Category : Rural/Town Life

(NYRB) Nicolas Pelham–ISIS & the Shia Revival in Iraq

Southern Iraq’s long-shuttered museums are also finally reopening. The National Museum of Iraq reopened in February 2015 after a $40 million renovation. And in Nasiriya, a city famed for its step ziggurat, the director of the antiquities museum, Iqbal Ajeel, proudly displayed the museum’s exquisite Sumerian miniatures and naked figurines to her first group of high school visitors since the 1991 Gulf War forced its closure.

Few Iraqis in the south openly champion separation from the rest of the country, but the chasm is widening. It is not only a question of ISIS imposing its rules on personal behavior and punishing people only slightly out of line. While ISIS destroys museums, the south refurbishes them; while ISIS destroys shrines, the ayatollahs expand them; and while ISIS is burning relics and books, the Imam Ali shrine hosts a book fair where scripture shares space with romantic novels. On the new campus of Kufa University, a burned-down wreck under American occupation when last I saw it, three engineering professors spoke of the golden age that awaits a united Iraq, or at least its Arab provinces, once the militias defeat ISIS.

But a dissenting fourth engineer quietly questioned why the south should bother. As long as al-Sistani’s jihad was defensive he supported it, but why, he asks, shed blood against ISIS for a Sunni population that is neither welcoming nor particularly wanted? The further north the militia advances, the more lives are lost, and the returns from the battle diminish. Compared to the south’s mineral wealth, the Sunni provinces offer few natural resources. Much of their territory is desert, and their feuding tribes will only cause trouble. Better, he argued, to safeguard what the south already has. In short, he said, breaking a taboo by uttering a word he claims many privately already espouse, why not opt for taqsim, partition? A heavy silence followed.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, History, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Rural/Town Life, Terrorism, Theology, Violence

Spectator letters: Why rural churches are so important, and the best use for them

There is no ”˜one size fits all’ solution and, as Ysenda Maxtone Graham made clear, there needs to be a range of solutions, including greater involvement of the laity, the possibility of giving responsibility for more churches to local charities or trusts, and the setting up of ”˜festival churches’, which have services only for the major festivals of the Church. We also need to see how we can make church buildings more serviceable to the wider community, so that they can be used as much as possible and not simply for Sunday worship.

For many people the presence of a church in rural England is symbolic of the nation and the rural way of life, and a source of support and comfort even for those who are not regular churchgoers. We should start with the very clear premise that the Church of England is a national church and should therefore ensure a Christian presence in every community.
–(The) Rt Hon. Canon Sir Tony Baldry, MP

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Parish Ministry, Rural/Town Life

Thursday Morning Encouragement–A Movie Theater With a Mission: Employing the Disabled

Only 20 percent of disabled people work, compared to 68 percent of those who aren’t disabled, according to September 2014 numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

[Valeria] Jensen saved the playhouse from demolition and founded the four-theater commercial movie house, a nonprofit, in historic Ridgefield. Most of the more than 80 theater employees are disabled. But they weren’t there just because they have a disability, Jensen said.

“They’re here because they are a really, really valuable employee,” she said.

“We are ‘The Prospector’ after all,” she noted. “And as prospectors I work with my prospects to find out what their sparkle is.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Movies & Television, Pastoral Theology, Rural/Town Life, Theology

(CC) Ruben Duran+Evan­gelical Lutheran Church in America try a strategy of Shut up and learn

“Luther says we live in and through our neighbor,” Duran explains. “Most of our congregations were planted for the neighborhood.” But when neighborhoods changed, congregations often resisted trans­formation. Members be­gan commuting to attend church. Then, Duran said, “the neighbors became the object of the church’s ministry rather than the subject.” Duran wants the neighbors to be the subject again.

The church’s strategy is to “shut up and learn”””to listen and reconnect with diverse neighborhoods, in­cluding the working poor and young adults who grew up in the suburbs but are now relocating in cities. “There are so many people in our neighborhoods who are doing God’s work,” Duran said, “but they just don’t know it yet.”

