Monthly Archives: August 2011

HOUSE NEWS: Cafe starts, Crane Project report, and schedule ramps up!

To see what is happening this week, click here.

We had a very nice start to the semester with over 20 of us gathering on Thursday night for the start of the semester prayer service, welcoming of our new live-in community members, and a delicious potluck meal! Thanks to all who were able to attend.

PEACE CRANE PROJECT: We also wanted to share with you a report about the guerrilla art project we did in August, with over 50 people chipping in to make it happen. From August 6-9, we hung origami peace cranes at various locations around downtown, with the message attached to each crane: “This is our cry. This is our prayer. Peace in the world.” For a full report on the project, some photos showing where the 1,000 cranes were hung, and links to news stories by the Gainesville Sun, TV20 and other media, click here.

This week, we’re ramping up the schedule, adding in some tried-and-true projects from the past and starting some new ones as well. Here’s what’s going on:

JUSTFAITH AT THE GCW: If you’ve always wanted to explore more deeply how integrated our faith is with working for justice in the world, this might be the program you have been looking for! Catholic Charities sponsors the JustFaith program in Gainesville and we’re thrilled to be hosting it this year at the GCW. It is an intensive formation program, meeting 30 times over the course of 8-9 months (between September and May), but everyone we know who has participated has found it to be an extraordinary and transformative experience. If you think you might be interested and want to learn more, we’re having 2 informational sessions: this week on Tuesday, August 30 from 7-7:45pm at the house; and again next Tuesday, Sept. 6 same time at the house. The program will start in mid-September! Contact Johnny at if you want to learn more or come to one of the information sessions!

DOROTHY’S FARMERS MARKET CAFE: The cafe starts back up this week, Wednesday, August 31! We’re in need of volunteers! Come help out with prep between 9:30-11:45am, serving from 12-3pm, or clean up from 2:30-4pm. And if you’re interested in learning how to be one of the cafe chefs, let Kelli know. Each semester Kelli works with 2-3 cafe chefs-in-training, helping train folks in preparing and cooking local, seasonal foods for our guests at the cafe. Let us know if you can volunteer this week or if you’re interested in becoming one of our chefs-in-training! Email us at

ROUNDTABLE ON THE TENTH ANNIVERSARY OF 9/11: Our topic for our first Thursday Roundtable will be the tenth anniversary of 9/11 and an exploration of what has happened in our nation and around the world in the wake of the events of that day. We’ll share a resource from Colleen Kelly, a member of September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, who lost her brother Bill on 9/11. Johnny will lead us in a discussion about how our nation responded, what could we have done differently, and where do we go from here. Bring a dish to share for the potluck meal if you can! NOTE: We’re only doing Roundtables once-a-month this semester, on the first Thursday of each month. The time has shifted a little too: we’ll be beginning at 6:30 and ending at 8pm.

ART FOR ALL HELP: The Art for All Project will be starting up again in September, and we need your help. Last year’s project was a great success, bringing together a diverse group of professional and amateur artists from all ages and backgrounds to produce some beautiful work, a lot of which was sold at end-of-the-semester Art Sales to benefit both the artists and  the work of the House. To find out more about the project, our plans for this semester and how you can help, click here.

BREAKFAST BRIGADE VOLUNTEERS: Brigade got started last week with only live-in house members doing it. It would be great to have 2-4 extra volunteers each Friday if possible. If you’re interested, email us at and let us know. We can add you to the schedule for this week or reserve you a spot on any Brigade you want to do throughout the semester!

NEW BROCHURE AVAILABLE: We’ve also just printed our new brochure for the semester, which includes info on all our projects and the weekly schedule for this semester. If you want to look at it or download it as a PDF, just click here: GCW Brochure – Fall 2011

Hope you can join us this week!

ART FOR ALL: Art for All starts soon!

The Art for All Project will be starting up again in September, and we need your help. Last year’s project was a great success, bringing together a diverse group of professional and amateur artists from all ages and backgrounds to produce some beautiful work, a lot of which was sold at end-of-the-semester Art Sales to benefit both the artists and  the work of the House.

This fall, beginning September 17, we’ll be meeting on Saturdays between 1 and 4. All or welcome, no previous experience or apparent talent required! Anyone can make something beautiful with the help of our talented teachers and the inspiration of the others.  In September we’ll be working on the following projects:

  • September 17 – Transform used t-shirts into winter scarves, “snoods,” dog chews, and future rug yarn.
  • September 24 – Turn old calendars into gift bags and magazine pages into envelopes and “reeds” for future crafting.
If you can’t make it on Saturdays, but would like to contribute to the art sale/fundraiser, we would love to have your at-home help – working on the same crafts we are doing on Saturday (we’re happy to send you home with supplies) or making some of the upcycled sewing crafts that it’s difficult to work on as a group (email us for directions):
  • aprons
  • pillowcase totebags
  • shirt-sleeve iPod covers
  • knitted and crocheted items
  • potholders
  • coasters
In addition, if you have any of these supplies on hand at home that you are not using, we could use these:
  • old t-shirts
  • fabric
  • felt
  • magazines
  • beads and old jewelry
  • yarn
  • paint, gesso, paintbrushes, and modpodge
  • origami (washi) paper
  • bobby pins
  • epoxy
  • old puzzle pieces

And mark your calendars for our weekend sale on December 2 and 3.

