Ellsworth, Michigan is one of those tiny northern Michigan villages that has hung onto viability as a village through decades of economic ups and downs. Lately, though, that has become more difficult as downstate Michigan's woes continue to batter outstate communities dependent on tourism and financially comfortable retirees.
One of Ellsworth's many retail casualties in this economic downturn was the local cafe'. But a Christian Reformed church in the area decided that a friendly, welcoming place to share good food and conversation was too important a village asset to let slip away. So its members -- in the spirit of Wendell Berry's "practicing resurrection," I thought as I heard the story -- resurrected the restaurant and turned it into a non-profit, staffed by community volunteers.
Some good news, for a change, in our state: The Front Porch Cafe'.