PIZZAS NEEDED: This Wednesday will be our last cafe of the 2011-2012 year, which means: PIZZAS! If you’d like to participate in Pizza Cafe Extravaganza III, we would love to have your help. Mainly what we need are pizzas. We will dish out somewhere between 15-25 pies over the course of three hours, so we need folks committed to bringing homemade pizzas or pizzas from one of our fine local pizzerias. Please let us know if you can bake and bring a homemade pizza or pick one (or more) up from our local pizzerias (Big Lou’s is right downtown, as is Five Star; Mamma Mia and Italian Gator are both close by too.) It’s important that we know how many pies will be coming so we’ll have enough, so please email us and let us know if you’ll be bringing some! And don’t forget to come and eat!
AFTER TWELVE YEARS, THE BREAKFAST BRIGADE COMES TO AN END: Friday will be our last Breakfast Brigade. As we’ve told you over the past few weeks, numbers have been consistently going down over the past few years and we’ve decided to end the Brigade and take on a new project in the fall. We’d like to put together a slideshow for the website of photos from the Brigade over the years, as well as some folks remembrances or comments about the Brigade. If you have any photos you want to share, or if you have a few moments and can share a short story or something you remember about the Brigade, please send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. John will put the info together over the summer and we’ll post it on the website later in the summer when we re-open. To everyone that has ever helped with the Brigade, we are so grateful!
HELP US GET THE HOUSE TENTED FOR TERMITES THIS SUMMER: After having four additional inspections this past week, it is clear that we’ve got termites, and that we’ve got them bad enough that we need to get tented this summer. The good news is that we did find a better price on getting the house tented. The cost will still be more than we have available in our budget, but some folks have already sent in checks (thanks!) and we’re hopeful that some of you who are in a position to do so will also send in an extra gift to help us cover the $3,000 cost. If you can help, send your checks in to the GCW, 218 NW 2nd Ave, Gainesville, FL 32601. And thanks again!
This will be our last week of origanized projects at the house. We’ll still be open next week to tie up a few loose ends, but we’ll officially start our summer break on Sunday, June 10. Daniel and John will be caretaking the house over the summer, and we’ll reopen the first week of August when our community members for next year–Gloria, Clayton, Leroy and Vickie–start moving in.
We were so fortunate to have with us last week Ben, Tamra’s boyfriend and a professional photographer. Ben took portraits of many of the people you see around the GCW on a regularly basis. You can see some of those portraits below in the slideshow.
It was a good, exhausting week. We owe so many thanks to all of the folks who made things happen. On Thursday evening, a group of 25 of us said good bye to Tamra (our housemate for the past year), as well as thanks to some long-time community members who are moving on from Gainesville–Tim, Daphne and Russ, and Kim. Others who will be or have already left include Mark and Iris. We’re so grateful to have had all of you as part of the community over the past few years and we hope you’ll keep in touch and come back to visit whenever you can. We’re so excited to see what happens in your lives!
Thanks too for everyone who pulled off the Art for All sale on Saturday! Under Mary, Linda, Lori and Kelli’s leadership this past semester, the project and sale was a great success! Dozens of folks stopped by this weekend for the sale and to eat pie. And if you missed the sale, you’ll have another opportunity or two this week (see below).
LAST CHANCE ON ART FOR ALL ITEMS: If you missed out on the sale this week but still want to stop by and peruse the items, maybe get something for Mom for Mother’s Day or a graduating senior, here’s your chance. On Monday evening, from 7-10pm, the Art for All boutique will be open during the Green House Knitters gathering. And all day Wednesday, from 9:30am until 9pm, the house will be open for anyone wanting to check out Art for All items. If you can’t come during either of those times, email us at email@example.com and we’ll work out a time for you to drop by.
