CCA Director, Scott Hardin-Nieri will support the inaugural event for the Foothills Creation Care Alliance as they continue to build their network of people of faith who are caring for the earth and loving their neighbors. Below is the press release offered by Rev. Bill Garrad.
Saturday, September 29th 2018, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon
Community Room at First United Methodist Church, Hickory, North Carolina 28601
Media Contacts: Rev. Bill Garrard, EarthKeeper, Foothills Creation Care Alliance (828.962.7566, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com)
Engaging Local Congregations in Creation Care Ministries
By Bill Garrard, EarthKeeper
September 18, 2018
HICKORY – People of faith are charged by their Creator to care for the creation. In an inaugural event “Finding Joy in Creation Care: Helping Congregations Engage in Tending God’s Good Earth”, Foothills Creation Care Alliance (FCCA) is offering a gathering to connect congregations together as they learn many ways to develop creation care ministries among their people and in their communities. The event will be held from 10:00am-12:00n on Saturday, September 29th in the Community Room at First United Methodist Church, Hickory. All congregations are encouraged to send representatives.
Rev. Scott Hardin-Nieri, Director, Creation Care Alliance of Western North Carolina will share out of his experience of working for many years with congregations in the Asheville area helping affirm and grow their creation care efforts. Hardin-Nieri also works as the creation care leader for his Disciples of Christ denomination. Hardin-Nieri enjoys accompanying people as they connect to God’s outdoor world as they do the work of caring for the gift of God’s creation.
The session will focus on six areas of creation care ministry: “Sustainability Practices” such as recycling, waste reduction, energy- efficient transportation, “Spirituality and Worship” as in special services and outdoor appreciation events, and “Education” as congregations intentionally offer book studies, films, or integrate creation care into their curriculum for children and youth. The area of “Building and Grounds” will focus on what kind of conservation practices and earth-friendly products are used in the care and maintenance of the church campus. “Fellowship and Outreach” will explore how to establish a congregation’s “Green Team” and doing community creation care outreach projects such as community gardens. “Advocacy and Finance” looks to impact the larger community through engagement with the policy issues and their effect on creation as well as how a congregation’s decisions about investments have creation care implications.
The format will include breakout groups to learn and share about each of these areas among participants. The groups are designed so that local congregations can connect in affinity groups to encourage each other and share their knowledge and resources. Grace Episcopal Church in Morganton will display an exhibit about its recently created pollinator garden. The event will conclude with a tour of First Methodist’s “Parable Garden” including their chickens.
Foothills Creation Care Alliance’s mission is to encourage congregations in the NC Foothills to better understand the theology of creation care and to be engaged in ministries of caring for God’s creation. This inaugural event is the first of many so that through mutual collaboration, educational experiences, and securing resources, congregations may take specific actions to care for creation and engage in advocacy that sustains all life on the earth.
First United Methodist in Hickory is located at 311 Third Ave NE, Hickory, NC 28601. For further information about this event or Foothills Creation Care Alliance, contact Rev. Bill Garrard, EarthKeeper, (828.962.7566, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com)