Sighting Farm Religion -- Sightings (Martin Marty)
I've never been a farmer, nor am a child of a farmer, but I did grow up in small towns (after being born in LA and moving to San Francisco). Cheryl's father raised grapes -- mainly for raisins -- so she could be considered a farmer's daughter, but she didn't live on the farm. Nonetheless, I know a little of the rural experience, and I've preached at a few rural churches in my time (only as pulpit supply). When we lived in Kansas, little country churches dotted the landscape, at junctions, where the many farmers once gathered for worship and social events. Churches remain strong parts of small towns. I remember preaching an ordination sermon at the home church of a former student. The town had a population of around 1500, but the church was strong. I'm not sure that I'm ready for small town America, having lived in larger cities since I went off to college, nonetheless there is something important about such communities. It would be sad to see them disappear as large agribusinesses replaced them. With that introduction, I invite you to read Martin Marty's column, and perhaps share your own thoughts on the value of rural America.