Ruth Conniff draws on her 2022 nonfiction book about the deep connection between two groups of people often pitted against each other in our hyperpartisan politics: Midwestern dairy farmers, many of whom voted for Donald Trump, and the undocumented immigrant workers they rely on to do most of the work on their farms. In her book Milked Conniff travels to Mexico with a group of farmers who make themselves vulnerable by trying to learn Spanish and accepting the hospitality of Mexican families in remote villages upon whose relatives the farmers have come to rely. In this surprisingly hopeful story, Conniff discovers how rural people from different countries, under pressure from the same global economic forces, have made common cause, and how, ultimately, their relationship shows the ways in which we are all in the same boat.

Ruth Conniff is Editor-in-chief of the Wisconsin Examiner. She formerly served as Editor-in-chief of The Progressive Magazine where she worked for many years from both Madison and Washington, DC. Shortly after Donald Trump took office she moved with her family to Oaxaca, Mexico, and covered U.S./Mexico relations, the migrant caravan, and Mexico’s efforts to grapple with Trump. Conniff is the author of “Milked: How an American Crisis Brought Together Midwestern Dairy Farmers and Mexican Workers” which won the 2022 Studs and Ida Terkel award from The New Press. She is a frequent guest on MSNBC and has appeared on Good Morning America, Democracy Now!, Wisconsin Public Radio, CNN, Fox News and many other radio and television outlets. She has also written for The Nation, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Los Angeles Times, among other publications. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her husband and three daughters.

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Share the Plate

  • The Share-the-Plate for March 5 and 12 is the White Helmets, a volunteer humanitarian group in Syria who are working to meet the needs of victims of the earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria. While Turkey has received aid from the UN, Syria has not, and the White Helmets stepped into the void to rescue people and to now help them heal and recover. 

Order of Service

  • Gathering Song:  #188 “Come, Come, Whoever You Are”
  • Welcome
  • Prelude:  “Hope Lingers On” by Low Lily
  • Call to Worship
  • Lighting the Chalice and Musical Response
  • Shared Music:  “Forget Your Perfect Offering” based on the lyrics of Leonard Cohen
  • Time for All Ages:  “Click, Clack, Moo” by Doreen Cronin
  • Shared Music:  #159 “This is My Song”
  • Wisdom from the World’s Traditions: from “Welcoming the Stranger” by Rabbi Lisa Rubin
  • Reflection with Ruth Conniff
  • Offering:  “Abide With Me” by Henry Francis Lewis and William Henry Monk
  • Joys and Sorrows
  • Shared Music:  Hymn #131, “Love Will Guide Us”
  • Extinguishing the Chalice and Benediction

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