let us know that you’re attending.

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

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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


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.