Blog Archives

HOUSE NEWS: Welcoming Gloria and Clayton, starting scripture study, CIW in town, and more!

Click here to see an entire list of what is happening this week at the Gainesville Catholic Worker.

Lots going on this week at the GCW (and among our extended community)…

WELCOME GLORIA AND CLAYTON WITH US MONDAY! This Monday, September 10, we’ll be formally welcoming our new in-house community members, Gloria and Clayton Grady-Schmidt. Gloria and Clayton have been faithful volunteers for the past several years, and we’re thrilled that they decided to spend their first year after graduating (as well as their first year of marriage!) living and working at the Green House. Join us at 6pm Monday when we’ll have a short prayer service blessing them for the semester ahead followed by a potluck dinner at 6:30pm. Bring a dish to share if you can!

SCRIPTURE STUDY STARTS THURSDAY: We’ve re-started our house scripture study and we’ll be studying the Gospel of Luke this fall. Scripture study will take place at 7-8:15pm on Thursdays (except the first Thursday of each month when we have the Roundtable). This isn’t your typical study… We’ll do a close reading of a particular text, followed by reflection on how the passage critiques our society and culture and what it asks of us as followers of Jesus. All are welcome to attend. We’ll start off with a little overview of Luke this Thursday, a little sharing about ourselves, and some talk about how we’ll proceed together.

CIW IN THE HOUSE: We’re delighted to have members of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers staying with us again at the Green House for the 2nd time in 2 weeks. The CIW folks are in town for the Gainesville Interfaith Alliance for Immigrant Justice’s “CIW Week of Action”. Check out the This Week page for a full list of what is happening in the communoty in support of the CIW, including a protest at the Westgate Publix on Friday at 5m, the Slavery Museum on the UF campus on Thursday, and more.

MONTHLY WORKDAY AT THE MICRO-FARM: Once-a-month, we sponsor a big workday at the Allen-Chacko micro-farm, just a few blocks from UF. The micro-farm provides produce which is shared with our friends and neighbors at the cafe and through distribution from the GCW. You can volunteer all morning or for an hour or whatever suits your schedule. Jade is also happy to offer advice and resources for starting your own garden, what to plant, etc. In addition to this monthly workday, volunteers are welcome to come out any Thursday morning (and now Tuesdays too!) to help with farm management and upkeep. Call Jade at 352-275-4661 or 352-337-0817 to get directions and let him know you’re coming.

A NEW INTENTIONAL COMMUNITY HAS STARTED: A group of folks, some associated with the GCW, have started a new intentional faith community in town and committed to worshiping and sharing a communal meal together once-a-month. The prayer service and potluck dinner happens each 3rd Sunday of the month, at a different member’s home, from 4-7pm. We’ll gather this Sunday at the micro-farm, Jade Allen and Lynn Chacko’s home. If you’re interested and want to learn more, call Jade at 352-275-4661 or 352-337-0817 to get directions and let him know you’re coming. Everyone is welcome…

WIRE NEEDED FOR ART FOR ALL: The next Art for All will be in 2 Saturdays, Sept. 22 and they’ll be making collage journals and wall-hangings, They need wire for the wall-hangings. If you’d like to donate wire, you can drop it off at the house during house hours or in the evenings. Thanks!

LOOKING FOR MORE STILLNESS AND QUIET IN YOUR LIFE? Vickie Machado, in-house community member, will be leading centering prayer and reflection each Monday at the Green House at 7am (done around 7:30, 7:45). Folks are welcome to join us for this great way to start your week. We’ll start right at 7am. The front door will be unlocked, so just come on in. GCW community members also often join the centering prayer group at the Cenacle Sisters’ home, which is nearby, on Wednesdays from 6-7pm. Let us know if you’re interested and we’ll accompany you there for the first time or give you directions for getting there.

Hope you can join us for any of the above as well as Dorothy’s Cafe this Wednesday and more!

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HOUSE NEWS: Schedule changes, Roundtable and Spring Break plans!

Click here to see an entire list of what is happening this week at the Gainesville Catholic Worker.

SCHEDULE CHANGES: For the upcoming Spring Break week, we’ve made a few changes to the schedule for this week. The biggest change is that there will be NO Breakfast Brigade this coming Friday. Next Brigade will take place on March 16. For other changes for this week, click on the link above to the “This Week at the GCW” page.

