Monthly Archives: May 2010

HOUSE NEWS: Summertime cafe

parking lot garden - zinnias and sunflowers

For details about this week’s schedule, click here.

As out of steam as we seem to be – and a bit short on volunteers – we don’t have the heart to stop the cafe with all these veggies rolling in.  Our garden and everyone else’s is in full swing and we are overloaded with good stuff to transform into lunch on Wednesday.

This Wednesday we’re making deviled eggs, fresh refrigerator pickles, and veggie pockets. Come on by if you can help (call or email to let us know).

  • 11:00 – noon: set-up
  • noon-3: serve
  • 3-4: clean-up

Hope to see you!

HOUSE NEWS: Let the winding down begin!

Dear friends,

For a complete list of what is going on this week at the GCW, click here.

WINDING DOWN: As most of you know, we typically take a 6 week break from the middle of June to the first week of August each summer. We started winding down our various projects last week and we’ll continue that process through to the beginning of June. Last Friday was the last Breakfast Brigade until the fall, and this week we’ll host our last Tuesday and Thursday coffeehouses for the 2009-10 year too. We’ll continue to do Dorothy’s Cafe on Wednesdays for a few more weeks, so if you’re looking for volunteer opportunities, Wednesday is where the need will be.

We’re winding down a little earlier this year because we started a process of evaluation and discernment back in January that is leading us to make some changes and plot new courses for the GCW house and community for the 2010-11 year. (Being in a college town, we operate on the school year calendar.) To plan for these changes and begin the preparation for them, we’re going to give ourselves a little extra time and get started on some of the necessary planning in June, rather than wait until July and August. We’re getting recharged and excited about the work after 6 years in this house, and over 10 years of doing most of our projects, and we think you’ll be excited and energized by some of what we’ve got planned for next year too. Keep an eye out here, on the FB page and in your inbox over the summer, and especially as August rolls around.

GCW NEEDS: By the end of each year, we always find ourselves having lost several items that make life in the house smoother and more livable. If you have any of the following items and would like to donate them to the house, please let us know:

  • Sturdy wooden desk with drawers, not too big
  • Set of dresser drawers
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Laundry detergent
  • New faucet and handles for our kitchen sink (and help installing it)
  • A couple sets of full sheets and pillowcases

Hope to see folks around the house this week!

In peace,

Kelli and John

HOUSE NEWS: Help Wanted

For a complete list of things happening at the House, click here.

We’re keeping to our schedule in spite of the change in semesters. If you haven’t volunteered before or have held back thinking we have plenty of volunteers, this would be your chance! Please email or call and let us know when and how you can help so we can make sure to make the best use of you. Wednesdays Cafe and the Breakfast Brigade were particularly short last week.

We’re making “frittatas” and cole slaw for the cafe on Wednesday due to the abundance of potatoes and cabbage in particular as well as a number of other veggies that will embellish the frittatas. If you know how to make these and want to make a couple, let me know.  It’s short notice, I know…

Thanks for all the ways you support us and the house. Hope to see you this week!

Kelli and John

REFLECTIONS: Meals are supposed to be religious experiences

Cafe Pizza

Homemade veggie pizza for the cafe

Most Wednesdays, for Dorothy’s Cafe, Kelli makes the main dish–usually some type of soup, a quiche, stew, beans and greens, etc. One of the hallmarks of our cafe is that we primarily (often exclusively) use food grown in our own gardens or produced and bought locally, most often from local farmers, sometimes through our family-owned grocery store Ward’s. One could assign it minor importance–but for us, it is one of the essential values of our community and goes to the integrity of what we do.

Most of the food which is distributed to people who are impoverished is high in fat, sugar, starches, salt, and so on. It’s usually highly processed food, often lacking any nutritional value. It’s food that if you eat a lot of it, you’re more apt to be unhealthy, to get sick, to suffer all the physical, emotional and spiritual malaise that comes with eating food that is just not good for you. From the beginning of the GCW, we have sought to provide for and share with people only the very best food that we can; as much as possible, we buy or attain local, organic, in-season and non-processed food which we then take the time to prepare for our friends who come for the cafe or the coffeehouse, or whom we meet at the labor pools on Friday morning.

