Blog for Rural America

The Center for Rural Affairs, a private, non-profit organization, is working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities. Permission to reprint items from this web log is hereby granted, on the condition that clear credit is given to the original source of the material. If the blog provides information for a story, please let us know by sending an email to

Friday, January 26, 2007

Sowing the Seeds

In March of 2003, a small group of rural Nebraska United Methodists, under the auspices of Peace with Justice Ministries formed the Sowing the Seeds Covenant group. It has grown to include representatives from other denominations. The goals of the group are to pray, study, and act for rural Nebraska. The newly formed group decided that the design of a Christian-based adult study could be helpful in fostering healthy discussions about God’s dream for rural people, their communities, and the land.

The project has piloted in various locations throughout the state of Nebraska. It is designed for small groups of 12 for six-60 minute sessions.

The study group may consist of local community residents and pastors of different congregations. Each week the conversations and ideas broaden as people began to see the downfall of their own community in another light – what has been driving away our youth, why can’t we hold on to factory based business, how did the decline of the family farm start, what can I do to better my community and state?

These discussions can’t be answered by a small group of people. This project has a snowball effect, it starts out small and gradually each snowflake picks up a few more until the snowball is so large, that it must be dealt with. Participants are invited to join the Rural Action Network, a project of the Center for Rural Affairs, which will enable individuals and/or groups to make a difference, both statewide and at the federal level.

The goals for the sessions include:
- Create space to hear the voice of God.
- Encourage discussion about trends in rural Nebraska communities.
- Explore biblical understanding of land management.
- Discuss how public policy shapes our future.
- Discuss the pros and cons of policy proposals for a better future.
- Engage parishioners in creating a better rural future by participating in policy debates.

The Sowing the Seeds curriculum is adaptable to rural faith communities throughout rural America. To obtain a copy of the curriculum contact Kim Preston,, 402-687-2100. Also, coming very soon, Sowing the Seeds will be online at

Post a comment here or contact John Crabtree,

Center for Rural Affairs
Values. Worth. Action.


  • At 10:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    thank you to the Center for Rural Affairs and the Methodists, we need more of the churches involved in curing what ails rural communities


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