CIW Fast for Fair FoodSPRING BREAK AND THE FAST FOR FAIR FOOD: Just like the vast majority of our community, we curtail our projects during the week of Spring Break. None of our regular projects will happen between Friday, March 2, and Sunday, March 11. Most of our community will be gone, but Kelli and I will be present at the house during the week in case there are any emergencies for any of our friends who stop by regularly. Saturday, March 10th was scheduled to be our monthly workday at the micro-farm, but Jade and Lynn have switched the date to Saturday, March 24th instead. Additionally, from March 5-10, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers will be holding a 6-day fast outside the headquarters of Publix Supermarkets in Lakeland. John will be participating in the fast and be present with the CIW on Monday and Saturday of next week. You can find more information about the fast here. We encourage you to consider joining the fast in solidarity for one day sometime next week and take action as the CIW website suggests.

ROUNDTABLE ON CONGO CONFLICT, AFRICA DEVELOPMENT WORK: Our speaker at this Thursday’s Roundtable, from 6;30-8pm, will be Tshibangu Kalala. Tshitshi is a national of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and a second year Master of Development Practice student at University of Florida. He spent 10 years working on development projects in Congo and Kenya with organizations such as MSF-Doctors without Borders. Tshitshi will speak about the history and current politics of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The DRC is ranked last in the world’s HDI (Human Development Index) rankings despite phenomenal richness of resources. Moreover, since its independence, the nation has withstood years of autocratic rule and violent civil wars. If you can bring a dish to share, that would be great!

Hope everyone has a great rest of this week, and best wishes for fun and safety to our friends going on Spring Break next week!

HOUSE NEWS: CIW march, salad-making, and future Roundtable

For more information on what’s happening at the Green House this week, please click here.

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 richard@sfalliance.org – 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 (gvillecw@yahoo.com).
  • 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.

HOUSE NEWS: Kairos, Garden Plans, and Project Help

For more information on what’s happening at the Green House this week, please click here.

We had a great visit from the CIW last week and really appreciated the work they did to bring the Modern Day Slavery Museum to town. We kept getting the same response from people visiting the museum or the house: “There have been real slavery convictions here in Florida recently?!?” If you didn’t get a chance to tour the museum while it was here, check out this article in the St. Petersburg Times.

KAIROS RETREAT: If you are a young adult, it’s not too late to register for the upcoming Kairos Retreat which will be held at the house on Saturday, April 3.  Check out the Facebook page for more info.

GARDEN TIME: While the parking lot garden does not look like it will materialize this spring (although we are hoping to do something in the median areas), Kelli’s son Joe pulled out some of the bushes in the front yard to make room for more veggies. That space plus window boxes (and perhaps some guerrilla gardening) should keep us busy and in vegetables during this beautiful spring. We’ll need some willing workers, so let us know if you’re interested.

HELP!  John was in DC this week for the immigration rally and for Pax Christi-related work, so…. Kelli will need extra help to keep the regular projects flowing. If you’re available to help out let us know when!

  • Help prepare, serve, and/or clean up at the Cafe (Wed), Breakfast Brigade (Fri) or Coffee Houses (Tues and Thurs) – see “this week” for schedule.
  • Bake a healthy casserole or quiche (or homemade pastry) for the coffee houses or fresh bread for the cafe.
  • Donate fair trade coffee or lightweight blankets (we’ve had several people stop by for blankets today).

Thank you!

Kelli and John

HOUSE NEWS: Modern Day Slavery Museum, Roundtable on Suicide, Upcoming Kairos Retreat

CIW friends during their last visit

For more information on what’s happening at the Green House, please click here.

We have a full schedule this week! Highlights include the a visit from the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, and our monthly Roundtable. It’s also time to register for Kairos, a day of reflection for students and young adults which will be held here at the house on April 2.

THE CIW’S FLORIDA MODERN DAY SLAVERY MUSEUM is coming through town on March 17th and 18th. It’s housed in a cargo truck outfitted as a replica of trucks used in recent slavery operations, accompanied by displays on the history and evolution of slavery in Florida. Focusing on the phenomenon of modern-day slavery – its roots, the reasons it persists, and its solutions. The exhibits were developed in consultation with workers who have escaped from forced labor operations as well as leading academic authorities on slavery and labor history in Florida. Some of the CIW members accompanying the museum will be staying at the house. We’re not sure what their commitments are for meals at this point, but we’re hoping to be able to share some with them. Let us know if you’re interested in helping out here – or eating with us.