Food can be a powerful force for binding us to one another. So many of our religious stories revolve around the sharing of food, and these stories often point out the strength or weakness of the economic, social and spiritual health of our communities. From whom do we get our food, what kind of food do we have, and with whom do we share our food? These are all questions that go to the heart of what it means to be community. From our local farmers who gifted us with lots of lettuce and radishes for the salad, the onions and broccoli from Mr. Henry for the pizza, to Kelly  H.and her goats (goat cheese) and the eggs from Springhead Ranch and the oranges from the Hendersons. Kelli writes about this network of relationships often, and the goodness and beauty of it was so evident to me as I held all these various strings connecting us to others in my hands in the final pulling together of today’s meal for the cafe.

So this is what good meals are supposed to do I think: not just fill our bellies, but fill our bellies with food that sustains and lifts us. Even more, our meals should build community and tie us more closely to one another–from the gathering of the raw materials to the preparation to the actual sitting down and eating. This is the Latin root of the word “religion”–to bind together–and I don’t think I’m stretching it too far to talk about our meals as being religious experiences.

HOUSE NEWS: Pizza makers needed this week…

Dear friends,

For a complete list of things happening at the house this week, click here.

If any regular, full-time, year-round Gainesvillians are available to help this week at the house, we would be very grateful. Kelli is out in Colorado this week caring for and visiting her folks and I think many students have hit the road for visits home for the summer or in-between the Spring and Summer semesters. So it would be great to have a little extra help if you’re available.

PIZZA AT THE CAFE THIS WEEK?! JOHNNY MUST BE IN CHARGE: Since Kelli will not be here this week and my culinary skills are seriously limited, I’ve decided to serve homemade pizza at the cafe this Wednesday. We got lots of good veggies that can be used on the pizza from the Farmer’s Market on Saturday (thanks for the onions Mr. Henry!), so I’ll start mixing and rolling out dough early on Wednesday. It would be really nice to get a few other folks who might be able to make a pizza (or two) at their own places and deliver them to the GCW on Wednesday before noon. If you think you can help out by tossing a pie or two and bringing it by the house, please let me know by Tuesday evening. Any kind of pizza will do!

NEW FACEBOOK “FAN” PAGE: After some encouragement from volunteers, we started a new “fan” page for the GCW on Facebook this past week. We hope this will help us better share what’s going at the house, as well as get some feedback on the wall from friends, supporters, volunteers, etc. If you’re on FB and would like to “fan” us (or is it “like” us now?), just click here.

VOLUNTEER SLOTS THIS WEEK: If you think you can help out this week, please let us know. Here are the slots where we’re looking for help:

Tuesday’s and Thursday’s Coffeehouses:

  • 1-2 people to help prep between 12:30-1pm
  • 1-2 people to help serve between 1-3pm
  • 1-2 people to help clean-up between 3-3:30pm

Dorothy’s Cafe on Wednesday:

  • Donations of already done (or ready to be baked) homemade pizzas by 11:45am
  • 2-3 people to help with set-up and prep between 11am and 12pm
  • 3-5 people to help with serving between 12-3pm
  • 2-3 people to help with clean-up between 3-4pm

Breakfast Brigade on Friday, 4:15-7am: Need 5-6 Brigadiers…

Email me at or contact me through Facebook.

CONGRATULATIONS ALL GRADUATING STUDENTS: To all of you who have volunteered with us over the years who graduated this past weekend, we thank you! Please try and stop by the house before you leave so we can tell you in person! No one leaves Gainesville forever, so we hope you’ll come back and visit us whenever you are in town.

In peace,

John (and Kelli)