The ELCA has set up a process by which men and women who have the gifts and skills for ministry but who haven’t attended seminary can be full-time pastors””“lay mission developers”””serving with the blessing of the community and the bishop.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelism and Church Growth, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Rural/Town Life, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues

(CSM) How communities are keeping kids out of crime

Treyvon’s case is emblematic of a quiet revolution in juvenile justice sweeping across the country. Driven by the high cost of incarceration and a growing understanding of adolescent behaviors, states and localities are launching initiatives to provide counseling, drug treatment, and other support for young offenders rather than locking them up. The idea is to save money ”“ and try to keep them from committing more crimes by addressing their problems at the roots.

Lucas County, which includes Toledo, is one of the leaders in this movement. Juvenile Court officials here do the “my kid” test with every case. They want to ensure all young people are being treated fairly, and they live by the mantra “The right kid in the right place at the right time” ”“ targeting services to their needs and taking care not to mix children who are unlikely to commit more crimes with high-risk youths.

But they also rely on research instead of just gut instinct. When it comes to deciding whether to lock up arrested youths ”“ while awaiting a hearing or even after they’ve been judged to have done something wrong ”“ they use standardized risk assessments.

As alternatives to lockup, they’ve built a “continuum of care” ”“ various treatment options and levels of court monitoring ”“ so most children can stay connected to family members, school staff, and community groups while reforming their ways.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Police/Fire, Rural/Town Life, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues

(Church Times) Lift burden off rural clergy, C of E study recommends

An urgent review of parish structure – including the number of churchwardens and other office-holders – is needed to release the time and energy of clergy and lay people for mission in rural areas, a report has recommended.

The report, Released for Mission: Growing the rural Church, will be debated at General Synod next week.

Two-thirds of C of E churches are in rural areas, but fewer than half the clergy serve in them. The vast majority of rural churches are in multi-parish benefices or groupings. They are attracting women clergy, but more than three-quarters of “higher-status” rural posts are still held by men.

Recent research has suggested that single parishes are more likely to experience growth than multi-parish benefices, the report says. Less than one in five churches in rural areas is experiencing growth – a figure matched by urban churches.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Rural/Town Life

Guardian (book excerpt) Archbp Justin Welby Britain's urban crisis

Much of England is experiencing economic crisis. Our economy appears to be, in one sense, a tale of two cities ”“ one being a growing and constantly improving London (and the south-east generally), and the other being most, but not all, other cities, alike in that they are each trapped in apparently inevitable decline.

Of course, London has many economic problems of its own. While on a national level entire cities are being cast aside and left to their own devices, one cannot walk the streets of London for long before realising that this national trend is happening at an individual level in this massive city. There is poverty around the corner from every multimillion and multibillion pound industry ”“ individuals and families similarly trapped in apparently inescapable circles of despair.

This sketch of our current plight will not come as news to many. It is the reality we experience and see on a daily basis. And I believe that many of the prescribed remedies that so often accompany this diagnosis are deeply flawed.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Economy, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Rural/Town Life, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues

(Telegraph) Entire Cities Cast Aside by Governing Coalition Say Church of England Archbishops

Britain under the Coalition is a country in which the poor are being “left behind” and entire cities “cast aside” because politicians are obsessed with Middle England, the Church of England says today in a damning assessment of the state of the nation.

In a direct and unapologetically “political” intervention timed for the beginning of the General Election campaign, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, warn party leaders are selling a “lie” that economic growth is the answer to Britain’s social problems.

Questioning David Cameron’s slogan “we’re all in this together” they condemn inequality as “evil” and dismiss the assumption that the value of communities is in their economic output as a “sin”.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Justin Welby, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Religion & Culture, Rural/Town Life, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues

(Church Times) C of E's pre-Election publication warns of lose-lose situations for many towns+cities

Entire regions of the country are trapped in an apparently inescapable economic downward spiral. It is “a tale of two cities”, and turning the tide will come only through a commitment to solidarity, the Archbishop of Canterbury says.

“The hard truth is that [many cities and towns where there is long-term decline] are in what appear to be lose-lose situations,” he says. “Already in decline, the road towards recovery and growth is made even more difficult. . . As the south -east grows, many cities are left feeling abandoned and hopeless.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Economy, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Rural/Town Life, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues

(Telegraph) The Yorkshire town that inspired A Christmas Carol

Now Charles Dickens’s legendary tale, A Christmas Carol, has been given a new lease of life in a small Yorkshire town.

For unbeknown to many, while the story was set in the fog of London, it was actually the swirling mists of Malton, near York, and a young lawyer from the town, that inspired Dickens to create his haunting tale.

