Saying good-bye to the Gainesville Catholic Worker community–The Open Table community to continue on
Dear Friends of the Gainesville Catholic Worker,
After months of discernment, the core group that has been trying to keep the flame of the Gainesville Catholic Worker alive has come to the conclusion that we cannot faithfully do so any longer at this time. Without having a house of hospitality or a live-in community, and with no plans to establish a new house of hospitality in the near future, we feel that we are not able to truly fulfill the mission and vision of the Catholic Worker. With sadness, we have decided we simply are not able to live up to all that we feel being a true Catholic Worker community entails. We still have hope that one day the right people will come along who may be able to re-establish the Gainesville Catholic Worker—and it is our prayer that this will someday come to pass.
In the meantime, we plan to stay together as an intentional community but simply will not be calling ourselves the “Gainesville Catholic Worker” any longer. Instead, we will go by the name that some of us had already selected after going through the JustFaith program—The Open Table Community. We will continue to do the things we have been doing lately—a monthly prayer service and potluck (including this coming Sunday), a monthly meal at GRACE Marketplace, and periodic roundtable discussions, such as the one held this past Thursday with Jon DeCarmine from GRACE Marketplace. We will remain open to new projects and new inspirations, but feel that this is the best way to focus our resources at this time.
All are welcome to participate in The Open Table Community. If you are interested in being added to the email list for The Open Table Community, please let us know by emailing us at email@example.com. We will still be checking that email address, at least for now. However, we will not be sending any more updates out to the GCW list, or posting any more information on the GCW website, so you should let us know if you want to receive updates from The Open Table Community.
Finally, we just want to say thank you. Thank you so much for being part of this community. Thank you for all of your support and prayers. And thank you, most of all, to Kelli Brew and to Johnny Zokovitch for starting the Gainesville Catholic Worker, and for showing us for so many years what true discipleship and true community can look like. This chapter of the Gainesville Catholic Worker is ending, but we hope that another chapter will be written someday. Or, to use another metaphor, we have hope that the seeds from these years will be planted and grow again someday. In the meantime, we will all do our best to apply the lessons we have learned from being part of this community, and will strive to live in faithful solidarity with all of our neighbors, near and far.
Peace be with you all.
The Open Table Community
Happy New Year! We hope you have had a peaceful and joyful Christmas season. We are looking forward to 2015 and the new possibilities a new year brings.
This month we will have our usual prayer service/potluck gathering, and also will serve our monthly meal at GRACE Marketplace. In addition, we are excited to announce we are bringing back our “roundtable” discussions this month. Jon DeCarmine, Director of Operations at North Central Florida Coalition for the Homeless and Hungry, will be our speaker for January. See below for more details, and please consider joining us!
- Sunday, January 11, 4:00 PM—“Open Table” Prayer Service and Potluck Dinner: Help us close the Christmas Season on this feast of the baptism of the Lord! Join us for prayer and fellowship in the ministry building of Holy Faith Catholic Church, 747 NW 43rd Street, Gainesville FL 32607 (the ministry building is the first building on your left as you enter from NW 43rd Sreet). All are welcome—you need not be a donor, supporter or volunteer with GCW to participate. We begin gathering around 4pm, and start the prayer service around 4:15. We then share a light potluck supper together, usually beginning around 5pm. You are welcome to attend just the prayer service or just the potluck if you prefer. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or just to let us know to watch for you.
- Saturday, January 24, 1:00 PM and 4:30 PM—Serving Dinner at GRACE Marketplace: We will be preparing the meal beginning at 1:00 PM (location for preparation TBD), and then taking it over to serve at GRACE at 4:30. Volunteers are needed for both preparation and for serving. Contact Beth Hinrichs at email@example.com for more details.
- Thursday, January 29, 7:00 PM—Roundtable Discussion with Jon DeCarmine, Director of Operations for the North Central Florida Coalition for the Homeless and Hungry: Considered by co-founder Peter Maurin to be one of the three central activities of the Catholic Worker movement, the roundtable discussion was intended to provide “clarification of thought” around current issues. We welcome Jon DeCarmine in leading a discussion of homelessness in Alachua County with a focus on his experience at the new GRACE Marketplace. Persons of all faiths who are concerned with the issue of homelessness and social justice are warmly invited to join the discussion. Refreshments will be provided. This event will take place in the Lower Hall at Holy Faith Catholic Church, 747 NW 43rd Street, Gainesville, FL 32607. (Enter from 43rd street and proceed past the church on your right; the Lower Hall is at the back of the parking lot.) For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
QUOTATION OF THE MONTH:
When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among brothers,
To make music in the heart.
