A peek at the National Gathering 2019
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Haw Creek Commons
One night, about a week ago, black bears all over Asheville plotted, conspired, and rampaged this city in the mountains. It was the first chilly evening of the fall and it signaled the beginning of a season which leads to many bear-human interactions. Car alarms were set off, trash bins turned over, refuse scattered everywhere, and graves dug up.
I’m finally sitting down to return overdue emails, write a nearly overdue article, and slog through a grant outline. Maybe I’ll have time to get part of one of these tasks done in the hour I don’t have anything planned today and can simultaneously inhale a sandwich.
Five years ago when I was in Seminary, there was, as there is now, a growing anxiousness related to Church attendance. I was frustrated by the mantra—“We just have to get people through the doors.” I love to worship, to be in church, to belong to a family of faith, to be in community, and to be on mission together. Instead those words seemed forced, even though I know that was not the intention—the words come from a desire for folks to know and experience the love of Christ.
One verse that I go to often is Psalm 16:11, “You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasure of living with you forever.” (NLT) I felt a restlessness in figuring this out, my needed response and how to make space for what God wanted in our world and context today.
On the Horizon
by Rachel Wells
As Andrea mentioned in the devotional above, today marks the one year anniversary of Missional Wisdom Foundation’s Wisdom for the Way publication. We have been working hard - alongside many of you - to continue our mission of experimenting with and teaching about alternative forms of Christian community, and we have a number of new programs nearing completion.
The natural playground that we spotlighted as just a dream a few months ago has now become a reality!
The playground includes a trail system, outdoor kids’ chapel and education space, three tiered platform, a slide embedded in the hill on the trail, a log bordered sandbox, a log balance beam system, four tunnels to grow hops for a local brewery, and two nature tables to inspire children to use nature to make temporary creations.
Bees & Honey
by Kate Rudd
We added an exciting feature to Haw Creek Commons recently - bee hives! We started with four hives: two Langstroth hives whose focus is honey production, and two top bar hives whose focus is beeswax production. The bee yard is complete with bear fencing (aka electrical fencing) as well as a privacy fence to deter hive theft (apparently a big deal in North Carolina).
Haw Creek Proposal
A few weeks ago, my children, Laine (8), Annabel (6), and Oliver (5), had the opportunity to present a project they have been working on for several months to a granting agency in the Asheville area. Here are their ideas in their own words. Oliver’s was aesthetic…he was not going to be left out!
They will begin working on implementing their projects at Haw Creek Commons in the coming year.
What Do You Love About This Place?
by Bret Wells
The WNC3 cohort of Launch & Lead met at Haw Creek Commons this weekend for their 3rd training retreat (which means they’ve now completed about 75% of the 2-year program). This event, which focuses on principles and skills related to community development, also functions as a springboard into the practicum phase of Launch & Lead.
So much of what we do in Launch & Lead is designed to help our participants to develop a posture of curiosity, discovery, and expectation as we encounter the world around us. That isn’t to say that we turn a blind eye to, or adopt a naïve dismissal of pain, dysfunction, injustice. On the other hand, we also realize that constantly seeking out and highlighting everything that is wrong is not any more effective or beneficial.
Haw Creek Commons has a new addition: a community garden! The 3,000 square foot Haw Creek Garden is situated in front of the parsonage, or Haw Creek House, and is open to neighbors who want to learn and grow food.