Boom and Bust: The Appalachian Spirit
I grew up in the foothills of Appalachia.
The small town where I went to grade school was called Racine, Ohio. Racine was located on the edge of coal country, and was within a short drive of several old mining towns. When I lived there, the region had a lot of financial challenges. Many of the people who lived in the area often looked back on the days when coal mines were still open, and longed for the jobs that used to be.
Last summer I returned to Appalachia to make a documentary on the people, land and economy of the area. My wife and I visited old mining towns, remote mountains and multiple small towns. While we were there, we explored old mines; we drove up to the top of a mountaintop removal site; and we witnessed firsthand the cycle of boom and bust that has accompanied coal for 100 years.
The book of Genesis teaches that human beings have been created in God’s image. This means every human culture creates a reflection of God. So this February I invite you to travel deep into the heart of Appalachia. During our worship services, we will see pictures of rolling hills and mountains. We will learn about the history of coal, including how life is changing in small towns now that coal is becoming the stuff of history. And, on Sunday, February 26, at 1:00p.m., we will finish the month by having a special screening of the documentary from the trip.
Come join us for worship this February; see God’s image come to life in rural Appalachia, while we explore Boom and Bust: The Appalachian Spirit!