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.

Hidden Life of Trees Book Study  

Tuesday, March 12, 2019 6:00 PM –  7:00 PM ET  (6 consecutive Tuesdays)
Jubilee Community, 46 Wall St, Asheville, NC 28801   
Sign up Here. 

Are trees social beings? What does science tell us about how they interact? How does this change the way we interact with them? Join us as delve deep into these questions and discover the unexpected complexity of forest communities as we read the international bestseller, The Hidden Life Of Trees by forester & author Peter Wohlleben. In this 6-week book study, MountainTrue and the Creation Care Alliance will explore the forest communities of Wohlleben’s book and bring in local experts to expand our knowledge of forests here in WNC.

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

Rev. Scott Hardin-Nieri will focus on the ways faith communities in Western North Carolina have come together to care for people, forests and rivers and how these efforts are born from the seeds of morality, compassion and love found in many faiths.

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

Way of the Cross-An Ecumenical Prayer Service-FreeRegistration Deadline is Friday. 

Saturday March 23, 11:30 AM-1:30 PM 
Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary (just North of the North Asheville Library on Merrimon Avenue). -limited parking. Please carpool. There will be a shuttle from St. Eugene’s Catholic Church.
Members of various faith communities will gather to pray by raising the Cross of Christ to remind us that the Earth belongs to God and we are designated as stewards of creation. This prayer service is jointly sponsored by the Christian Discipleship Center and the Creation Care Alliance. Register by sending an email to with your name, phone number and church affiliation or call (828) 350-8220 with the same information.

Sister Nancy Schramm Missionary in Brazilian Rainforest

Sunday, March 24, 2019 5:00 PM
St. Eugene Catholic Church, 72 Culvern St. Asheville, NC 28804
“This is our sin, exploiting the Earth.”- Pope Francis
Sr. Nancy Schramm, a missionary for 32 years in the Brazilian rainforest will focus on climate change, deforestation, and the impact of Sr. Dorothy Stang (below), who was murdered defending the rights of the poor in the Amazon
***Spanish Translation and Child Care Available***

Climate and Spirit- Climate Interactive Role Playing

March 31, 5:30-7:30pm
First Congregational Church

20 Oak St, Asheville, NC 28801   Sign up Here 

Join the Creation Care Alliance and MountainTrue as we share the Climate Interactive’s World Climate Role Playing Experience in collaboration with theCollider’s Climate City Expo Faith Track. This will be an interactive experience that explores global poverty, power, politics and spirituality. This role-playing activity provides participants with an intimate and interactive experience with U.N. Climate negotiations by allowing them to take on the role of various stakeholders and try and address the most pressing climate-related issues we face today. Learn more about World Climate here. Light food and beverages will be provided. You can see a short video of the basis for this experience here.

Eco Challenge Project Drawdown

April 3-21 Join the Growing Creation Care Alliance team or create your own congregational team. The Drawdown EcoChallenge provides tools and inspiration to turn intention into action and gives participants a fun and social way to think about and act on proven solutions that make a difference for you, your community, and the planet. Over 100 actions within nine Challenge categories provide participants with diverse options to take action. Challenge categories include waste, food, health, transportation, energy, community, nature, water, simplicity and “create your own”.

Earth Day Vigil 

Sunday, April 28, 2019 5:30-7:30 pm  
First Baptist Church, 5 Oak Street, Asheville, NC 28801
The Creation Care Alliance of Western North Carolina invites you to join us for a vigil celebrating God’s creation and calling on people of faith to care for it.  We will gather outside of First Baptist Church for an afternoon of song, reflection, and to hear messages of inspiration and action from local faith and community leaders. All are welcome!
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