Monthly Archives: December 2010

HOUSE NEWS: Last Cafe of 2010

Tamra and Solomon

We want to thank everyone who helped make this cafe such a good one – the folks who came to help with preparations, the ones who served, the ones who brought in delicious, homemade desserts, and those who helped clean up afterward!  It was another cold day, and the people who came to our house were met with warmth – in every sense of the word.

We rarely have the time or wherewithal to take photos during the cafe, but there are a few of the food preparation in the Flickr photo-stream in the right sidebar. There was a lot of chopping, dicing and mincing required for the chili and salsa! We got it finished just under the wire, and about 50 people enjoyed the results.

We are taking a break to spend the Christmastime with family. During the holiday season, so many people in our community reach out to those who are hungry and homeless.  It’s a good time for us to “re-create” for the new year.  We’ll start up again with an Epiphany Party on January 8. We hope you can come! For next semester’s schedule, please click here.

Happy Holidays!

Kelli, John, Kendera, Johnny, Grace, and Moraa

HOUSE NEWS: Help us celebrate our last Cafe of the semester!

For this week’s complete schedule, please click here. For our schedule starting next semester, please go here.

We are winding down for the holidays this week.  On Wednesday we’d like to invite you to help us celebrate with desserts after our healthy cafe meal of sweet potato chili and fresh home-baked bread! We’d like to have the desserts organized before the cafe begins – early Wednesday morning, if possible.  If you plan to come by earlier in the week, please give us a call first to make sure we’re here.

We also want to thank you for the wonderful gifts of food and warmth that have been pouring into the house lately. We gave out some beautiful handmade hats (champion-crocheter Theresa) and lovely scarfs (Beverly and friends!). Sleeping bags and tents (the Zaks), soft warm blankets, and warm coats and sweaters (Erika). Thanks to Tamra for the toys we’ll have available for folks to wrap up for a little friend or family member and to the Gulig family for their lovely Christmas gift to the house – a car-load of tents, sleeping bags, blankets – and the start of our new refrigerator fund.  And a big thank you to all the folks who brought by wonderful pre-freeze veggies and fruits that were about to to bite it in this weather. We had a kitchen full of juice oranges, satsumas, grapefruit, tomatoes, hot peppers… We are canning, freezing, juicing and setting out baskets for folks at the cafe. It is just wonderful to be able to share this bounty with folks in need. We tell our guests about the person or families that brought these things in and it just adds to the value of the gift. They are so grateful for such good neighbors.

May this time of year be filled with both joy and peace for you and those you love!

REFLECTIONS: Advent Prayer – Waiting for the Light

During morning prayer today we considered the darkness in which we all live a good part of the time, but rarely talk honestly about.  So many of the things privileged people think they know do not hold up over time. We felt we knew so much for one thing! And we imagined that somehow we might be the ones to “get it right,” to live in such a way that we would be spared some of the suffering we see in others. What bittersweet knowledge we gain over time – that life is actually full of suffering, that no one “deserves” it, that no one escapes it. I came across this quote from Mark Vonnegut (son of author Kurt Vonnegut) during a particularly dark time in my own life and clung to its wisdom and hope:

“We are here to help each other through it, whatever it is.”

As much as we may rail against it, life is sometimes very hard.  We all will feel the rug pulled out from under us at some point – when the life we thought was solid suddenly melts away and we find ourselves grappling with a new reality.  Recognizing that it is like that for us all can bring a strange comfort; we are not alone. And we are at the same time empowered to help someone else feel less lonely in their suffering.

Several of my friends are about to spend their first Christmas without a loved one – a son who died of cancer after many years fighting it every way he could; the old college friend who was always there and is suddenly gone; the co-worker with the gift of listening to whom so many of us shared our troubles, and who died alone near Thanksgiving. This time of year is often so hard on people who are suffering. Grief and loss stand out in sharp contrast during a season of supposed “joy.”

This darkness we experience comes and goes in our lives. The season of Advent promises a Creator who suffers with us, who made the world ultimately “good.”  We can “help each other through it,” even as we struggle to see the light ourselves.


In our secret yearnings
we wait for your coming,
and in our grinding despair
we doubt that you will.

And in this privileged place
we are surrounded by witnesses who yearn more than we do
and by those who despair more deeply than do we.

Look upon us
in this season of hope
which runs so quickly to fatigue
and in this season of yearning
which becomes so easily quarrelsome.

Give us the grace and the impatience.
to wait for your coming to the bottom of our toes,
to the edge of our fingertips.

We do not want our several worlds to end.

Come in your power
and come in your weakness
in any case
make all things new.

– prayer from Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth – Prayers by Walter Brueggemann

HOUSE NEWS: Open House and Art for All Sale was wonderful!

Julie Baker in the parking lot garden - Gainesville Sun photo

What a gratifying day Sunday was! The house was so lovely with all the colorful artwork displayed, and we saw so many people – old friends and many new faces  – most of whom took home lovely gifts they had purchased at the sale!  The proceeds from the sale will help us move forward with out hope of re-launching the Breakfast Brigade this winter. Thank you, thank you, thank you to all those who helped teach, create, prepare, cook, purchase, and sweep up!

Our schedule this week and next will be winding down as we prepare for Christmas; please click here for the details of our schedule between now and December 18. After that, we’ll take some time off for the holidays and return with a new schedule in January.  Please check out our plans for next semester HERE!

The photo above is from the Gainesville Sun article published on Saturday, December 4. Thank you, Julie Garrett, for all the help with the publicity!