For more than a decade, Jeanne Sommer of Hidden River Events has been hosting and presiding over same-sex partnership ceremonies on her farm in Swannanoa. “It doesn’t matter if it’s heterosexual or same-sex,” she says. “The ethics of good loving are what matters.” Since 2014, when a federal court ruling overturned Amendment 1 in North […]
Neuroscientist Richard Davidson’s research on the effects of meditation on brain function made waves when it was released in 2002 — and the work continues to drive growing interest in meditative practices. He’ll deliver talks at UNC Asheville on Thursday, Feb. 13, and Friday, Feb. 14, both free and open to the public. First, though, associate psychology professor Patrick Foo will lay some groundwork on the science with a presentation on Tuesday, Feb. 4.
Civil engineer Mike Anderson compared the plans for the Freedom in Christ property in Candler to those of other Christian facilities in rural Buncombe, including the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove, Ridgecrest Conference Center and the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly.
Despite WNC’s history of agricultural knowledge and abundance, the legacy of Jewish farming — and its deep wisdom surrounding food security, land ownership and community building — has remained shrouded in relative obscurity. The Fairview-based Yesod Farm + Kitchen is working to change that narrative.
Three Catholic clergy members who practiced in Xpress’ coverage area were included in a list released today by the Catholic Diocese of Charlotte of priests credibly accused of child sexual abuse since the diocese was founded in 1972.
Some spiritual seekers find meaning and truth in forms of religion that don’t require belief in a divine being. They say a nondogmatic, nontheistic approach meets their needs for community, core values and deep connection.
Whether it’s local issues such as gentrification and overdevelopment or, at the national level, things like health care, the Green New Deal and military spending, the conversations have gotten toxic. Local spiritual advisers, mental health professionals and activists share their tips for staying sane while working for a better world.
For the first time, the Creation Care Alliance’s annual retreat, taking place at the Montreat Conference Center on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 7-8, will include both clergy and lay leaders. While the first day remains focused on ordained ministers , its second day will offer “learning, grieving, inspiration and training” for all who connect their faith with creation care.
Faith-based organizations in WNC have historically worked to alleviate the daunting problem of hunger, pooling resources, collecting food and volunteering at nonprofits.
Xpress looks into the musical ministries of a number of local churches and explores what such programs, at the intersection of art and worship, offer to parishioners as well secular fans of a good concert.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte, which represents 46 counties in Western North Carolina and six parishes in the Asheville area, announced in August that it will release a list of clergy who have been the subject of credible accusations of sexual abuse by the end of this year.
“The focus of the conference is woman to woman, kind of kitchen to kitchen,” explains Byron Ballard, who will present a workshop on traditional Appalachian healing methods at this year’s Southeast Wise Women Herbal Conference at the Kanuga conference and retreat center near Hendersonville. “It’s about women being together in a women’s space and being free to talk, to do, to teach and to learn from each other.
The Asheville area abounds with alternatives for adventurous healing journeys and opportunities to indulge your curiosity.
Last month marked the 400th anniversary of the introduction of slavery to North America, triggering a new round of national soul-searching about human bondage and its complex legacy. And closer to home, Lost Cause-era monuments to Confederate figures at Calvary Episcopal Church in Fletcher also raise significant questions about the country’s troubled history and this region’s place in it.
Local centers report that the silent meditation retreat business is booming. Ranging from a single day to a full two weeks off the grid, the retreats eliminate unnecessary external stimulation by emphasizing meditation, maintaining an inward focus — and, yes, disconnecting from all tech devices.
According to the Green Burial Council, burials in the United States annually put 4.3 million gallons of embalming fluids, 20 million feet of wood, 1.6 million tons of reinforced concrete, 17,000 tons of copper and bronze and 64,500 tons of steel into the ground. Local green burial sites offer an alternative with less environmental impact.
Clere calls the effort a “natural outgrowth” from the last of the seven Unitarian Universalist Principles: “respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.”
Rituals that draw on the traditions of indigenous, non-Western cultures are part of a growing industry at the intersection of health, wellness and spirituality. Some in Western North Carolina have raised concerns about whether it’s appropriate for non-native practitioners to offer and profit from traditional practices and techniques.
Author Lynne Forrest will present a three-hour workshop Sunday, March 10, at Jubilee! Community in downtown Asheville. The goal, she explains, will be to help participants “get in touch with the limited story they are believing about themselves in the world, and then I will give them tools to see it in a different light.” The event is a fundraiser for Woman to Woman WNC, which promotes women’s self-empowerment.
Today, at least 17 faith communities in Buncombe County and Mars Hill are offering shelter and assistance to immigrants living here without legal papers, according to Melody Pajak of the nonprofit Faith Communities Organizing for Sanctuary.
Health and wellness are always important topics in the life of our community, and this year was certainly no exception to that rule. Though developments in the proposed acquisition of Mission Health by for-profit HCA Healthcare of Nashville garnered a share of attention equivalent to the potential sale’s importance to the region, plenty of other wellness stories also made news.