Recommended Reading and Viewing

Social Renewal

  • Rural America is the New ‘Inner City’” in WSJ by Janet Adamy & Paul Overberg.
  • We Used to Build Things” in NYT by David Brooks.
  • Our Elites Still Don’t Get It,” in NYT by David Brooks.
  • Better Together: Restoring the American Community by Robert Putnam & Lewis Feldstein.
  • Community and the Politics of Place by Daniel Kemmis.
  • Hope and Hard Times: Community, Collaboration, and Sustainability by Ted Bernard.
  • Rural Communities: Legacy + Change by Cornelia Butler Flora and Jan Flora.
  • The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry by Wendell Berry. Edited by Norman Wirzba.
  • Staying Put: Making a Home in a Restless World by Scott Russell Sanders.
  • You Can Go Home Again: Adventures of a Contrary Life by Gene Logsdon.
  • Belonging: A Culture of Place by bell hooks.
  • To the Table: A Spirituality of Food, Farming, and Community by Lisa McMinn.
  • Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit by Parker Palmer.
  • Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance.
  • The Psychology Behind Globalism, Nationalism, and Political Tribalism video featuring Jonathan Haidt.
  • Podcast: “A Call to Community in a Changed World” with Anand Giridhara and Whitney Kimball Coe on OnBeing.
  • Video: Chesterhill Produce Auction by Rural Action. Example of Recovering Abundance process in Appalachian Ohio.

Spiritual Renewal 

  • The Torah of Place: Theological Reflection as if Rural Renewal Mattered by Andy Henry.
  • Scripture, Culture, and Agriculture: An Agrarian Reading of the Bible by Ellen Davis.
  • Watershed Discipleship: Reinhabiting Bioregional Faith and Practice by Ched Myers & Denise M. Nadeau.
  • Learning the Language of the Fields: Tilling and Keeping as Christian Vocation by Daniel Deffenbaugh.
  • The Land: Place as Gift, Promise, and Challenge in Biblical Faith by Walter Brueggemann.
  • Dakota: A Spiritual Geography by Kathleen Norris.
  • Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work by Timothy Keller.
  • Practicing Care in Rural Congregations and Communities by Jeanne Hoeft, L. Shannon Jung, and Joretta Marshall.
  • Preaching as Local Theology and Folk Art by Leonora Tubbs Tisdale.
  • Rhythms of Grace: Life-Saving Disciplines for Spiritual Leaders by David Williams.

Recommended Websites

Rural Action–mission is to “foster social, economic, and environmental justice in Appalachian Ohio.”

Center for Rural Strategies–“we seek to improve economic and social conditions for communities in the countryside and around the world through the creative and innovative use of media and communications.”

Daily Yonder–“breaking news, commentary, reports from our rural correspondents, updates from the best rural bloggers, and eye-opening photography from across the rural U.S.”

USDA Rural Development–“committed to helping improve the economy and quality of life in rural America.”

Appalachian Regional Commission–local, state, and federal government partnership that invests in economic opportunity, ready workforce, critical infrastructure, natural & cultural assets, and leadership & community capacity.

American Farm Bureau Federation–working to “enhance and strengthen the lives of rural Americans and to build strong, prosperous agricultural communities.”

4H and Cooperative Extension–“empowers young people with skills to lead for a lifetime.”

National Association of Conservation Districts–“locally-led natural resource conservation.”

Schumacher Center for a New Economics–“educating the public about an economics that supports both people and planet.”

Community Wealth and the Democracy Collaborative–empowering neighborhoods and communities to “address the economic challenges they are facing using an asset-based, community wealth approach.”

Abundant Community–“awakening the power of families and neighborhoods.”

The Berry Center–“putting Wendell Berry’s writings to work by advocating for farmers, land-conserving communities, and healthy regional economies.”

Center for Courage and Renewal–provides online resources to help individuals and groups “explore ideas and implications for civic renewal.”

Catholic Rural Life–“applying the teachings of Jesus Christ for the betterment of rural America.”

Wartburg Seminary Rural Ministry Resources–news links, worship services, collects, prayers, etc.