Marshall’s wind phone offers a unique conduit for connecting with those who have died or are absent.
On gratitude: Rev. Scott Hardin-Nieri
“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.”
From AVL Watchdog: Billy Graham’s legacy threatened by family split
The evangelist’s grandchildren say his son’s pro-Trump politics brings “shame.”
Melody LeBaron on coping with death and dying
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.
Despite decaying masonry, St. James AME Church remains Black community cornerstone
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.
Local LGBTQ community reconfigures weddings
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 […]
Mental hygiene: Meditation as self-care
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.
222-acre religious conference center up for Feb. 5 commission vote
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.
Jewish Farmer Network cultivates ancient agricultural wisdom
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 former area priests named in list of credibly accused clergy
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.
Ashevilleans seek religion without a deity
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.
Coping with political upheaval and spiritual malaise
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.
Lay leaders tie faith and environmental action
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.
Spiritual organizations’ hunger relief efforts nourish body and soul
Faith-based organizations in WNC have historically worked to alleviate the daunting problem of hunger, pooling resources, collecting food and volunteering at nonprofits.
How local music ministries soundtrack spiritual experience
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.
Catholic diocese to release review of sexual misconduct by year’s end
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.
Wise Women gather at Kanuga
“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.
Unusual therapies offer wellness with a difference
The Asheville area abounds with alternatives for adventurous healing journeys and opportunities to indulge your curiosity.
Confederates at Calvary
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.
Meditation centers in demand for peace, chance to disconnect
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.
Green burial cares for loved ones and the earth
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.