Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Rural Abandonment

Globally, our world's rural areas are emptying as our cities fill. Say what you will about this trend, but it's creating a shifting cultural dynamic. This trend is felt in our country as well. Areas of our country are emptying back out, often after having only been settled in the last hundred and fifty years. Growing up in a part of the country where this was the case, it is easy to see the effects of rural depopulation. Some maybe unfairly call it the 'brain drain', but there's no denying young people are in short supply through much of the US's Great Plains. What is left behind is a sometimes depressing, but definitely stark, picture of what life there once was.

The New York Times Magazine profiled poignantly an area of our country in northwestern North Dakota where this is the case. It's an article well worth reading for a taste of the desolation wrought by abandonment and the efforts underway to forestall what some anticipate is the inevitable.

The picturesque vista of the plains invites new residents.


pepperdeaf said...

i think this trend is clearly felt in the church. decreased community and increased transiency hurt the church's mission of creating truer representations of the kingdom of god.

i think that is why communal living environments in the cities like jesus people usa are so interesting. they have maintained the closeness of community/dependency by creating their own communal "small town" in the middle of chicago. sounds as close to the modern day book of acts that i can find.

Westy said...

...decreased community and increased transiency
So, do you think this is something we see in cities?