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Sustaining Heart in the Heartland: Exploring Rural Spirituality

Edited by Miriam Brown, OP
Produced by The Rural Spirituality Team, Churches’ Center for Land and People:
Miriam Brown, OP; Rev. Dr. Barbara A. Pursey; Rev. Karl Goodfellow; Rev. Diane Jochum; Ambrose Koopmann; Larry Tranel.

With grass roots knowledge and experience, the authors explore the richly varied forms of American rural spirituality, and what it means to be a people of faith while facing the daunting challenges of today’s increasingly hard-pressed rural way of life. Part One describes characteristics and themes of rural spirituality, as well as its hopes and struggles. Part Two examines ten “pieces” in the quilt of relationship that make up rural life—the land, families, rural congregations, family farming, alternative movements, grass roots organizations, local communities, institutions, youth, and health ministries—with practical pastoral suggestions for each. Part Three provides three versions of the expanding identities of local congregations.  The book concludes with an open letter to the rural community, a lectionary of the season, and heart-sustaining prayers and rituals.

Sustaining Heart in the Heartland invites all those associated with the heartland to work together to nurture the spiritual vigor of the rural community.

To order, contact Tom Nelson at