Monthly Archives: May 2013

HOUSE NEWS: New outdoor dining area is in!

Click here to see an entire list of what is happening this week at the Green House.

newpatio

NEW OUTDOOR DINING AREA IS IN! This past Wednesday, after receiving out latest newsletter, a friend of the house showed up around 10am and said, “Let’s do this outdoor dining area project!” And five days later, it is complete! We’ve been wanting to put in a patio in the side yard for some time now, hoping to take advantage of the increase in space it allows us so that folks who come for breakfasts and lunch can relax and linger over their meals, instead of moving out to make room for the next group of folks to come in. The new outdoor dining area should allow us to provide seating for 20-25 outside, doubling our capacity and making the experience of dining here at the house more welcoming and spacious for our guests. Many thanks to our friend who provided the resources and experience, as well as the time, to get this project done! The work was a joint effort involving a lot of folks over the last few days, including Vickie, Mohammed, Danny, Johnny IV, Clayton, and others. Thanks to all! Which brings us to a new request…

LOOKING FOR GOOD, STURDY OUTDOOR TABLES AND CHAIRS: Eventually we hope to build some nice heavy-duty picnic tables for the new outdoor dining area, but in the meantime, if you have good wooden or metal outdoor tables or chairs that need a good home, send them our way! The lighter-weight outdoor furniture seems to get regularly liberated from our backyard, but heavier items seem to stay put. If you have anything you want us to come pick up, we’d be glad to. Just let us know.

NEW COMMUNITY PRAYER SERVICE AND POTLUCK THIS SUNDAY: A small group of us have been meeting once-a-month to worship together in an informal, intimate setting, and then share a meal. Everyone is welcome. This month’s gathering will be at the home of Dave and Gloria Chynoweth. Contact us for directions.

ONE COMMUNITY MEMBER LEAVES AS ANOTHER ARRIVES: These next few days are Vickie’s last ones with us. She’ll be heading out on Thursday morning, starting a new chapter in her life. She’s gifted us with a copy of her thesis (on the Catholic Worker and bioregionalism) to keep her at the house for anyone to read who is interested. We’re so grateful for Vickie and everything she has done here over the past 5-plus years. And as Vickie leaves, we welcome a new live-in member, Oliver, who will be with us for the summer. Oliver arrives later today. Both the new and old will be here at the café tomorrow, so if you want a good lunch, a chance to say good bye and hello, stop by the house! (We’ll give Oliver a proper introduction in next week’s house news.)

NEW EDITION OF CONSPIRE, OUR NEWSLETTER, IS NOW AVAILABLE: We just completed another edition of our irregular newsletter, Conspire, and many of you should be receiving a copy in the mail this week. If you don’t get a hard copy and would like to be added to the mailing list, let us know! If you want to download and look at a PDF of the newsletter, you can see it here.

Thanks to everyone! Hope to see you this week!

REFLECTION: David Brooks commencement speech in which he speaks of Dorothy Day

The following is from the baccalaureate speech given at Sewanee, the University of the South, by David Brooks last week. In it, he references one of his heroes, Dorothy Day, co-founder of the Catholic Worker. We thought folks might enjoy this.

brooks0116

Columnist David Brooks

… One of my heroes is a woman named Dorothy Day.

When she was a young woman, Day thought she wanted to be a writer and a bohemian. She moved to Greenwich Village in New York. She hung out in bars, listened to jazz and had a lot of boyfriends. She read Dostoyevsky as if her life depended upon it, and sometimes seemed to live like a character in a Dostoyevsky novel. But something about the disorganized nature of that life bothered her.

One night she was wrongly arrested and put in jail. She had done nothing wrong, but to her the arrest seemed to indict her entire style of life.

She wrote: “It was as ugly an experience as I ever wish to pass through. I do not think that ever again, no matter of what I am accused, can I suffer more than I did then of shame and regret, and self-contempt. Not only because I had been caught, found out, branded, publicly humiliated, but because of my own consciousness that I deserved it.”

Then a few years later, she had a very different experience. She gave birth to a child. She wrote that when her child emerged she felt like the greatest artist or the greatest poet:

“No human creature could receive or contain so vast a flood of love and joy as I often felt after the birth of my child. With this came the need to worship, to adore.”

Dorothy Day

Dorothy Day

Her need to worship turned her toward God. And with that came a passion, to be among the poor. She started a newspaper called The Catholic Worker. She started soup kitchens and homeless shelters and rural communes. She didn’t serve the way we often serve today, as affluent people going down to give the needy a hand. She embraced poverty and lived in the shelters herself. For her the service was not about the meals. It was a form of worship and way to honor God.