The museum is free and will be on exhibit at the Plaza of the Americas (UF campus) from 0am to 4:30 pm on Wednesday, March 17 and from 9am to 4:30 pm on Thursday, march 18.

The museum will also be at First Assembly of God (2025 NW 39th Ave) rom 5:30pm to 9pm on Wednesday the 17th, and at the Mennonite Meeting House (1236 NW 18th Avenue) from 5:30pm to 9pm on Thursday the 18th.

ROUND TABLE: Thursday, 6-7:30 – “SUICIDE: Dispelling the Myths and Activating Compassion”, – see this week for more info.

REGISTER FOR THE UPCOMING KAIROS RETREAT, April 3 9:30 – 4:30 pm at the Green House. For more info, click here.

WAYS TO HELP THIS WEEK:

  • Help prepare, serve, and/or clean up at the Cafe (Wed), Breakfast Brigade (Fri) or Coffee Houses (Tues and Thurs) – see “this week” for schedule.
  • Bake a healthy casserole or quiche (or homemade pastry) for the coffee houses or fresh bread for the cafe.
  • Donate fair trade coffee or lightweight blankets.

Thank you for all of your support!

Kelli and John

HOUSE NEWS: Rudy is home, thanks to the CIW and a relatively light week

Dear friends,

For a complete schedule for this week, click here.

Friends from the CIW

Friends from the CIW

COALITION OF IMMOKALEE WORKERS: It is always such a great honor for us to host our friends from the Coalition of Immokalee Workers whenever they come to town–whether just coming through on one of their educational tours or stopping by to lead us in a rally or protest on behalf of a fair and just food system. To see photos of their visit with us this past weekend, click here.  Special thanks to everyone who showed up either Saturday at UF or Publix or on Sunday at the house for breakfast. Your solidarity and help was very much appreciated! To keep up with the CIW and their efforts to get Publix to sit down and talk to them, visit http://www.ciw-online.org.

THE RETURN OF RUDY: Some of you might have seen yesterday our message about Rudy. Rudy went missing for about 3.5 hours yesterday, but luckily, as I was putting up fliers on the block around our house, two young people drove by with a small, familiar dog in their car. When they got out to look at the sign down the block, I knew that much to Rudy’s benefit, he had been picked up and found by some folks susceptible to his charms. Thanks Tanya and Mike for bringing him back to us!

FLORIDA-GEORGIA COURTESY OF JUSTFAITH: The good folks from JustFaith are providing snack food and beverages this Saturday at 3:30pm for our friends who will be stopping by to take in the game at the house. For other folks interested in weekend projects like this one, contact us anytime and we’ll work out a good weekend that works for you and our guests and friends.

ROUNDTABLE WITH THE WOMEN FROM ARBOR HOUSE: Miriam, the Program Coordinator at Arbor House (AH), will be bringing 3 moms from AH to share about their program at this week’s Roundtable on Thursday at 6pm. AH is a Christian Maternity Home & Motherhood Community for adult homeless women. They offer long term transitional housing while the women further their education. The goal is to enhance their academic or career qualifications so that they can earn closer to a living wage & be able to better support their family. The women attend daily classes at AH that include life skills, Bible Study, parenting, health & wellness & more. Three afternoons per week they are paid to work on site in the Cottage Industry making cloth bags & purses, greeting cards, quilts & more. The women will share some of the items they have made on Thursday night & tell you about themselves & their goals. Bring a dish to share if you can!

A RELATIVELY LIGHT WEEK: Looking over the schedule for this week, I noticed that it seems a little lighter than normal. For all the help over the past several extra busy weeks, we thank you, as always. You are all wonderful and we are grateful for your continuing presence and support.

In peace,

John

HOUSE NEWS: Farmworkers’ rights, Pray the Devil Back to Hell, healthcare reform and more

Dear friends,

For a complete list of events at the house this week, click here.

