NEW RAISED BEDS ARE IN: Thanks to the folks who helped out two weeks ago, we now have our new raised beds in the parking lot garden, and have already set about planting. Broccoli and lettuce are in, soon to be joined by onions, mustard greens, kale, cauliflower and more. You can see photos of the process for putting the raised beds in by clicking here. We’re grateful to Travis and the folks at Florida Organic Growers, Grow Gainesville, the Grahams and others for helping get the new garden ready to go. Those veggies will be making it into our meals at the cafe very soon!
FIRST THURSDAY ROUNDTABLE ON OCCUPY WALL STREET: This Thursday we’ll be hosting our monthly roundtable discussion and potluck, from 6:30-8pm, with our focus being on the Occupy Wall Street movement. We’ll discuss what’s going on, what issues are in play, what the movement might mean, as well as the intersection between the OWS movement and the teachings of our various faith traditions. If you can bring a dish to share, that would be great!
NEED NEW CHEFS AND AFTERNOON VOLUNTEERS FOR CAFE: With the start of a new month, we’re looking for new “chefs-in-training” for the cafe on Wednesdays. Kelli will work with the new chefs in preparing meals for the cafe from local, in-season food, feeding upwards of 50-75 people each Wednesday. If you can commit to coming between 9:30-11:30am each Wednesday during November (excepting the Wed before Thanksgiving), we would love to have you! Just contact Kelli at our email address. Also, we’ve been a bit short on afternoon volunteers for the cafe in recent weeks. If you can join us for an hour or so anytime between 11:45am and 4pm, we’d appreciate the help. Thanks!
NO KNITTING ON HALLOWEEN: No Green House Knitters on Monday since it’s Halloween…
Special thanks to the JustFaith group for providing food and drinks for Saturday’s football game! Hope to see some of you this week!
I was just thinking how nice it is that all of these emails/web updates always start out the same. Living at the GCW is an immersion in “giving thanks,” and doing these emails/web updates reminds me of that every week. I spoke to a group of young high school students this past week, justice leaders from Edmund Rice Christian Brothers high schools all across the nation (and in Latin America too!). We talked about the importance of advocacy, what is essential to justice, and why we are called as people of faith to work for social change. One of the closing lines I shared with them was this, which I have heard attributed to a number of different folks throughout the years: “What we cannot do it alone, we can do together.” The GCW reminds me of this every week–none of us could do this alone, but together we can. And for this, I give thanks.
So thanks to TiAnna, Ida and Sarah, who so kindly provided a veritable feast for our small but hungry group of football game watchers on Saturday night. About 12-15 of us gathered throughout the night and the veggie pizza, sausages (yes, if you didn’t make it, you missed one of those rare times when meat was in the house!), Southwestern dip and chips, and homemade cookies really hit the spot! Thanks too to all of our regular volunteers throughout the week, especially you courageous souls that get up and trek over here for Breakfast Brigade each Friday morning!
Lots going on this week:
TONIGHT – LEARN TO CROCHET! Tonight, Monday, at the Green House Knitters, there will be a “class” for folks who want to learn how to crochet. Things start at 7:30pm.
LIVING MINDFULLY ROUNDTABLE: Thursday night, beginning at 6:30pm, we’re excited to have University of Florida professor Whitney Sanford and graduate student in religion Vickie Machado (our very own) co-leading the monthly roundtable discussion on “Mindful Living”. They will lead the conversation with Dr. Sanford’s current work with Gandhian intentional communities as well as Vickie’s summer experience with the environmental faith group, EcoStewards. Hope you can join us! Please bring a dish to share if you can!
MORE ART FOR ALL: This week will be another double dose of art on Saturday, 1-4pm. We’ll have artists on hand to teach multimedia collage and how to make paper crane christmas ornaments.
COALITION OF IMMOKALEE WORKERS IN TOWN: The CIW is in town to promote their anti-slavery work with their Museum of Modern-Day Slavery. The group is staying with us at the GCW and we hope y’all will get a chance to connect with them this week. Today they are at UF at the Plaza of the Americas, until 5pm, then a presentation in CSE E222. On Wednesday, they’ll be at Santa Fe College, 9am to 5pm at the Library, with presentations with Santa Fe professors taking place between 11am and 2pm. You can learn more about the CIW by clicking here.
Also, if you have extra blankets, with the dip in temp, some of our folks who live on the streets are starting to think about being prepared for serious cold weather. We typically give out several hundred blankets over the course of the year; if you can drop some off at the house, we would be grateful. Thanks everyone, and we hope to see you this week at the GCW!
Kelli and John
We’re very excited to announce our Roundtable for October! Roundtables are happening on the first Thursday of each month this semester, from 6:30-8pm, and include a potluck dinner.
University of Florida professor Whitney Sanford and gradate student in religion Vickie Machado will be co-leading a roundtable discussion on “Mindful Living”, Thursday, October 6th at the Gainesville Catholic Worker House. They will lead the conversation with Dr. Sanford’s current work with Gandhian intentional communities as well as Vickie’s summer experience with the environmental faith group, EcoStewards. Look for more information o our website in the weeks leading up to the Roundtable.
Please bring a dish to share if you are able.