Day wasn’t one of these people who could separate public behavior from private morality. Day couldn’t just do good, she had to be good…

Click here to read the entire address (the Dorothy Day section starts on page 3.)

HOUSE NEWS: Need help at the cafe this week and new newsletter!

Click here to see an entire list of what is happening this week at the Green House.

NEED HELP AT THE CAFE THIS WEDNESDAY: We’re short a handful of volunteers for the café this Wednesday, so if you can help out, it would be much appreciated. We’re down two volunteers for morning prep work, starting at 9:30am and going through noon; and we’re down one person at noon for serving between 12-3pm. If you can help out, even for an hour we’d be very grateful!

NEW EDITION OF CONSPIRE, OUR NEWSLETTER, IS NOW AVAILABLE: We just completed another edition of our irregular newsletter, Conspire, and many of you should be receiving a copy in the mail this week. If you don’t get a hard copy and would like to be added to the mailing list, let us know! If you want to download and look at a PDF of the newsletter, you can see it here.

STILL LOOKING FOR MORE HELP WITH SEVERAL BIG SUMMER PROJECTS: (Thanks to several folks who responded last week to this info. Johnny or Kelli will be in touch with you this week.) This is the time of “big” projects for us at the Green House and we could use quite a bit of help outside of the regular volunteer opportunities. If you’re interested in helping, email us and we’ll contact you with more information about the particulars for each project. And if you could pass around the list below to family members, friends, co-workers, churches and others who you think might be able to help, we would be forever grateful!

  • The creation of an outdoor dining area in our side yard: We’ve been really busy over the past few months, with an average of 45 people coming four days a week for breakfast, and often close to 100 joining us for lunch on Wednesday. We can only seat about 20 people at a time in the house, so it has been a little challenging to offer the leisurely meals we would like to and also make sure everyone has a chance to sit down for a bit. (Still people are grateful for the good food, the soft music and newspaper, and the gracious volunteers.) But what we would really like is to spruce up the side yard and make it an outdoor dining space. During the nice weather, we could serve twice as many people at a time with the space we have outdoors. We earned money with the Art for All sale to purchase supplies to build some more picnic tables and hopefully some bricks or pavers to create a patio or build a deck. We need volunteers to help, and we could really use some project coordination by someone with expertise and experience in construction, landscaping, etc.
  • The creation of a parking lot/bus stop oasis: Clayton and Gloria are heading up their final project before they leave for New Orleans this summer – a little oasis for folks waiting for the bus near our parking lot gardens. Clayton had noticed that some disabled and elderly folks from a public housing apartment building nearby were having to stand in the sun and wait for the bus that stops near our gardens. After bringing a house chair outside several times for people, he floated the idea of building a permanent bench under the tree. The idea has since grown to include a butterfly garden and a  “little library” –  a small, enclosed box on a pole (like a bird house) filled with used books and a sign “take one, leave one.” We have been amazed by how much plant life the outskirts of that empty parking lot next door can sustain. It’s often abuzz with bees, butterflies, and birds as well. We’re excited about creating a little nature oasis among the asphalt and concrete and grateful to Gloria and Clayton for it. If you want to help out, lend supplies or expertise, get in touch with Clayton and Gloria or send us an email and we’ll connect you.
  • House painting: A few years ago, we had a guest who offered to paint the house. He got about 90% finished and we’d like to finish the last bits over the summer. This includes painting the small outcrop at the top of the house that offers venting for the attic, as well as painting just above the frames of the upstairs windows. It’s a complicated job because of the height, but if anyone has the experience and expertise and could help, we’d be grateful. We additionally are thinking of several other smaller painting projects if you’re interested (the doors, steps, the picket fence, etc.)
  • Various repair jobs: From patching up drywall to fixing the upstairs bathroom to putting in shelves in the kitchen and so on, we have a number of jobs around the house for which we can provide person-power but need expertise. If you’re adept at plumbing or drywall or carpentry and so on, and could coach us through various small repairs, we’d love the help.

For any of these, just email us at gvillecw@yahoo.com.

HOUSE NEWS: Summer project help, Vickie graduates, microfarm workday!

Click here to see an entire list of what is happening this week at the Green House.

SUMMER A SCHEDULE CHANGES: Beginning this week, there are a few changes in the schedule. Most importantly, we’ll be serving breakfast only 2 days a week instead of four during the rest of May and through June. Breakfast@theGreenHouse will still be from 7-9am, but we’ll just do it on Monday and Friday. We can use 1-2 volunteers for both of those days if you are available and would like to commit for the next six weeks or so. Just send us an email and let us know which day you’d like to help. Additionally, Art for All will work not meet each Saturday during the summer, but instead there will be several “guerilla art” projects for which they’ll announce on Facebook and in the weekly email when they’ll be meeting and any supplies they’ll need. Another change: The Green House Knitters will start meeting on Monday evenings again, 7:30-9pm. Everything else is the same! We can especially use help at the microfarm on Thursday mornings and at the café, anytime on Wednesday between 9:30am and 4pm.