Hope to see you!

HOUSE NEWS: Welcoming our new live-in members

We were thrilled tonight to have over 20 people join us in a prayer service marking the beginning of a new semester. During the prayer service, we reflected together on the story of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet from John’s gospel, sharing insights about what the Gainesville Catholic Worker is all about, and then welcoming our new live-in house members–Tamra, Vickie and Daniel. After our gospel reading and reflection, we had each one of them introduce themselves and share with us one gift/talent/skill that they bring to our common work. They’re an incredible group of young people and we’re really blessed to have them living at the house this semester. We hope each of you who regularly make the GCW part of your life will get to meet them and know them over the coming months.

After Vickie, Daniel and Tamra shared their gifts, those gathered offered them a few insights and blessings for the next semester. During the commissioning ritual, we read aloud this passage from Henri Nouwen, in his book, The Wounded Healer:

In the middle of our convulsive world, men and women raise their voices time and again to announce with incredible boldness that we are waiting for a Liberator. We are waiting, they announce, for a Messiah who will free us from hatred and oppression, from racism and war—a Messiah who will let peace and justice take their rightful place.

If ministry is meant to hold the promise of this Messiah, then whatever we can learn of His coming will give us a deeper understanding of what is called for in ministry today.

How does the Liberator come? I found an old legend in the Talmud which may suggest to us the beginning of an answer:

Rabbi Joshua ben Levi came upon Elijah the prophet while he was standing at the entrance of Rabbi Simeron ben Yohai’s cave. He asked Elijah: “When will the Messiah come?” Elijah replied, “Go and ask him yourself.” “Where is he?” the rabbi asked. “Sitting at the gates of the city,” answered Elijah. “And how shall I know him?” asked Rabbi Joshua. “He is sitting among the poor covered with wounds. The others unbind their wounds at the same time and then bind them up again. But he unbinds one at a time and binds it up again, saying to himself, ‘Perhaps I shall be needed: if so I must always be ready so as not to delay for a moment.’”

The Messiah, the story tells us, is sitting among the poor, binding his wounds one at a time, waiting for the moment when he will be needed. So it is too with the minister. Since it is our task to make visible the first vestiges of liberation for others, we must bind our own wounds carefully, in anticipation of the moment when we will be needed. We are called to be wounded healers, the ones who must look after their own wounds but at the same time be prepared to heal the wounds of others.

All of us come to the GCW wounded, broken in some way. But we are not alone in this; it is our woundedness that connects all of us. Our woundedness can either close us in more deeply upon ourselves, or it can open us up, help us to identify with and empathize with our brothers and sisters, especially those who must carry their wounds around for all to see.

Thanks to everyone who came out for tonight’s service and dinner!

HOUSE NEWS: Ready to start a new semester!

Breakfast Brigaders from days gone by!

To see what is happening this week, click here!

This week marks the beginning of our 12th year of operation and 8th year since we moved into the Green House at 218 NW 2nd Ave! We’re excited to start the new semester, and in addition to the Brew-Zokovitch family, we’re welcoming three new members to our live-in community: Vickie Machado, Tamra Rich, and Daniel Loya. We actually got things started 2 weeks ago, getting the house cleaned and prepared for our new arrivals. Last week was “move-in” week for Daniel, Vickie and Tamra and the beginning of their orientation. We’ll finish orientation this week with them and we hope you’ll join us on Thursday for a “Start of the Semester” prayer service where we’ll officially welcome them into the house and commission them for the work ahead.

Additionally beginning over the course of this week and extending over the next two weeks, we’ll be starting up our various house projects. We’ll add in a new weekly project or two each week through Labor Day until we have our entire weekly schedule for the semester up and running. This week we hope you’ll join us for the following:

  • Start of the Semester Prayer Service and Dinner, Thursday, August 25th, beginning at 6pm. Join us as we begin our new semester with a short prayer service, blessing our hopes for the months ahead and welcoming Tamra, Vickie and Daniel as live-in community members. These three are participating in “The GCW Semester,” our live-in immersion experience for people who want to spend a semester living at the GCW and helping to lead our work. The prayer service starts at 6pm with a potluck dinner to follow. Bring a dish to share if you can!
  • Breakfast Brigade, 4:15-7am: We hope you’ll join us in preparing, delivering and serving a homemade breakfast of hard-boiled eggs, homemade bread and fresh fruit to our friends who are working out of area labor pools. Folks meet at the Green House at 4:15 to prepare the meal, then we take it to two area labor pools within walking distance of our home. To make sure we have enough volunteers, we ask you to send us an email at to let us know if you’re interested in coming this week (or any upcoming weeks).

We look forward to another great semester and hope to see all of you over the course of the days ahead. Please drop by to say hello anytime and let us know how your summer went!

ART FOR ALL: Paper Crane Project

Over the summer, about 40 community members contributed to a Guerilla Art Project to commemorate the 66th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

One thousand paper cranes were hung around downtown Gainesville between August 6th and 8th. You can read more about the project here. And watch TV news reports here and here. We were also very proud to receive a sweet letter from officials in Hiroshima who share the dream of a more peaceful world.  Sadako presente.

Day One - Luke Jette admires the paper crane display at the Hipp (he made some of them)

Day 2 - Downtown Library

Day 3 - Downtown Plaza

Day 4 - Local downtown restaurants and shops