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Presbyterian Women
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Susan Jackson Dowd
(844) 797-2872, x5368
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100 Witherspoon Street
Louisville, KY 40202

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2013 USA Mission Experience to Appalachia

A group of Presbyterian women will travel to North Carolina and Tennessee in 2013 for the third USA Mission Experience. The Mission Experience equips women to understand the history and culture of the region, the existing ministry of the church there and the challenges faced by women, children and families living in the area.

Participants will serve as ambassadors for the region, itinerating for two years  following the experience.

On this trip, participants will
• meet with local historians and Appalachian women to better understand the unique history and culture of the area,
• tour and fellowship with local organizations serving women, children and families, and
• see the evolution of the PC(USA) mission and ministry programs in rural Appalachia.

2013 USAME map, Appalachia

Facts about Appalachia

Appalachia is a 13-state region that stretches along the Appalachian mountain range from southwestern New York to northeastern Mississippi. The Appalachian Regional Commission, established by Congress in 1965 to support economic and social development in the Applachian region, covers 406 counties. During Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty” in the mid-1960s, 219 of those counties were identified as “distressed.” In 2005, 82 of those counties were still considered “distressed.”

The following books, films and websites offer insights into the culture and history of the Tennessee and North Carolina parts of Appalachia that will be visited. 

Recommended fiction

Cold Mountain, Charles Frazier
Gap Creek, Robert Morgan
The Girl Who Chased the Moon, Sarah Addison Allen
Prodigal Summer, Barbara Kingsolver
The Sugar Queen, Sarah Addison Allen
Thirteen Moons, Charles Frazier

Recommended nonfiction

Asheville: A History, Nan K. Chase
Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America, James Webb
The Foxfire Book: Hog Dressing, Log Cabin Building . . . Eliott Wigginton, ed. (one in a series)
Johnson City (TN), Images of America series, Sonya A. Haskins
My Own Country: A Doctor’s Story, Abraham Verghese
A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson

Recommended films

Appalachia: A History of Mountains and People (PBS, 2009)
Cold Mountain (Miramax, 2003)
The Songcatcher (Lionsgate, 2000)

Recommended websites

www.appalshop.org
A nonprofit arts and education center in Appalachia that works to preserve Appalachian culture

www.arc.gov
Appalachian Regional Commission, a federal-state partnership that works toward sustainable communities and economic development

www.ilovemountains.org
A group of 14 local, state and regional organizations in Appalachia, working to end mountaintop removal coal mining

www.nationalgeographic.com/appalachia
A geotourism map of Appalachia with featured locations nominated by local people

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