Blog Archives

HOUSE NEWS: Family Potluck, Arts and Crafts, and new team of Cafe chefs forming

For a complete schedule of what’s happening this week, please click here.

This week, our chefs from last week are preparing the cafe meal on their own! Expect delicious Sweet Potato Chili (a cafe favorite) and fresh bread straight from the oven. We’d love for you to join us! We are also forming a new team of four chefs-in-training for the cafe in October. Let Kelli know if you’re interested.

Our dining room is transforming into a beautiful handcraft workshop; each week new things are adorning the mantel, the walls, and the various structures Kendera has creatively come up with on which to display things. The “Art for All” workshop happens each Tuesday (1-5) and Saturday (1-3). We’d love to have you join us.

Thursday we’ll be hosting the first “Thursday Family Potluck,” a break from the regular roundtable structure of presentation and discussion. Just come and hang out and eat with us. Kids are welcome! Bring something to share if you can; if not, just come anyway.

Hope to see you!

HOUSE NEWS: Last Cafe till August

Volunteer egg-devilers - May 26

Thanks so much for all the great help and good company we had for preparing our recent cafe meals! It really does “take a village” to transform the quantity and diversity of raw ingredients we have into a meal. Well done!

We’ll have one more go this week – serving up veggie pockets, deviled eggs, refrigerator pickles, and icy melon balls. We could use your help again putting it all together (between 9 and 12) as well as serving and cleaning up (12-3). Our ovens will be occupied, but if anyone would like to donate homemade cookies in celebration of this last cafe till August, I know folks would love it.

We’ll be busy this summer making plans for the next “year,” taking care of the garden, and hopefully making time for some house upkeep and travel to see family. Hope your summer is both productive and refreshing as well!

summer freedom - running wild in the garden

Hope to see you!

Kelli and John

HOUSE NEWS: Wednesday morning help?

parking lot sunflower

For details on the schedule at the house this week, please click here.

We’ve got to be creative in making good use of the incoming produce, as well as the pantry staples we  need to use up before summer (when they magically grow bugs). And we could use some extra help in transforming it all into something delicious for Dorothy’s Cafe on Wednesday. If you are interested in helping slice cucumbers, devil eggs, chop nuts, and/or peel oranges, please stop by Wednesday morning anytime between 9 and 12. Please let us know if you are coming if possible. We could really use the extra help this week as some of our stalwarts are not in town.  In addition, there’s always set-up at 11, serving between 12 and 3, and ongoing clean-up till 4.

If you can’t help, stop by and eat with us. We will be serving refrigerator pickles, deviled eggs (diverted from the breakfast brigade), orange “ambrosia” salad, Egyptian rice salad, and fresh bread – a light, cool lunch for another hot, humid day.

Hope to see you!

Kelli and John

HOUSE NEWS: Summertime cafe

parking lot garden - zinnias and sunflowers

For details about this week’s schedule, click here.

As out of steam as we seem to be – and a bit short on volunteers – we don’t have the heart to stop the cafe with all these veggies rolling in.  Our garden and everyone else’s is in full swing and we are overloaded with good stuff to transform into lunch on Wednesday.

This Wednesday we’re making deviled eggs, fresh refrigerator pickles, and veggie pockets. Come on by if you can help (call or email to let us know).

  • 11:00 – noon: set-up
  • noon-3: serve
  • 3-4: clean-up

Hope to see you!

HOUSE NEWS: Help Wanted

For a complete list of things happening at the House, click here.

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


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 – 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 (
  • 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: First Dorothy’s Cafe and more!

Johnny, Leroy and Miguel enjoying the last few days before the full schedule kicks in!

Johnny, Leroy and Miguel enjoying the last few days before the full schedule kicks in!

Dear friends,

For this week’s schedule at the GCW, click here.

Thanks to everyone who helped out with Friday’s Breakfast Brigade last week, and thanks too to everyone who dropped by to say hello and offer their support for the new semester. We’re excited about seeing old friends and the prospect of bringing new friends into our community as well.

MAKING A REGULAR COMMITMENT TO THE GCW THIS SEMESTER: One of the things that we really count on at the GCW is those volunteers who can make a commitment to one of our projects over the course of the entire semester. We love to have volunteers whenever you might be available, but we ESPECIALLY love to have those volunteers we know we can count on week-in and week-out for certain projects. As you look over your schedules for the next semester, we hope that some of you might be able to make a project at the house part of your regular weekly schedule–be it a regular shift at Dorothy’s Cafe every Wednesday, Friday’s Breakfast Brigade, Thursday evening Roundtables, Tuesday’s Scripture Study, Wednesday Movie Nights, Blue House Pants, garden hours, or so on. If you’re interested, let us know and we’ll pencil you!

