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2020Talks - September 17, 2019. (3 min.)  

Former Rep. John Delaney on the opioids crisis; a field organizer for Sen. Kamala Harris on campaigning in Iowa; and a President Donald Trump supporter who cares more about numbers than personalities.

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A Pulpit in the WV Wilderness

March 2, 2007

It's a "wild thing" going on at many West Virginia churches -- a discussion and sometimes a sermon about wilderness. Setting aside and caring for wild lands for the present and the future is seen as a Christian mission by several faith groups in West Virginia. Allen Johnson with Christians for the Mountains says wilderness untouched by human technology and development can be a retreat for everyone.

"A lot of people, when they go into a wilderness setting, they will say that they experience a spiritual quickening, or awakening."

Religious leaders all over the state will be talking about local areas, like the Monongahela, as examples of wilderness that needs protection. Evangelist Pat Robertson has also recently talked about the importance of wilderness experiences as a way to draw people into a deeper relationship with God.

Johnson believes the lives of Moses, David, Elijah, Jesus, and John the Baptist all show why wilderness needs to be preserved.

"Wilderness was seen as a place of testing, and purification, and strengthening, a place to meet with God."

Christian organizations involved in the West Virginia wilderness treatise include Christians for the Mountains, West Virginia Council of Churches, Christians Caring for Creation, the Catholic Committee of Appalachia, Religious Campaign for Wilderness, United Methodist Appalachian Ministries, and others.

Deborah Smith/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - WV