Piney Mountain UMC saves 386 tons of CO2 from atmosphere


[caption id="attachment_9929" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Rev. Kevin Bates, pastor of Piney Mountain UMC, hands out LED lightbulbs in the neighborhood near the church.[/caption] by Mary Bates Piney Mountain United Methodist Church in Candler will reduce carbon emissions by 386 tons and save $72,000 over 10 years as the result of a new initiative to care for God’s creation. The church received a grant to purchase and give away 1,152 LED lightbulbs to the community. Each household that receives the bulbs will save an estimated $100 per year in energy costs and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 1,000 pounds per year, which is the equivalent of planting 15,000 trees. The church said they decided to pursue the project because of their Christian call to care for God’s creation and love their neighbors. “We live in a time of great ecological crisis, in which the local church must provide a theological and tangible response,” said Rev. Kevin Bates, the pastor of Piney Mountain UMC. “By giving out LED lightbulbs to our neighbors, which will reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, we are embodying our faith.” Bates referred to Genesis 1-2 and Jesus’s call to love our neighbors. “God made creation good, pleasing and delightful—a gift to be cherished and cared for, not exploited and abused,” said Bates. “It’s also about loving our neighbors. How can we love our neighbor and not care for and love the air she breathes, the water she drinks and the land that feeds and sustains her?” The project was funded in part by a Thriving Rural Communities Kickstarter Grant. [caption id="attachment_9930" align="alignright" width="300"] Rev. Kevin Bates, pastor of Piney Mountain UMC, packs LED lightbulbs with Karen Scarborough, lay leader of Piney Mountain UMC.[/caption] “Through this project we are modeling love towards our neighbors and towards creation,” said Bates. “We are inviting our neighbors to respond in love toward creation by using the LED bulbs.” LED lightbulbs are 80 percent more efficient than traditional incandescent lightbulbs, and they last six times longer than other types of lights. The recipients will save money on energy bills, in addition to helping the environment. The bulbs will be given to 35 households in the neighborhood near the church, as well as to the households of families that attend Piney Mountain UMC and 15 other households identified by Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry (ABCCM) as needing help paying their energy bills. Bates said the lightbulbs are just the beginning of a series of projects that Piney Mountain UMC is doing to help the environment. The youth at the church recently planted a community garden that provides free produce to the community. Other initiatives include classes in partnership with the Creation Care Alliance of WNC on recycling, composting, canning and theological reflection on the need to care for God’s creation. Those classes will take place at Piney Mountain UMC and are open to the public. The full schedule will be available at The community is invited to a community cookout harvest celebration on Saturday, August 26 at 5 p.m. at Piney Mountain UMC. For more information, visit

Resources for Vital Congregations



Lewis Center for Church Leadership

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Books

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Serve Your Neighbor

GBHEM Leadership Resources


Living Faithfully: Human Sexuality and the United Methodist Church

Englewood Book Review

Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations

Ted Talks: The Golden Circle

Ted Talks: The Power of Vulnerability

Ted Talks: The Price of Invulnerability

Design Thinking

Meditations on the Ministry of All Christians


Be A Disciple

A Disciple’s Path; A Guide for United Methodist

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Adult Christian Studies from the Wesley Ministry Network

Traveling Together: A Guide for Disciple Forming Congregations


Living As United Methodist Christians

Methodist Doctrine: The Essentials

Reclaiming our Wesleyan Tradition: John Wesley’s Sermons for Today

John Wesley Sermons: Anthology


Get Their Name

Evangelism & Theology in the Wesleyan Spirit

Canoeing the Mountains

Fresh Expressions

Fresh Expressions: Dinner Church

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Reach New Disciples

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: 50 Ways to Reach People

Community: The Structure of Belonging


Institute for Emerging Issues

Congregations 4 Children


The Royce and Jane Reynolds Ministry Fund Grants

The Duke Endowment


The Appalachian District Church Vitality Team has been prayerfully seeking ways to help support you and the ministries of your local congregation during this COVID-19 pandemic. Together they have diligently researched and connected with others throughout the conference and our denomination to identify resources and offer them to you. We hope they will be helpful to you and bless you greatly in leading your churches and communities through this unprecedented time. We are very grateful to the District Vitality Team and other contributors for their great work on this resource.
This faithful team has created three documents, two of which you are receiving today. They include:

  • Family Home Worship – designed to help families establish a regular worship space within their homes as well as a time where they can worship together.
  • Tech Strategies – to help guide you in selecting effective tools and resources within your budget to best communicate in the digital world.

We believe these resources will be of great benefit to you. Also know that the District Vitality Team is available to answer any questions you might have in regards to the documents attached. If you have questions, you may email Rev. Howard Fleming at


  • Resources
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