Posts Tagged ‘McDowell County’

Hopeful, Demanding, Dangerous and Healing

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

Walter Brueggemann wrote this about church … it is something we move into that is “hopeful, and demanding, and dangerous and healing.”  And so it is.

Yet we seek church to be staid, and comfortable, and safe and pure.  And those it will not be.

Church may best serve as a source of disquiet, not a sense of righteous order brought to the disorder of the world but a source of creative disorder that humbly challenges the world with loving questions. “Why must it be like this?”  “What can we do?”

85% of the 385 most persistently poor counties in the United States are rural.  In one county, McDowell County in West Virginia, 46% of the children do not live with their biological parents.  That county ranks last and first …. lowest in the state with a median household income of $22,000.00 and ranks highest in the state for teenage obesity and teenage pregnancy.

Breaking that cycle has proven elusive for decades.  A culture of dependency, rampant drug abuse, poor schools, a lack of well paying jobs all contribute.  And kids, children, choose none of that.

Can churches answer there?  Yes.   A blessing in this congregation has been witnessing the outpouring of help for The Opportunity House in Reading.  Food, Blankets, Funds.  All done for a place an hour and half away.  All spurred by a simple fact … Reading was named the poorest city in the country 3 years ago.

With a smile I would like to offer … there might be a trip to McDowell Country West Virginia in our future!  Hopeful, Demanding, Dangerous, Healing.