Still a struggling writer, Dickens met Charles Smithson when he was working for a firm of solicitors in London. The two men, both at an early stage in their careers, shared the same mischievous sense of humour and became lifelong friends.

When Smithson later returned home to Yorkshire, Dickens became a regular visitor to his home, staying for three months with Smithson and his wife, Elizabeth. It was during this time that Dickens was working on the idea for A Christmas Carol. He had already created some of the characters but he was looking for a stage to set them on. And local legend has it that it was in his friend’s tiny office that he decided to place Scrooge and Bob Cratchit, and the single coal burning in the grate.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Books, England / UK, History, Religion & Culture, Rural/Town Life

Great Video from the Story of Surprise Traffic Stops with the Lowell. Michigan, Police

Watch it all from the story posted yesterday in case you didn’t see it.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Children, Christmas, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Police/Fire, Rural/Town Life

(CSM) Why police in one town are giving out Christmas gifts instead of tickets

When a Lowell, Michigan, woman rolled down the window after a routine traffic violation, she expected a ticket. Instead, a police officer made her Christmas shopping a little bit easier.

“Got all your Christmas shopping done?” he asks in a YouTube video released Tuesday.

“No, haven’t even started.”

Lego Friends, an electric scooter ”” Scot VanSolkema, the officer who pulled her over, radioed her children’s holiday wishes to a team in a local department store, who bought the items. Officer VanSolkema returned to the car with the gifts, and the woman was incredulous.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Law & Legal Issues, Police/Fire, Rural/Town Life

Rod Dreher–Architect Philip Bess on faith, reason, and urban design

Bess has long served as an unlikely apostle to New Urbanists and conservatives alike, neither of whom seem to get the other. He tells New Urbanists that building good neighborhoods is a necessary condition for building good communities, but not a sufficient one: they must integrate their architectural vision with a broader vision of the good life. To put it in an Augustinian way, you can’t build a city fit for man without a vision of the city of God.

“Urbanism is about human flourishing, and human flourishing requires virtues, which are character dispositions that lead toward certain goods. People aren’t passive receivers of urbanism,” he says. “New Urbanists do a lot of things right, but good urbanism is more than bioswales”””environmentally friendly alternatives to storm sewers””“bike lanes, good coffee, and olive oil.”

Yet the bigger challenge, from Bess’s point of view, is to convince conservatives that New Urbanism is something they should embrace. In a 2005 address presenting New Urbanism to the right, Bess made the familiar Aristotelian claim that “the best life for human beings is the life of moral and intellectual excellence lived in community with others.” The built environment is an indispensible foundation for that.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Architecture, Education, History, Religion & Culture, Rural/Town Life, Urban/City Life and Issues

(Telegraph) Christopher Howse's Sacred Mysteries–Through Dorset by horse and bike

She hasn’t got the heaves, but if Miss Opsimath’s cough isn’t better by next Saturday, I’d better take my bike. So my cousin told me, when the possibility of my borrowing the mare was discussed. I’ll probably be more comfortable on the bike, because, although this is Dorset, which can be lumpy, the route is fairly flat, eastwards down the river Frome from Dorchester for six or seven miles and back.

The idea is to drop in on five churches, and I know they’ll be open, along with 300 others in the county, because it’s Ride & Stride day. Last year, 183 Dorset parishes took part, to raise money for the Dorset Historic Churches Trust, which in 2013 helped 27 churches in need of repair. To me, visiting old churches makes more sense as a fundraiser than a bucket of cold water thrown over my head.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Rural/Town Life

(AP) Atheist To Open New York Town Meeting After Supreme Court OKs Prayers

An atheist is set to deliver the invocation in a western New York community whose town board won a U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding its right to open meetings with a prayer.

Dan Courtney, 52, a mechanical engineer, said he asked the town of Greece right after the 5-4 decision in May for an opportunity to deliver the “non-theist” message.

The court’s conservative majority declared the prayers in line with national traditions and said the content is not significant as long as the prayers don’t denigrate non-Christians or try to win converts. The town argued persons of any faith were welcome to give the invocation.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Atheism, City Government, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Rural/Town Life

(NYT) Even on Nantucket, a Funeral Home Is a Luxury

The hole at the cemetery was dug. The flowers had arrived, family and friends had gathered, food was ready for the reception. All that was missing was the deceased. Doris Davis could not make her own funeral.

