Monthly Archives: May 2011

HOUSE NEWS: Last call before closing time…

This week marks the start of our closing-down-for-the-summer process. Each summer, we take a “summer sabbatical” during the months of June and July to catch-up on other work, make some needed repairs and/or renovations to the house, re-energize our spirits, and make a plan for the coming school year. This week will mark the last week of our “official projects,” specifically Dorothy’s Farmers Market Cafe and the Breakfast Brigade. (We’ll still be “open” for about 2 more weeks as we tie up some loose ends for the year.) We’ll start back up in August, working up to our full schedule for the semester around the same time UF and Santa Fe start classes.

NEED DESSERTS, VOLUNTEERS: We like to do something special for the last cafe of the year, so we’re asking folks to consider making and dropping off some homemade desserts for our guests. The desserts are a special way of letting our guests know how much we appreciate them joining us each Wednesday. If you can prepare and drop off a dessert by noon on Wednesday, please let us know. Thanks!

Also, we want to make sure we’ll have enough volunteers, so email us back and let us know if you’re coming for preparation, 9:30am-noon; for serving, 11:45am-2pm; or clean-up, 1:30-3pm. We hope to especially have a good crew for clean-up this week as we’d like to do a really thorough cleaning since it’s the last cafe of the semester.

On the menu for this Wednesday: Homemade pizza with tomatoes, onions, and squash from our Farmers Market friends; cucumber (also from the Farmers Market) and tomato salad; and YOUR homemade desserts. Please let us know if you’re bringing a dessert!

LAST BREAKFAST BRIGADE: Friday marks the last BB for the year as well. It’s your last chance to experience a Gainesville tradition this year (10 years running!) If you can join us, let us know and be here at 4:30am. Thanks!

NEEDS: Still looking for a broom that is in good shape…

Thanks all! Look for an end-of-the-year summary in the next few weeks!

HOUSE NEWS: Next-to-last Cafe, Breakfast Brigade! Get it while it’s hot!

Doing the dishes at the cafe!

Dear friends, Kelli is away for part of this week so my apologies for the late communications. (It’s been awhile since I’ve done this!)

DOROTHY’S FARMERS MARKET CAFE: On Wednesday, Kelli’s legion of chefs will be taking over, preparing black beans and rice, with mango salsa, salad and fresh bread. This will be our next-to-last cafe before we wind down and take a break in June and July, so if you haven’t gotten a chance to enjoy the farm fresh, homemade meals, time is running out. Come and join us between 12-2pm for lunch and help serve the meal, show up early (around 9:30am) to help prepare, or stay late and help us get things cleaned-up (1:30-3pm). I’ll put in a special plug for staying late and cleaning up…

BREAKFAST BRIGADE STILL ON: Although the number of Brigadiers has been quite low the last few weeks, we’re still doing BB through May 20th. If you want to help out this week, write and let us know so that we can see that we’ll have enough.

ART FOR ALL ITEMS STILL AVAILABLE: We’ll start to pack up all of the Art for All sale items later this month, so if you still want to pick up that special gift for someone AND support a good cause, stop by and peruse what’s left! We still have a number of beautiful handmade items, courtesy of our “street artists” and others, and we’ll keep them on display until the end of the month. Art for All items are always on display on Wednesday from 9:30am to 3pm; you can also email us and let us know when you’d like to come by and we’ll make sure someone is here.

NEEDS LIST: We’re still looking for 1-2 good brooms if anyone out there has an extra! And we’re always appreciative of financial support!

Next week will be our last week of “projects.” We’ll use the last week of May and beginning of June to finish up a few odds and ends for the year, then the house will officially start its “summer sabbatical” on June 6th. Thanks to everyone who has helped out this year. You are all wonderful!

Mother’s Day Proclamation

Arise then…women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly:
“We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country,
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”

From the bosom of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says: “Disarm! Disarm!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.”
Blood does not wipe out dishonor,
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil
At the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace…
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God –
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality,
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.

– Julia Ward Howe, founder of Mother’s Day, 1870

REFLECTIONS: Word and Witness – Becoming people who light up the world in which we live

by John Zokovitch

Ed. Note: In his role as Director of National Field Operations for Pax Chris USA, John wrote this cover article for  JustFaith Ministries Spring 2011 newsletter, JustFaith Voices.

Before coming to work at Pax Christi USA, I worked with college and high school students at our local parish and Catholic student center. In talking about the gospel to them, one thing became readily apparent: they don’t want to hear about it; they want to see it. All the talk was just talk – empty and meaningless, if not outright hypocritical. If you didn’t in some way embody what it was you were talking about, you were easily dismissed.