This will be a quiet month for our group as we take a step back and reflect on where we have been and where God may be calling us to go. We will have only one official GCW event in December: our “Open Table” prayer service and potluck—and the potluck will double as our group meeting for the month. (Please note that the potluck/prayer service has been moved to the first Sunday of this month instead of the second.)
We expect to pick back up with more activities in January, including our monthly meal at GRACE Marketplace on January 24, and also the return of our monthly roundtable discussions. Watch for more details in our January update.
Below you will find details about the prayer service/potluck as well as a couple of other opportunities to help out in the community that have come to our attention. Also, you will find some information about the olive sale at Black Acres Microfarm—a wonderful gift idea!
· Sunday, December 7, 4:00 PM—“Open Table” Prayer Service and Potluck Dinner: Celebrate the season of Advent! Join us for prayer and fellowship in the ministry building of Holy Faith Catholic Church, 747 NW 43rd Street, Gainesville FL 32607 (the ministry building is the first building on your left as you enter from NW 43rd Sreet). All are welcome—you need not be a donor, supporter or volunteer with GCW to participate. We begin gathering around 4pm, and start the prayer service around 4:15. We then share a light potluck supper together, usually beginning around 5pm. You are welcome to attend just the prayer service or just the potluck if you prefer. Please contact us at email@example.com for more information or just to let us know to watch for you.
Service opportunities in the community:
· Holiday donation sorting at Catholic Charities: Catholic Charities has informed us that many donations are arriving this holiday season which need hands to sort and prepare for getting them to their destination. They have fewer volunteers right now and could use a hand. If you can be available for some part of a day, please contact John Barli at 352.372.0294.
· GRACE Marketplace: Among the many needs at GRACE Marketplace, one thing we have heard that is needed is men’s work boots. Also, there are still some openings on their meal calendar if you are part of a group that would like to do a meal. Visit their website at http://gracemarketplace.org/ for more information.
Black Acres Microfarm Olive Sale!
· Our Catholic Workers at Black Acres Microfarm have home-grown olives for sale. These would make a wonderful gift, but hurry, as supplies are limited! $6 for a 1/2 pint jar, or 4 jars for $20. All proceeds go to GRACE Marketplace and Catholic Charities. Contact Lynn Chacko at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jade Allen at email@example.com for more information. Check out pictures of the olives on their facebook page.
QUOTATION OF THE MONTH:
“Advent, like its cousin Lent, is a season for prayer and reformation of our hearts. Since it comes at winter time, fire is a fitting sign to help us celebrate Advent…If Christ is to come more fully into our lives this Christmas, if God is to become really incarnate for us, then fire will have to be present in our prayer. Our worship and devotion will have to stoke the kind of fire in our souls that can truly change our hearts. Ours is a great responsibility not to waste this Advent time.”
—Edward Hays, A Pilgrim’s Almanac, pg. 187
This coming Sunday, November 16, from 9am-3pm, GRACE Marketplace is hosting an event called “Day of GRACE.” It is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about GRACE Marketplace and find out how to get involved. Many of us in the GCW communty plan to attend; hope you can, too!
Follow this link to a flyer with more details:
Or, check out their facebook event page:
Hope to see you there!
“For centuries the church has confronted the human community with role models of greatness. We call them saints when what we really often mean to say is ‘icon,’ ‘star,’ ‘hero,’ ones so possessed by an internal vision of divine goodness that they give us a glimpse of the face of God in the center of the human. They give us a taste of the possibilities of greatness in ourselves.”
— Joan D. Chittister in A Passion for Life
“Keep in mind that our community is not composed of those who are already saints, but of those who are trying to become saints. Therefore let us be extremely patient with each other’s faults and failures.”
— Mother Teresa quoted in No Greater Love edited by Becky Benenate and Joseph Durepos
Our October GCW “Open Table” prayer service/potluck is this coming Sunday, October 12 beginning at 4pm in the ministry building at Holy Faith Catholic Church. All are welcome!
