Although ministers like to think of themselves as members of the professional middle class, they are hanging on to that status by their fingernails. Male clergy especially are pursuing their vocations despite a strong “fear of falling,” to use Barbara Ehrenreich’s phrase.
It was not the sort of place where one would expect to find the folks who produced the More-with-Less cookbook, but the massive and hermetically sealed Opryland complex in Nashville was where 9,330 Mennonites gathered in early July for a momentous meeting.
Stanley Hauerwas talks about Catholics like Jane Goodall talks about chimpanzees: he spent many years among them as an outsider, came to appreciate their strange practices and rituals, and grew to love them so much that he almost, but not quite, felt like one of them.
Fanny Makina, a farmer in Malawi, is tilling her plot of land with a hoe and spade. Next she will plant crops of corn, peanuts, squash, beans and cassava, and mark each row carefully with a stick. In most years, Makina harvests enough food for her family and has food left over to sell. Even in years of limited rainfall, she has income to buy fertilizer and other supplies.