CONGRATULATIONS VICKIE! Vickie Machado, a live-in member of the Green House for the past two years, graduated last week with a MA in Religion and Nature. We’re so proud of her! Vickie is living at the house through the end of the month, so 1) if you’re by the house make sure to congratulate her and 2) let her know of any contacts you have in S. Florida for possible work for her!

Congrats Vickie! (pictured with Robert)

Congrats Vickie! (pictured with Robert)

WE NEED HELP WITH SEVERAL BIG SUMMER PROJECTS: This is the time of “big” projects for us at the Green House and we could use quite a bit of help outside of the regular volunteer opportunities. If you’re interested in helping, email us and we’ll contact you with more information about the particulars for each project. And if you could pass around the list below to family members, friends, co-workers, churches and others who you think might be able to help, we would be forever grateful!

  • The creation of an outdoor dining area in our side yard: We’ve been really busy over the past few months, with an average of 45 people coming four days a week for breakfast, and often close to 100 joining us for lunch on Wednesday. We can only seat about 20 people at a time in the house, so it has been a little challenging to offer the leisurely meals we would like to and also make sure everyone has a chance to sit down for a bit. (Still people are grateful for the good food, the soft music and newspaper, and the gracious volunteers.) But what we would really like is to spruce up the side yard and make it an outdoor dining space. During the nice weather, we could serve twice as many people at a time with the space we have outdoors. We earned money with the Art for All sale to purchase supplies to build some more picnic tables and hopefully some bricks or pavers to create a patio or build a deck. We need volunteers to help, and we could really use some project coordination by someone with expertise and experience in construction, landscaping, etc.
  • The creation of a parking lot/bus stop oasis: Clayton and Gloria are heading up their final project before they leave for New Orleans this summer – a little oasis for folks waiting for the bus near our parking lot gardens. Clayton had noticed that some disabled and elderly folks from a public housing apartment building nearby were having to stand in the sun and wait for the bus that stops near our gardens. After bringing a house chair outside several times for people, he floated the idea of building a permanent bench under the tree. The idea has since grown to include a butterfly garden and a  “little library” –  a small, enclosed box on a pole (like a bird house) filled with used books and a sign “take one, leave one.” We have been amazed by how much plant life the outskirts of that empty parking lot next door can sustain. It’s often abuzz with bees, butterflies, and birds as well. We’re excited about creating a little nature oasis among the asphalt and concrete and grateful to Gloria and Clayton for it. If you want to help out, lend supplies or expertise, get in touch with Clayton and Gloria or send us an email and we’ll connect you.
  • House painting: A few years ago, we had a guest who offered to paint the house. He got about 90% finished and we’d like to finish the last bits over the summer. This includes painting the small outcrop at the top of the house that offers venting for the attic, as well as painting just above the frames of the upstairs windows. It’s a complicated job because of the height, but if anyone has the experience and expertise and could help, we’d be grateful. We additionally are thinking of several other smaller painting projects if you’re interested (the doors, steps, the picket fence, etc.)
  • Various repair jobs: From patching up drywall to fixing the upstairs bathroom to putting in shelves in the kitchen and so on, we have a number of jobs around the house for which we can provide person-power but need expertise. If you’re adept at plumbing or drywall or carpentry and so on, and could coach us through various small repairs, we’d love the help.

For any of these, just email us at gvillecw@yahoo.com.

MONTHLY WORKDAY AT BAM ON SATURDAY: On Saturday, May 18, from 9am to noon, we’ll all be gathering at Black Acres Microfarm (BAM) for our monthly workday. In partnership with BAM, we help provide regular volunteers and the produce from the microfarm is shared with our friends and neighbors at the cafe and through distribution. Volunteer all morning or for an hour or whatever suits your schedule. Call Jade at 352-275-4661 or 352-337-0817 to get directions and let him know you’re coming!

COMMUNITY PRAYER AND POTLUCK ON SUNDAY: For about a year now, a group of folks, including some of us associated with the Green House, have been committed to forming an intentional community. Once-a-month, we gather at various people’s homes, in the spirit of the early church, to pray together and share a meal. The gathering is open to anyone who would like to join us. This week, we’re gathering on Sunday at Hurley House (the big pink building at the east end of the parking lot behind St. Augustine Catholic Student Center and Church), from 4-7pm. Feel free to join us!