MAY-JUNE PLANS: With the end of the Spring 2012 semester, we’ll make some changes to the schedule for May and early June. Of our regular projects, here are the ones which will continue over the next month with the date they’ll end in parentheses:
- Green House Knitters (Monday, April 30 is last one)
- Dorothy’s Farmers’ Market Cafe (through Wednesday, May 30)
- Breakfast Brigade and Friday’s Centering Prayer and Reflection (through Friday, June 1)
- JustFaith (through May 8, with retreat June 1-2)
- House Dinners (through Thursday, June 7)
- Micro-farm workday (Thursdays ongoing throughout the summer, just contact Jade)
We’ll be officially starting our summer sabbatical on June 9 and will re-open the last week of July when our new house community members for the fall start moving in. We’re lucky to have with us former house member Kim staying with us through May and former house member Daniel staying all summer long to help me care-take. For May especially, since we’re losing a number of student volunteers, we can use extra help for both the Wednesday Cafe and Friday Brigade. Let us know by email if you can commit to a regular shift on either of those for the month.
THE END OF BREAKFAST BRIGADE: You might have read in the newsletter that the numbers at the labor pools have seriously gone down this past year, including one of the labor pools we used to visit closing down altogether. Some Fridays we’ve only had a handful of folks at both labor pools combined. So we’ve decided that this month will be the last month for Breakfast Brigade. Next fall, we’ll start a new project to replace Brigade, using the rest of this year to talk with our friends who live on the street about ideas of what is most needed right now and whether we have the resources to meet that need. If you’ve always wanted to do Brigade but just couldn’t make it, you’ve got 5 more chances before the end. Many, many thanks to all of the faithful people who have come done the Brigade at 4am over the past 12 years. You’re special, special folks.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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!
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
This week, we’re in the process of changing up our schedule a bit to match the needs of folks we’re serving with the availability of volunteers. This week, we will be following the schedule below (note change to café time). If you can commit to regular volunteering for a period of time for any of these projects between now and June 18, please email us and let us know this week. We’ll be making the new schedule next weekend.
Tuesday Coffeehouse – 12:30 – 3:30
- 12:30 – 1:00 Preparation
- 1-3 Serving and clean-up
- 3- 3:30 Clean up
Wednesday Café 11 – 4 (café will be open from noon-3 when most of our guests are here)
- 11-noon Preparation
- 12-3 Serving and clean up
- 3-4 Clean up
Thursday Coffeehouse – 12:30 – 3:30
- 12:30 -1 Preparation
- 1-3 Serving and Clean up
- 3-3:30 Clean up
Friday Breakfast Brigade – 4:15-7
A big thanks to students at St. Francis High and Matthew Irwin’s fellow Knights of Columbus for providing both the soup and the labor for last Wednesday’s cafe! And a thank you in advance to folks who donated collards, salad greens, and goat cheese to this week’s. It is so good to be able to serve such healthy food for people who come to the house. Preparing all those greens is a bit labor intensive, so if anyone of you are available to help on Wednesday morning starting at 10am, please let Kelli know!
This weekend is the Farmworker Freedom March in Lakeland. The Coalition of Immokalee Workers will be presenting Publix with their request that Publix join other corporations in working together to insure that farmworkers are treated justly (see our letter to Publix here). Three different caravans will be leaving Gainesville to join in – one on Thursday evening for all three days, one on Friday for just the weekend, and on on Saturday night for those that can only participate on Sunday. If you are interested in going, please contact Richard Blake with the UF Student Farmworker Alliance – 813-767-8512 or email@example.com – as soon as possible. Plans will be finalized Tuesday.
Even though this is the third week of the month, we are postponing our Roundtable to next Thursday, the 22nd. This will be the last Roundtable of the semester and we hope that those of you who are graduating and/or leaving Gainesville will stop by and say goodbye. Iris Zielske, a former community member and UF student, will talk about her decision to postpone grad school and work in the U.S. to return instead to Tanzania to work with an orphanage there. We invite those interested in Iris’ work as well as those who have taken time off to volunteer themselves to come listen, learn, and share. NEXT Thursday.
This week, we especially need your help with the following projects (see “this week” for details):
- Tuesday’s Coffee House – set up and serve, hang out, play cards, checkers or other games.
- Wednesday’s cafe – this week we’ll need help with food prep, especially making a healthy chef salad from all the delicious, fresh spring produce we’ve been gleaning. Let Kelli know if you can stop by at 10 to get things ready (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Friday’s Breakfast Brigade – If your time in Gainesville is winding down, here’s your chance to volunteer one last time at the earliest venue in town.