We will gather around 4, and begin the prayer service at 4:15. The potluck will begin around 5pm. Folks are welcome to attend just the prayer service or the potluck, or both. Our theme this month is “Make Me A Channel Of Your Peace: Celebrating St. Francis.”
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
October 1, 2014
Dear Friends of GCW,
Today is a rather bittersweet anniversary. One year ago today we were re-opening the Green House for a new year. It was quite a year, full of blessings and miracles, but a challenging year as well. As we have previously shared, this past summer it became apparent that the Green House could not continue as it was, and it closed in August. However, we are beginning a new year, and a new chapter, exploring new ways of continuing on as a community together. We hope you will join us for this journey, and help us see if we can keep the flame of the Gainesville Catholic Worker alive.
Below is some information about our activities being planned for October. Our most immediate need is for volunteers to help prepare and serve a meal at GRACE Marketplace this Saturday, October 4. See below for more details, and contact Beth Hinrichs at email@example.com for more information.
· Saturday, October 4, 4:15 PM—Serving Dinner at GRACE Marketplace: Individuals will be preparing corn bread and chili in their homes and meeting at GRACE at 4:15 in order to begin serving at 4:30pm. Contact Beth Hinrichs at firstname.lastname@example.org for recipes and more details.
· Sunday, October 12, 4:00 PM—“Open Table” Prayer Service and Potluck Dinner: Our activities as a Gainesville Catholic Worker community are anchored by a monthly prayer service and potluck on the 2nd Sunday of each month in the ministry building of Holy Faith Catholic Church, 747 NW 43rd Street, Gainesville FL 32607 (the ministry building is the first building on your left as you enter from NW 43rd Sreet). All are welcome—you need not be a donor, supporter or volunteer with GCW to participate. We begin gathering around 4pm, and start the prayer service around 4:15. We then share a light potluck supper together, usually beginning around 5pm. You are welcome to attend just the prayer service or just the potluck if you prefer. Please contact us at email@example.com for more information or just to let us know to watch for you.
· Saturday, October 18, 8:30 AM-12:00PM—Microfarm Workday: Black Acres Microfarm (BAM), owned and run by two of our community members Jade Allen and Lynn Chacko, has been a special part of the Gainesville Catholic Worker for some time now. Food produced on the farm will be used for our GRACE meals, and donated to places that need it, like GRACE, Catholic Charities, etc. Come out and enjoy a Saturday morning in the fresh air helping on the farm, which is very centrally located in the heart of Gainesville. Contact Jade Allen at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and/or directions to BAM.
· Sunday, October 19, 2:00-3:00 PM—Visit to GRACE Marketplace: If you have never visited GRACE Marketplace (Gainesville’s new one-stop center to serve people who are homeless), here is a great opportunity. Some members of our GCW Community are going with one of the local JustFaith groups to tour GRACE. All are welcome. Contact email@example.com for more details.
· GRACE Women’s Group: The other project that some members of the GCW community are in the process of organizing is a Women’s Group at GRACE Marketplace. Details are still being firmed up, but if you are interested in participating and/or supporting this project, contact Sr. Marlene Payette at firstname.lastname@example.org.
QUOTATION OF THE MONTH:
What we would like to do is change the world–make it a little simpler for people to feed, clothe and shelter themselves as God intended them to do. And to a certain extent, by fighting for better conditions, by crying out unceasingly for the rights of the workers, of the poor, of the destitute–the rights of the worthy and the unworthy poor in other words, we can to a certain extent change the world; we can work for the oasis, the little cell of joy and peace in a harried world. We can throw our pebble in the pond and be confident that its ever widening circle will reach around the world…
We repeat, there is nothing that we can do but love, and dear God–please enlarge our hearts to love each other, to love our neighbor, to love our enemy as well as our friend.
–Dorothy Day, from “Love is the Measure” The Catholic Worker, June 1946, 2.
The GCW Crew
Just a quick reminder that our September “Open Table” prayer service/potluck is this coming Sunday, September 14 beginning at 4pm in the ministry building at Holy Faith Catholic Church. All are welcome! Contact us at email@example.com for more details.
Dear Friends of GCW,
P.O. Box 12573
Gainesville, FL 32604