Ms. Davis, 92, was born here, died here and wanted to be buried here. But the island’s only funeral home had closed in January. Since then, the bodies of the dead have had to be shipped by ferry, a two-and-a-half hour ride across Nantucket Sound, to be embalmed at a funeral home on the Cape Cod mainland and then brought back by ferry for burial.

But on Feb. 14, the day of Ms. Davis’s funeral, New England was digging out from a huge snowstorm and bracing for the next. Foul weather forced the cancellation of the ferry that was to bring Ms. Davis home. Her body spent almost a month on the mainland at the funeral home, but suspended in what her daughter called a heartbreaking limbo.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Consumer/consumer spending, Death / Burial / Funerals, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Parish Ministry, Personal Finance, Religion & Culture, Rural/Town Life, Theology

(Telegraph) House of Lords debate Parishes–Do Bats Matter more than Worshippers?

Bats are being treated as though they are more important than worshippers, a Conservative peer has said, as he urged a fightback against churches being turned into “historic bat barns”.

Lord Cormack, a committed Christian, told the House of Lords that bats are a causing a “menace” to historic places of worship.

The former MP for South Staffordshire and Vice President of the National Churches Trust said the mammals were “a particular menace to many old churches” pointing to cases where “remarkable 15th-century brasses” were being corroded by bat droppings.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * General Interest, * International News & Commentary, Animals, England / UK, History, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Rural/Town Life, Stewardship

(Reuters) Over 20 People Killed In Attack on Central African Republic Town

Fifteen local chiefs and three staff from Médecins Sans Frontières among the dead in assault on clinic

At least 22 people, including 15 local chiefs and three members of staff of the medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières, were killed in an attack on a town in the Central African Republic, officials said on Sunday.

The attack on Saturday was in Nanga Boguila, about 450 km (280 miles) north of the capital Bangui. Some 2,000 French and over 5,000 African peacekeepers are struggling to halt waves of violence that have gripped the country over the last 18 months.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Central African Republic, Foreign Relations, Politics in General, Rural/Town Life, Violence

(Seattle Times) Ministering to mudslide survivors takes many forms

Enio Aguero had never been to Oso before late last month. But he recognized the faces.

“Faces of hopelessness, trying to find out why or how this could happen,” said the 53-year-old chaplain from Northern Virginia, a veteran of disaster relief in Moore, Okla., where a tornado last May obliterated entire subdivisions and killed 24 people.

“When a disaster like this happens, it touches the deepest part of our being. At one minute, there was everything; a minute later, there was nothing,” said Aguero, a chaplain coordinator for Southern Baptist Disaster Relief. “There’s no way we can make sense of this, except that God is in control.”

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Rural/Town Life, Theodicy, Theology

(The Journal) Pay us for the church we built, says County Durham councillor

Residents in a remote village who have been left without a church should be the ones to benefit from a sale of the listed building, claims a local councillor.

After parishioners in Rookhope, County Durham, learned just over a week ago that their Sunday service at the 110-year-old St John The Evangelist C of E Church was to be the last, councillor and resident John Shuttleworth is demanding recompense.

The attractive stone-built church was actually paid for and constructed by villagers so he says it’s the community who should benefit from any sale. “I think it’s fair that the money from the sale should go back to the village,” said Coun Shuttleworth who aired his views in a letter to the Diocese of Durham.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), City Government, Economy, England / UK, Housing/Real Estate Market, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Rural/Town Life

(AP) South Carolina baby boomers form virtual villages as they age

Aging baby boomers want to stay in their own homes as long as possible and a way to do that, the so-called village concept, is catching on in South Carolina.

Experts say it’s less expensive for baby boomers as they age to live at home than in nursing homes, and people who remain in their homes are often happier and live longer. Some 8,000 baby boomers reach retirement age each day in the U.S.

“The baby boomers do not intend to go into nursing homes,” said Janet Schumacher, the coordinator of the Office on Aging in Charleston. “They are looking to each other to provide support.”

