Drought across the West spurs resurgence of faith

By Susan Montoya Bryan

Associated Press

Published: Friday, May 3 2013 11:30 a.m. MDT

After all, praying can't hurt, he said.

The simple act of digging a new post hole in eastern New Mexico tells the story of how dry it is. Moist dirt used to turn up several inches below the surface. Now, Skabelund said, someone can dig several feet and not run into any moisture.

In dry times, it's natural for farmers and others who depend on the land to turn to God, said Laura Lincoln, executive director of the Texas Conference of Churches. Still, she and others said praying doesn't take away the responsibility of people to do what they can to ease the effects of drought.

Church leaders are urging their parishioners to conserve water and use better land-management practices like rotating crops.

"We have to play our part," said The Rev. William Tabbernee, head of the Oklahoma Conference of Churches. "Prayer puts us in touch with God, but it also helps us to focus on the fact that it is a partnership that we're involved in. We need to cooperate with God and all of humanity to be responsible stewards of the gifts God has given us through nature."

Follow Susan Montoya Bryan on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/susanmbryanNM

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