Don’t tell the kids, but Asheville’s most beloved Santa doesn’t live at the North Pole. Dennis Reed and his wife Deborah — aka Mr. and Mrs. Claus — reside in Haywood County, where they both grew up. Dennis worked for 35 years at the Blue Ridge Paper plant and got his start as Santa in 2004 after […]
Ballard specializes in Appalachian folk magic and folkways.
David Eck, Erin Maxfield-Steele and David LaMotte discuss how their original music does (and doesn’t) intersect with their religious work.
On Aug. 12, a subsidiary of nonprofit Conserving Carolina completed the $7.8 million purchase of the currently unused Ecusta rail line, stretching 19 miles between Hendersonville and Brevard, from the Blue Ridge Southern Railroad.
The murder of George Floyd, a Black man, by white Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on May 25, 2020, spurred nationwide Black Lives Matter protests. In Asheville, Floyd’s murder had the immediate effect of religious institutions looking inward and engaging with their congregations around racial justice. More than a year on from those events, many […]
Sybriea Lundy counts herself lucky to have been able to participate in programs offered by Light a Path, an Asheville-based nonprofit that brings yoga and movement to underserved populations, while serving the final 2 ½ years of her sentence for drug trafficking at the Swannanoa Correctional Center for Women. The organization also helped Lundy reenter and connect with the Asheville community upon her release.
In early April, Mars Hill University professor of religious studies Marc Mullinax debuted his new book, Tao Te Ching: Power for the Peaceful, a translation and interpretation that blends a scholarly awareness of the text’s original historical context with an accessible connection to the contemporary American experience.
Appalachian Dowsers members discuss the numerous benefits they find in looking beyond the visible world.
The Asheville-based nonprofit Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy’s work included both valuable wildlife habitats, such as the Wiles Creek and Little Rock Creek preserves, and prime farmland at risk of development. Sandy Hollar Farms in Buncombe County and Bowditch Bottoms in Yancey County were among the agricultural projects completed in 2020.
In his new book, local author Ryan Bush builds on the philosophies of Buddhism and Stoicism to describe a system for rewiring the brain’s response to external events, a method he dubs psychitecture.
As congregations across the region grapple with shifting demographics and a year of racial upheaval, multiracial congregations find themselves tackling tough conversations in the way they know best: Worship and fellowship.
Burnsville resident Katherine Savage feels a unique kinship with a small patch of ground on the campus of Warren Wilson College. The 5-foot by 60-foot plot was home this year to a crop of flax, a traditional Southern Appalachian fiber plant, which she is helping process into linen that she will someday wear as her burial shroud.
Marshall’s wind phone offers a unique conduit for connecting with those who have died or are absent.
“The current trends eroding our once-common values honoring truth, wisdom and collaboration will not extinguish my steady hope for our national and global future — a hope for policies and practices that serve all people and planet, starting with our own hearts and relentlessly expanding love into backyards, city streets, forests and beyond.”
The evangelist’s grandchildren say his son’s pro-Trump politics brings “shame.”
People who are facing death, as well as their families, need to make dozens of decisions large and small, author Melody LeBaron says, and everyone should have a plan in place before the final moments of life. Her new book provides support for creating a roadmap to guide individuals and their loved ones as death approaches.
The Rev. Brent La Prince Edwards says that with gatherings now happening virtually, the COVID-19 pandemic offers an opportunity for his church to embark on a $571,000 renovation project without displacing worship services and other events.
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.