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Boom and Bust: The Spirit of Appalachia

Appalachia is a natural wonderland, full of crystal clear streams, rolling hills, rugged mountains, and an abundance of wildlife. Appalachia is also full of one of this country's most prized natural resources - coal. For more than a century, these two realities have competed for the soul of the Appalachian people: their need for jobs and their love for the land.

Genesis 1:31 says, “God saw everything that God had made, and indeed, it was very good.” Because God’s world is good, the Social Principles of The United Methodist Church teach that people have a responsibility to care for it: “All creation is the Lord’s, and we are responsible for the ways in which we use and abuse it. Water, air, soil, minerals, energy resources, plants, animal life, and space are to be valued and conserved because they are God’s creation and not solely because they are useful to human beings. God has granted us stewardship of creation. We should meet these stewardship duties through acts of loving care and respect.” (P160.1: The Natural World)

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