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.
WELCOME BACK: We hope that many of you were able to enjoy Spring Break last week and we look forward to seeing you back at the GCW helping out this week as we return to our regular schedule. All of our regular projects are up and running and if you’re looking for an opportunity to help out, we’d love to have you. You can see everything that is happening this week by clicking on the link above. Send us an email if you know something you’d like to help with and we’ll make sure you’re on the schedule.
GIVING THANKS FOR CONNIE FITZGERALD: Yesterday, we learned that Connie Fitzgerald, a supporter of the GCW and friend and former colleague of both Kelli and John, passed away. Johnny (the younger), his friend Zach and I were scheduled to go over and do some yardwork at Connie’s this week when we got an email on Friday asking us and others to hold off because of some developments with Connie’s illness. Connie was an early regular at the Breakfast Brigade, long ago when we were baking bread and boiling eggs at Kelli’s house (before we got the Green House at 218), and last year, she helped us to plant and inaugurate the parking lot garden next to our house. She was an extraordinarily kind and giving soul and we’re so grateful for her life and witness. We invite you to remember her, her family and all of our her friends in your prayers.
LENTEN PRACTICES: During this time of Lent, as we prepare and approach Easter, many folks like to take up different practices or disciplines to rededicate themselves to a life of spirituality, compassion, forgiveness and love. If you’re still looking for possible Lenten opportunities, we want to invite you to consider making the GCW part of your Lenten practice. Consider these possibilities:
- Deepen your spirituality by joining us at 11:15am on Mondays or 6:45am on Fridays for 30 minutes of silent meditation. We begin with a short reflection, practice 20 minutes of centering prayer, and then briefly share any thoughts or comments we might have.
- Study scriptures which help orient us during the Lenten season. We’ve been looking at Matthew’s gospel this semester, but we’ll segue into some particularly Lenten passages between now and Easter. Join us on Mondays at noon for an hour of scripture study.
- Almsgiving is a special Lenten tradition meant to reorient us to the needs of others. Volunteer at the Breakfast Brigade or Dorothy’s Cafe, Art for All or the Coffee Shop and give a little of your time and attention to those whom our society often ignores, marginalizes or oppresses.
- We are always in need of extra financial help to keep everything going here at the GCW. As part of your Lenten almsgiving, if you’re in a position to do so, consider making a financial gift to help support the work of the GCW.
SCHEDULE CHANGE FOR MICRO-FARM WORKDAY: Since our monthly micro-farm workday fell during Spring Break, we rescheduled it for Saturday, March 24. We hope to have a small group gathered to help at the micro-farm between 9am and 3pm (any amount of time you can give would be great!). Lunch will be provided!
VISITS GALORE! I don’t know that we have ever had so many visitors at the house as we have this semester. Tamra’s parents and grandparents both visited recently and a number of friends have passed through. But the visits really ratchet up over the next few weeks! We’ll have a full house regularly as we have a number of friends and family members joining us to help out. The visits start with Vicki’s mom this week (make sure to tell her how awesome Vicki is!), former GCW housemate Kim’s dad will be here next week (ditto on relaying Kim’s awesomeness), Kelli’s son Ben will be home for Spring Break starting later this week with college friend Shizuko in tow, our grandson Riley all next week, and 2 cousins from Texas, Clare and Audrey, spending their Spring Break with us next week too. We’re looking forward to having the extra help but we also really hope that many of our visitors will get to meet all of you, our GCW regulars, and hear a little bit about the incredible things each of you are doing with your lives! So next time you’re at the house, make sure to introduce yourself if you see someone you don’t recognize!
Hope to see you this week!