We are going to carry on much the same as usual this week despite having lost the majority of our UF volunteers. So if you’re around, come on over and get your hands dirty – or doughy.
VOLUNTEERS: We’d love to have your help with any of this week’s projects – but we anticipate needing help especially during the Breakfast Brigade (Fri, 4am-7am) and the “cafe” on Wednesday. Instead of our regular sit-down dinner/lunch, we’ll be handing out veggie pockets at the front door during normal cafe hours. The ceiling over the downstairs hallway is being ripped out and some ductwork repaired – and it’s going to be a mess. If you would like to help prepare the veggie pockets (10-12, and possibly beyond) or help distribute them (12-5), give us call or email and let us know when you can come over.
OTHER HELP: We normally try to keep things healthy; there’s so much unhealthy food available to impoverished people and so little good stuff. At the coffee houses we have been serving baked potatoes – and left-over soup or salad when we have it. I have also made scones a few times, in spite of nutrition, trying to create the coffee shop ambiance. If anyone has a hankering to bake something, or prepare a pretty salad or simple casserole for the coffee houses, let me know. We usually have 15-20 men and women on Tuesdays and 5-10 women on Thursdays.
Have a wonderful Spring Break, wherever you are. The weather here is lovely!
Kelli and John
HOUSE NEEDS: By the end of each semester, we typically find that we are starting to run out of a few necessities at the house. We need the following items:
- Drinking glasses for Dorothy’s Cafe. One of the differences at the GCW is that the folks who join us for meals get to eat off of real dishes, with tablecloths and cloth napkins, flowers on the table, and so on. Keeping up our supply of glasses is always difficult because we use so many of them and they break so easily.
- Blankets. Any blankets will do. We have already given out over a 100 blankets this year, and with the winter starting to come around, we anticipate more folks needing them.
- Dutch Oven-sized pots. We could use 1-2 Dutch Oven-sized pots. We had two when we started the semester, but one went missing and the other is no longer usable.
If you are in a position to help, please do. And if possible, please remember us in your holiday giving this year!
MASS AND THANKSGIVING: Join us at 6pm on Thursday for our first Thursday Mass with our chaplain, Fr. John Phillips. Following Mass, we’ll share a potluck dinner and be celebrating the end of another semester at the GCW. In particular, we’ll be thanking Kim and Lawrence for their time with us at the house and blessing them on their next steps. We hope you can join us!
NEW PROCEDURE FOR BREAKFAST BRIGADE: Starting this Friday, we’ll be doing Breakfast Brigade a little differently than we have in years past. We’re asking folks who want to do Breakfast Brigade to “sign up” for it ahead of time. We’ve been a little overwhelmed by the number of volunteers lately, and we want to make sure that everyone who would like to gets a chance to help with the Brigade, and that it is fully experienced by those participating. So we’ll be limiting the number of volunteers each week to about 6-8 folks. If you want to do Brigade this week or next (the last two Brigades before we take a break for the holidays), please email us back at email@example.com or put your name down on the list at the house which will be posted on the refrigerator.
Thanks again to everyone for all of your kindness and care as we do this work together.
Now that the students are back, we’re starting back up our regular schedule. This week the Breakfast Brigade returns. We have no idea how many volunteers will show up this first time around, so please consider it. We get started at 4:15 baking bread, boiling eggs, and preparing fruit to bring to the labor pools at the crack of dawn. We’d love to have your help!
Next week we’ll be adding back the Cafe, movie night, and the Roundtable. The following week scripture study begins – and we will be on a roll…
Meanwhile, in case you’re bored, we came across a very good episode of Bill Moyer’s journal that we’d like to share with you. You can watch it here. A couple take-home quotes from Cornell West:
[Let’s just] put on the table something that’s very simple. How deep is your love? What is the quality of your service to others? Are you concerned about those on the margins, or do we define a catastrophe only when it relates to investment bankers and Wall Street elites, as opposed to the precious children in chocolate cities?
It’s the funk. It’s the funk of life… That’s what black life is all about. But in the end, that’s what human life is all about. How funky is your faith?
Hope to see you in the sometimes (hopefully) funky Blue House soon!