The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Crisis in the country

Loss of community threatens to splinter rural America

"I'd like to live in a rural town, too," said the department store clerk to a customer wearing a seed corn cap. "It's peaceful. Things don't change so much." The customer nodded when another customer piped up, "I don't know which rural America you're talking about.

"The mine in our town closed five years ago. We still have 200 families looking for work. Government regulations make it so we can't log either, so another 100 people will be laid off."

These two men reflect rural America's many faces. These faces are shaped by land-based industries — agriculture, forestry, fisheries, mining and energy — and increasingly by manufacturing and service industries.

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February issue


Embracing diversity