SOLIDARITY WITH FARMWORKERS: We’re honored to have members of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers stay with us this weekend as they come to Gainesville as part of a month-long series of protests aimed at encouraging Publix supermarkets to join them at the negotiating table. You’ll have several opportunities to meet with the farmworkers while in town: 1) At 2pm on Saturday on the UF campus at a protest directed at Aramark, the food service provider; 2) at 4pm that same day at the Publix supermarket on University Ave and 34th Street; 3) at the Civic Media Center for a film and educational event also on Saturday at 6pm; and 4) at the GCW on Sunday morning (around 8am) for breakfast. We encourage folks to come out in support of the workers. If you join us Sunday morning for breakfast, let us know if you can bring some juice or fruit to share. For more on the CIW, visit http://www.ciw-online.org.

PRAY THE DEVIL BACK TO HELL: Twice a month on Wednesdays, we feature a movie at the GCW for anyone who would like to attend. This week, Kim has chosen to share the film “Pray the Devil Back to Hell,” a powerful story about how Liberian women brought the civil war in that African country to an end. Movie will start at 7pm. Join us if you can!

ROUNDTABLE ON HEALTHCARE: We’re excited to have this week’s roundtable on healthcare, a topic for which there has been a lot of misinformation and demagoguery in the national media. Dave Chynoweth, longtime member of the GCW and retired UF professor, will lead us in a discussion on healthcare in the U.S., reform and more. Bring a dish to share on Thursday at 6pm if you can!

HOW ABOUT LIVING AT THE GCW FOR A SEMESTER? Each semester, we invite folks who are interested in what it is like to live and work at the Gainesville Catholic Worker to consider spending a semester with us. This semester-long immersion experience is called the Metanoia semester, and if you think you might be interested, let us know so we can talk. We’d like to have our “house community” set for the January-May 2010 semester by mid- to late-November. So if you’re interested in living and working as part of an intentional, faith-based community, get in touch with John or Kelli.

In peace,

John

HOUSE NEWS: The Blue House is turning green (literally)

Dear friends,

For a complete calendar of events for the house this week, click here.

First, let me welcome all the new folks who signed up to join our email list at my workshop in Jacksonville last weekend, our anniversary party last Sunday, and after Masses at St. Augustine Church and Catholic Student Center where I spoke yesterday. If you’re new to the email list, we typically send out a quick email on Monday mornings letting folks know what is happening at the house this week and inviting you to join us for any project that interests you. And if you’re on Facebook, feel free to join our group there too!

BLUE HOUSE GOES GREEN (LITERALLY): Over the past few weeks, we’ve been really blessed to have Danny, a long-term guest with us, fixing up a number of things around the house. From building and putting in new window screens to pulling out rotten wood on the frame and replacing it, the house is undergoing a steady transformation. But this weekend at Danny’s urging, we got bold and decided to paint the house, a project long on our list of things to do. So if you come by this week, you’ll see that the “Blue House” is slowly becoming the “Green House.” We like it and we hope you will too.

COALITION OF IMMOKALEE WORKERS TO GAINESVILLE, OCTOBER 24-25: Our good friends from the Coalition of Immokalee Workers will be in Gainesville with us the weekend of October 24-25 and they are looking to speak to groups, especially churches, on Sunday morning, October 25. Here’s the scoop:

“Farmworkers of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) will be visiting Gainesville on the weekend of Oct. 24th and 25th and are available to share in congregations about the conditions faced by farmworkers and how people of faith can join in improving them. They are available for Minute for Missions or a presentation after services or to share with youth or adults at religious education classes. The CIW is a community-based farmworker organization that has uncovered and assisted the US Department of Justice in prosecuting six cases of modern-day slavery in the Florida fields, freeing over 1,000 workers. Members of the CIW have been recognized with the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award, 2007 Anti-Slavery International Award, and the Cardinal Bernardin New Leadership Award. For more information or if you are interested in having a farmworker share with your congregation, please contact Brigitte at info@interfaithact.org or 239-986-0688.”

If you think your church/synagogue/mosque might be interested, contact Brigitte. More information on other events with the CIW for that weekend will be posted next week.

YES WE CAN…CHANGE THE WORLD: Our roundtable-potluck this Thursday is entitled “Yes, We Can Change the World,” and will be led by the GCW’s own Kimberly Hunter. Each of us changes the world somehow each day with our words and actions. Why not use our power, intelligence, and energy to work for positive, achievable change right here at home in Gainesville? Come out and join other Gainesville residents as we decide which issue(s) to tackle first and how to organize and begin. You can read more about Kim’s plans on Facebook. Bring a dish to share if you can!

