The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


What's up down on the farm?

Because you eat, you'rw affected by what happens to Illinois farmers Verle and Janice Jacobs

At an ELCA rural conference last March, Gretchen Ritola, a Nebraska Synod bishop's assistant, told participants that a growing number of ELCA members feel that if the church truly stands for justice, it must fight for economic justice for family farmers and ranchers.

That means, she says, the church at its highest level must deal with everything from overseas trade issues to corporate farming. And at the local level, pastors need to understand the marketplace in which their parishioners operate and look for the signs that someone is on the brink of going under (see box, page 42). Ritola says farmers tell their rural pastors, "We need you to be at our kitchen table, not at your office."

"We're a dying breed," Janice says, "but we're still important. Don't let the ELCA forget us."

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February issue


Embracing diversity