Early on in my ministry I came to realize that students, and, indeed, real seekers of any age, aren’t interested in some dumbed-down, lowest common denominator form of Christianity made palatable to the largest number of people. As Dorothy Day once said, they had “a hunger for the heroic.” The great German pastor and theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, worried that what passed for discipleship in our churches was really “cheap discipleship,” a pale imitation of the real thing.  But my students were telling me that they wanted the “real thing” – the “deep-down” thing – and they weren’t going to be moved by anything “plastic.”  I remember this feeling from my own childhood when, as a teenager, I was ready to chuck it all aside and go follow a mythical baseball player who had studied with the lamas in Tibet, slept on a straw mat, didn’t want the New York Mets to pay him any salary, and could throw a baseball 160 miles per-hour.  (Sidd Finch, look it up on the web, I swear, the perfect Christ-figure for a lonely, religiously-minded, 16 year-old baseball junkie.)

The point is that the gospel is – should be – transformative to people’s lives. It’s not simply a nice accessory that makes life a little better-looking. Rather, it turns everything upside down, provokes, even disrupts business as usual. It is, ultimately, a story fundamentally in conflict with so many of the major narratives of our time around which we build our lives. But our ears have become so numb to the words that they have lost all their power – because Word without Witness is dead, just as James tells us that faith without works is dead…

To read the rest of this article, click here.

Buy your mom a local artisan-made gift for Mother’s Day

At the end of the month, we’ll be packing up what’s left of this semester’s Art for All project. This wonderful project has helped make money for the work we do at the house and also helped support some of our budding street artists. There are still some lovely things left – and we think your mother might like one of them:

These hand-painted flower parts hold a handmade washcloth and artisan soap - $12

Pin a handmade "urban flower" corsage on your mom - $10

mug rugs - $10 - and ...

cup cozies - for the coffee/tea drinking mom - $8

jewelry for all tastes - hemp and charm necklace - $12

recycled bottle caps and glass bead necklaces ("peace" in three languages) - $12

beaded bracelets - $12

lovely watercolors - $15-$25

and you can wrap your gift in upcycled calendar gift bags ($3)

Things are slowing down at the house, so give us a call before you come by  to make sure we’re home (find number under “contact” tab above).  Happy Mother’s Day!

HOUSE NEWS: Osama – and sharing food with the hungry

Like many of you, we woke up this morning to the news that Osama bin Laden had been killed.  Having never identified this one crazed man as the main source of hatred, violence, and religious mania in the world, it’s hard to see what’s changed since yesterday.We take heart in thoughtful responses like  that of James Martin, S.J.

And, as usual on a Monday, we are thinking about our overflowing refrigerator (thank you 441 farmers market farmers!) – and how we can turn it into something wonderful and tasty for Wednesday – and who is going to help. With ample help, we’ll be dishing up warm new potato salad, dilly refrigerator pickles, chefs salad – full of local strawberries, goat cheese, pecans, and boiled eggs, fresh bread, and stuffed pattypan squash. But we really need kitchen help in order to do this. Please let us know if you can help in the kitchen between 9 and noon on Wednesday – OR if you can help serve and clean up  between 11:45 and 3.

For the rest of this week’s schedule, please click here.

REFLECTION: The function(s) of religion

oakland catholic worker mural

Religion has always offered two very important but two very different functions. First of all, religion acts as a way of creating meaning for the separate self.  It offers myths, stories, tales, narratives, rituals and revivals which help the separate self  to make sense of and to endure the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.

This function of religion does not usually or necessarily change the level of consciousness in a person. In that sense it does not deliver radical transformation. It does not deliver a shattering liberation from the separate self altogether. Instead, it consoles the self, fortifies the self, defends the self, and promotes the self. And as long as this separate self believes the myths, performs the rituals, mouths the prayers, or embraces the dogma, then the self – it is fervently believed –  will be saved, either now in the glory of being God-saved or Goddess-favored, or in an afterlife that insures eternal wonderment.

Religion has also served, in a usually very small minority, the function of radical transformation and liberation. This function of religion does not fortify the separate self – but utterly shatters it. What is experienced is not consolation but devastation, not entrenchment but emptiness, not complacency but explosion, not comfort but revolution. In short, not a conventional bolstering of  consciousness, but a radical transmutation and transformation at the deepest seat of consciousness itself.

– Ken Wilber