RECAP OF LAST WEEK: A quick thanks to all of the folks who have been donating socks at St. Augustine Church and Catholic Student Center the past few weeks through the Christian Service Ministry there. We have received hundreds of sock and we’re now running a “sock exchange” out of the house, exchanging people’s dirty socks for clean ones, then washing the dirty ones and passing those on as needed. We almost had one of our friends die last year from a bad

Go Gators, Beat LSU!

Go Gators, Beat LSU!

infection that began with his feet, after wearing the same pair of socks for weeks. So thanks to all who have contributed.  Also, we had our largest cafe to date this year last Wednesday, with over 130 turning out for Santa Fe Chowder, apparently a new favorite soup of many. And we had about 20-25 folks join us for the Gator-LSU game Saturday night. All-in-all, a busy week, and we’re grateful to all of you who helped out, contributed, and so on. Many, many thanks!

Have a great week!

In peace,

John

ACTION: Coalition of Immokalee Workers to Gainesville, October 24-25

Dear friends,

Our good friends from the Coalition of Immokalee Workers will be in Gainesville the weekend of October 24-25. They’ll be staying here with us at the Blue House. They are looking to speak to groups, especially churches, on Sunday morning, October 25. Read the blurb below:

Coalition of Immokalee Workers

Coalition of Immokalee Workers

“Farmworkers of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) will be visiting Gainesville on the weekend of Oct. 24th and 25th and are available to share in congregations about the conditions faced by farmworkers and how people of faith can join in improving them. They are available for Minute for Missions or a presentation after services or to share with youth or adults at religious education classes. The CIW is a community-based farmworker organization that has uncovered and assisted the US Department of Justice in prosecuting six cases of modern-day slavery in the Florida fields, freeing over 1,000 workers. Members of the CIW have been recognized with the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award, 2007 Anti-Slavery International Award, and the Cardinal Bernardin New Leadership Award. For more information or if you are interested in having a farmworker share with your congregation, please contact Brigitte at info@interfaithact.org or 239-986-0688.”

If anyone is interested, contact Brigitte.

Peace,

John

HOUSE NEWS: Cold nights and our first Mass in over a year

Dear friends,

To see the schedule for this week, click here.

COLD NIGHTS: When the weather is particularly bad–cold, rainy, etc.–we open our doors and share our home with people who are trying to find a safe and welcoming place to sleep for the night. We don’t have extra bed space for any long-term guests, but we decided that we would concentrate on this type of short-term hospitality for now and do what we can–a warm place to sleep out of the cold, a small breakfast in the morning, some coffee, and so on. This past week was one of our busiest, with a handful of people (2-5) sleeping at the house every night.

MASS AT THE GCW: We’re honored and excited to start regular monthly liturgies/prayer services at the Jubilee House again. Fr. John Phillips, pastor of Holy Faith Catholic Church and chaplain of the Gainesville Catholic Worker community, will join us to celebrate Mass on Thursday at 6pm at the house. This will take the place of our regular Roundtables, and a potluck dinner will follow the service. We’ll do this once-a-month, the first Thursday of each month, with Fr. John joining us when he is available. We hope many of you will be able to join us!

SCRIPTURE STUDY TUESDAY AT 2:30PM: We’re continuing to look at a section at the beginning of Mark’s gospel, concentrating on 1:29-39 this week. We may also take a look at the Hebrew scripture accompanying this passage in next Sunday’s readings, Job 7:1-7. We’ve also posted some background on how we do scripture at the GCW. Click here to read “Approaching the Story seriously as a story.”

JUSTICE FOR FLORIDA FARMWORKERS: The GCW has a long relationship with our brothers and sisters of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, and this past week we received an alert asking us to support them in getting Gov. Crist to take leadership on issues regarding slavery in the fields of our state. We hope you’ll consider adding your name to this letter on behalf of farmworkers, maybe even downloading the petition and getting additional folks to sign on. A copy of the letter is on the Jubilee House bulletin board if you want to sign when you’re here with is. Otherwise, click here for more information.

Thanks again for all of your solidarity and support. We hope to see you this week at the Jubilee House!

In peace,

John