Virtual villages are associations set up to provide help to members with everything from transportation and home repairs to social and cultural connections. The first was started on Beacon Hill in Boston 13 years ago.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Aging / the Elderly, Health & Medicine, Psychology, Rural/Town Life, Urban/City Life and Issues

(NPR) Tiny Italian Town Thumbs Its Nose At Lenten Abstinence

On the first Sunday of Lent in Poggio Mirteto, a priest in the town’s cathedral recalls the serpent in the Garden of Eden.

He admonishes parishioners in this hilltop hamlet just outside Vatican City to resist earthly delights during the time of penance and self-denial leading up to Easter.

“We must remember we are weak before evil, because the devil is very tricky,” he says.

Just outside the doors, the warning goes unheeded as a parade of revelers passes.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Europe, History, Italy, Lent, Religion & Culture, Rural/Town Life

Pentagon calls for reductions that could deeply affect Major Areas of South Carolina

South Carolina’s military communities are bracing for an uncertain future after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Monday called for deep cuts to the Army in 2015.

While Fort Jackson in Columbia – where more than 45,000 recruits are trained annually – is the obvious target, Charleston’s and other installations also may be in the cross hairs since Hagel also called for a new round of base-closure reviews in 2017.

Still, the decision on rekindling a Base Realignment and Closure Commission depends on Congress, which has delayed the assessments in recent years in the interest of protecting jobs at home.

Read it all from the local paper.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, City Government, Defense, National Security, Military, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Personal Finance, Politics in General, Rural/Town Life, State Government, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues

Gabriel Rossman–On Serpent handling preachers who Die and the TV show Justified

Justified, one of television’s best shows, engages with the rather alien subculture of snake-handling in a way that contrasts favorably to the gloating I saw over the death of Pastor Coots. We can mock such people for their willful ignorance of the science of human origins or the textual criticism of the original form of Mark, but we can also appreciate that this same stubborn faith is one that says all people are created in the image of God.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Animals, Death / Burial / Funerals, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Rural/Town Life

An Interesting GDP map that shows half of U.S. output is generated by a few cities

50% of GDP comes from orange areas, 50% from blue.

Look at the map and read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Personal Finance, Rural/Town Life, The U.S. Government, Urban/City Life and Issues

(NYT) In Wisconsin, Heroin’s Small-Town Toll, and a Mother’s Grief

In the wake of the prescription painkiller epidemic, heroin, much of it Mexican, has wormed its way into unsuspecting communities far from the Southwestern border as a cheaper and often more easily obtained alternative. Ms. Ivy’s was believed to be the seventh fatal heroin overdose in eight months in this town of 13,000 on the St. Croix River near Minneapolis. Two months after her death, and before yet another young Hudson woman died ”” at a “sober house” ”” of a heroin overdose in October, nearly 500 townspeople crowded into the First Presbyterian Church for a forum called “Heroin in Hudson: A Community in Crisis.”

Ms. Ivy’s death certificate, recently released, revealed that a mix of drugs was to blame; the police declined to specify the drugs since her death remains under investigation. But “Alysa was a heroin abuser, and her addiction to drugs killed her,” said Patty Schachtner, the St. Croix County medical examiner.

“It’s a tightknit community, and these kids all knew each other,” Ms. Schachtner said of those who overdosed. “They were not what you might expect. They were not the faces of heroin addiction we see on television.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children, Drugs/Drug Addiction, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Police/Fire, Rural/Town Life, Theology, Young Adults

(NBC) How an American Speed Skater’s Family Was Given a Trip to Sochi to see her compete

An American family was able to live out their Olympic dream thanks to the generosity of their community.

Watch it all–heartwarming stuff.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Children, Europe, Globalization, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Rural/Town Life, Russia, Sports, Stewardship

An Interview with Donald Allister, Bishop of Peterborough, about the House of Lords

Listen to it all (4 and 3/4 minutes).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Politics in General, Rural/Town Life, Theology

Beer, Brats and Ice Fishing for the Biggest Catch in Minnesota

Every year Minnesota hosts the world’s largest ice fishing competition, offering the chance to win a pick-up truck… when it comes to winter, Minnesota people pretty much think the west of us are wimps. With a daytime high of two degree this past Saturday, almost 10,000 people showed up for the annual Brainerd (Minnesotae) event.

Watch it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Rural/Town Life, Sports

Overdose deaths from prescription drug abuse skyrocketing in southwestern Pennsylvania

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Drugs/Drug Addiction, Economy, Personal Finance, Poverty, Rural/Town Life