Appalachian Preservation Project
EARTH DAY EVENT April 20, 21, 2015
at John XXIII Center in Charleston, WV

The purpose of the conference was to educate Appalachian people and others about the many threats to the well-being of the people, ecology and wildlife of Appalachia. Participants learned how they can join with others to preserve and protect one of the most ecologically diverse and sensitive regions on the planet.

Michael Barrick, editor of the Appalachian Chronicle and founder of the Appalachian Preservation Project organized the gathering. The conference included science, religion, economics, culture.

SPEAKERS included:
Bill Price, Sierra Club - West Virginia Chapter
Susan Hedge, Catholic Committee on Appalachia
Allen Johnson, Christians for the Mountains
Tierra Curry, Center for Biological Diversity
Elise Keaton, Greenbrier River Watershed Association
Angie Rosser, West Virginia Rivers Coalition
Carey Jo Grace, Our Children Our Future
Robin Blakeman, Ohio Valley Environmental Coaltion
Bob Henry Baber, college professor, writer and activist
Ben Townsend, West Virginia traditional musician
Keely Kernan, videographer and photographer
Mike Manypenny, former W.Va. House of Delegates member
Bill Hughes, FracTracker
Hannah Spencer, Aurora Lights/Not in My Forests
Barbara Volk, Lewis County landowner
Lindsay Barrick, St. Luke's United Methodist Church





The Cross in the Mountains
Kayford Mountain April 18

Kayford Mountain is the homeplace of Larry Gibson, who spent his latter years fighting against the mountaintop removal that was obliterating his surroundings. Gibson set up a 57 acre trust, Stanley Heirs Park, an island surrounded by the moonscape of mountaintop removal.

Cross in Mountains








This Stations of the Cross was held on Kayford Mountain in West Virginia. This is the second such event following on the heels of another in Kentucky several years ago.
See 6 minute video of Kentucky event.

This event was open to all. Jeannie Kirkhope of Catholic Committee of Appalachia headed this up. Christians For The Mountains and other groups were involved in the planning and program.


Program is below:

“The Cross In the Mountains:
An Ecumenical Prayer Service to Renew Appalachian Communities”
Purpose Statement: We of various faith communities assemble to pray with residents of the mountains. These communities live with fear caused by the devastation of mountaintop removal.  We pray for renewal of human and ecological communities throughout the mountains and for alternative work to bring greater diversity and choice for employment.  We pray by raising the Cross of Christ to remind us that Earth belongs to God by creation and to us by delegation, and ultimately God must rule over all human affairs.
Opening Song: How Great Thou Art

  1. The first station—Jesus is condemned to death

The broad-form deed policy condemns the land.
Silent pause.
All: Loving God, you taught love and offered alternatives to oppressive laws. May we be faithful in following your examples.

  1. The second station—Jesus takes up His cross

Greed condemned the people and the land.
Silent pause.
All: Gracious God, remove from us tendencies to greed. Help us to live under no other sign of power than the sign of the cross and to take up the burdens others carry especially miners and their families.

  1. Jesus falls for the first time

Waste pollutes the streams and rivers.
Silent pause.
All: Creator God, our journey as Christians began with the baptism of water. May we affirm the sacredness of water and the right for all to have potable water.

  1. Jesus meets his Mother

Earth mourns her destruction.
Silent pause.
All: God of power and mercy, we seek forgiveness for the ways that our life choices foster the destruction of Earth and harm those who mine as a livelihood.

  1. Simon of Cyrene helps carry the cross

Religious leaders and environmentalists speak out.
Silent pause.
All: Almighty God, give us strength to use our voices and actively recruit others to work for justice.

  1. Veronica wipes the face of Jesus

We are called to wipe the stains of abuse from people and land.
Silent pause.
All: Loving God, we commit ourselves to the practice of charity, to be present to others in their pain, and to use our own resources to touch and heal.

  1. Jesus falls the second time

We stumble in the face of violence as we try to make peace with destructive practices.
Silent pause.
All: Creator God, let us continue to persevere in striving to overcome the decimation of creation.

  1. Jesus consoles the women of Jerusalem

Mothers and spouses weep over the death of miners.
Silent pause.
All: God of mercy, you are our help and our guide. May we grow in compassion, a healing balm that does not see division.

  1. Jesus falls the third time

The corporations break the spirit of those who resist.
Silent pause.
All: Almighty God, let us not be afraid to resist the evils that oppress.

  1.  Jesus is stripped of his garments

Mountains are stripped of their beauty.
Silent pause.
All: Loving God, as we observe the beauty of your creation may we strive to prevent any carbon footprint of ours to mar this beauty.

  1.  Jesus is nailed to the cross

Legal but unjust use of the land continues.
Silent pause.
All: God of Justice, inspire us to address justice issues with courage and insight.

  1.  Jesus dies on the cross

We are indifferent to the humans who die and the species we destroy and drive to extinction.
Silent pause.
All: Creator God, may life be reverenced by us so that all life will be preserved.
“Requiem to the Mountains”

  1. Jesus’ body is taken down from the cross and laid in the tomb

So many people are standing near graves today.
Silent pause.
All: Loving God, give peace and consolation to those who have been afflicted by greed and violence.

  1. The Resurrection of Jesus

Hope through sustainable jobs and life styles.
Silent pause.
All: God of Love, thank you for leading us from the darkness into the light. Gift us with the wisdom to become an active sign of new life in our world.
Closing Song: Amazing Grace