FIRST DOROTHY’S CAFE ON WEDNESDAY: This Wednesday will be our first Dorothy’s Cafe of the semester. Typically we can count on between 75 and 125 guests to join us at some point during the day for homemade soup, bread, fresh fruit and a relaxing atmosphere. We need volunteers between 9am and noon to help with prep work, noon and 5pm for serving, and 4:30 to 6pm for clean-up. Let us know if you can join us this week or make a regular commitment throughout the semester!

FIRST THURSDAY MASS/PRAYER SERVICE: The first Thursday of each month, we gather as a community to celebrate in prayer together. Usually Fr. John Phillips, our chaplain and the pastor of Holy Faith Catholic Church, will join us in celebrating Mass. If he is not available, we’ll celebrate with an informal prayer service put together by the house community. Join us this Thursday and stay afterward for a potluck dinner (bring a dish to share if you can).

For more on this week’s schedule, including info on Breakfast Brigade, Wednesday Movie Night and more, click here.

Hope to see you this week!

In peace,


HOUSE NEWS: Breakfast Brigade begins this Friday!

Hi folks,

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!


HOUSE NEWS: Summer schedule, Leroy got stabbed, Mass on Thursday and more…

Dear friends,

Our summer schedule is now set! For the next 6-plus weeks, until we close for our summer sabbatical in mid-June, click here to see what we’ll be doing schedule-wise.

A GOOD FRIEND ASSAULTED, RECOVERING: Many of you know Leroy, a former guest and regular volunteer at the house. On Saturday, Leroy was attacked by someone who mistook him for someone else and wanted money from him. Leory fought off his attacker but was seriously wounded–stabbed in the side and slashed in several places on his hand. He has a nurse call us to let us know that he was in Shands recovering, and after an overnight stay, Johnny picked him up and brought him back to the house to stay for a few days or so as he continues to heal. He has stitches crisscrossing the palm of his hand and it took 15 staples to close his side. We ask that you keep Leroy in your prayers as he recovers.

MONTHLY MASS AT THE GCW: Join us this Thursday, at 6pm, for our monthly Mass with Fr. John Phillips, our chaplain and pastor of Holy Faith Catholic Church. We celebrate this small, home Mass on the first Thursday of each month. Potluck dinner will follow.

VEGGIE POCKETS – aka BLUE HOUSE TO GO: Since the “powers that be” began requiring St. Francis House to stop serving meals after the 130th person has been served each day, we’ve heard lots of stories about the people who’ve been turned away – especially from people stopping by the house during the week asking if we have anything extra.  Because this is harvest season, and we have so many vegetables, it seemed like the ideal time to resurrect “veggie pockets.” Kelli used to make these for the HomeVan when it first began and it’s a great way to package up a lot of nutrition without a lot of packaging.  We’re serving them Mondays at noon as a “to go” meal. This week, they were made out of  kidney beans, greens, yellow squash, onions and garlic stir-fried and wrapped up in our famous bread dough. They’re good! It’s great to be able to meet this need – and Blue House To Go will take the place of Sunday’s cafe at least till fall.  If you want to help out, stop by the house between 9 and noon on Monday morning – and bring some cheddar cheese if you want to delight some people.

BLUE HOUSE PANTS: Good news and bad news… The bad news is the diocesan conference where we were going to debut the pants we’ve been making was canceled. The good news is we have more time to build up an inventory before we begin selling – and to test them out. If you would like to purchase some cute little baby pants – sizes 3 mos, 6 mos, and 9 mos, or men’s boxer shorts – small (32), medium (34), or large-ish (36) – or if you need a visual: Mohameds, Patricks, or Johns – all locally-sewn and made with love from recycled fabric, please let us know. They’re $15 and we would love for you to try them out and give us your input!


CHICKEN COOP – Ta da! It’s done and our little chickens are spending their first full day outside (thank goodness!!). For details, see Kelli’s blog.

DOROTHY’S CAFE ON WEDNESDAY: We’ll probably need some extra help this week with the students gone (ditto for Friday’s Breakfast Brigade), so come and help out if you have a chance. Our numbers have increased since St. Francis House stopped serving all the folks who show up there for lunch each week. Prep is between 9:30 and noon, serving between noon and 5, clean-up at 4:30 til 6pm.

In peace,