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com 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!
It’s the beginning of Lent, and it’s also UF Spring Break. We’re sure to need extra help at the House, so let us know if you want to kick off your Lent by helping out at Art for All (Tuesdays), the Cafe (Wednesday), or the Breakfast Brigade (Friday). See our updated schedule for details. Send us an email to sign up!
LENTEN REFLECTION AND POTLUCK: Also, On Thursdays, in lieu of our regular Roundtable discussions, anyone who is interested is invited to join us for prayer, reflection, and a common, potluck meal, in preparation for observing Friday as a day of fasting. At 6pm, we’ll gather for centering prayer, an ancient practice of contemplation popularized in recent years by monks like Thomas Merton, Thomas Keating and others. It will include a short reflection followed by 20 minutes of silent meditation. We’ll end our time in silence by sharing, briefly, any thoughts, insights or questions related to our spiritual practice. Following our time in prayer together, we’ll break bread together over a common meal (potluck).
ART FOR ALL is in full full gear, and we are creating some beautiful things on Tuesday afternoons. This week, we’ll be beading paper cranes, eyeglass chains, and bottle cap necklaces, among other things. We are in need of some material to finish up some projects as well; if you are harboring a stash of any of the things below and want to relocate them for a good cause, we would appreciate it!
- Felt with which to back “Urban Flower” corsages for Easter and Mother’s Day
- Plain 5×7 frames for framing Judy’s lovely photos
- Sheets and other large pieces of fabric for making aprons, and folks willing to make aprons at home
- Singleton earrings – posts and dangling
We’re excited about the sale and hopeful that people will come visit the house, enjoy the art, and maybe buy a thing or two to benefit the artisans and the work of the House.
Hope to see you this week!
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!
This week at the Roundtable, we are really fortunate to have one of our own, Tatiana Gumucio, share her experience living with and working among indigenous communities in Bolivia. Tatiana, a parishioner at Holy Faith Catholic Church and a grad student in anthropology at UF, has been a regular volunteer with the Breakfast Brigade and has already shared with several of us some of what she was working on this past summer. At the Roundtable, she’ll share with us some of her project: studying the relationship of power between non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and Amazonian indigenous communities. Specifically she’ll talk about the Yuqui, a hunter-gatherer society, and the challenges they face as modern society encroaches upon their land and their way of life. She’ll talk about the struggle of indigenous people in Latin America, their efforts to assert their rights, and the dynamic between those acting as their advocates and the people themselves. Join us if you can, and as always, feel free to bring a dish to share!
Also this week: On the last Saturday of each month, we’ll be showing a new documentary at the house, starting this Saturday at 7pm with God Grew Tired of Us, a film about three “lost boys” of Sudan, their escape from the war, and their immigration to the U.S. Feel free to join us!
And THANK YOU to all of you who responded to our request for extra volunteers at Dorothy’s Cafe! We have had an excellent turnout of volunteers the past 3 cafes, and it has made the preparation, serving and clean-up of this meal go so much smoother. As has been our experience from the start, it is especially gratifying to see people who are homeless working alongside students, church folks, retirees, and others. It has been one month since we started this “new schedule”, and we’re now evaluating how this experiment of going from 3 cafes a month on Sunday to 8-10 cafes a month during the week (and one weekend celebration each month too!) is impacting us–in terms of volunteers, capacity, finances, etc.
Also, some folks who cannot get to the cafe regularly have asked about how else they can help. One area we can always use help with is contributions of food, especially butter (preferably real butter) and fresh, in-season fruit (click here for links to area farmers’ markets to find out what is in-season). You can drop off donations anytime after 12pm everyday except Sunday.
So, we’re off and running! Last week was our first week experimenting with the new schedule, and it was both busy and exciting. Between the Tuesday and Thursday cafes, we served about 175 meals; both Wednesday and Friday Breakfast Brigades came off without a hitch, sharing breakfast with about 150-180 folks between the two days; Thursday was our first Roundtable, with twenty of us sharing a meal and welcoming ritual for new community members Patrick, Iris, and Baby Moraa; and numerous visits from old friends–students and volunteers, homeless folks happy to know our door is open to them, and many others.
This Tuesday, at 6pm, we start our regular scripture study at the house for the semester. We try to do scripture a little different at the GCW than what some of you may be used to in your churches, from Sunday school, etc. We start with the premise that these stories have something really thought-provoking and life-changing to tell us about the world in which we live. We emphasize that the stories in Scripture are critiques of our own culture and our own society, and the stories that various segments of society try to indoctrinate us with regarding questions about value, meaning, what it means to be human, what our responsibilities are to one another and more. We believe that the story about the Reign of God, which is at the heart of Scripture, is a story which critiques the world we live in–its various systems be they political, economic, religious, etc–and challenges us to live our lives in such a way as to give witness to a deeper reality, an alternative vision of what this world could be. So, if you feel so inclined, join us Tuesdays, starting around 6pm, for some soup and bread and the study this semester of the book of the “Acts of the Apostles.” (Check back here on Tuesday morning for a post on how we approach scripture at our studies.)
Thursday at 6pm, we’re excited to have Amanda Haymond from the City of Gainesville’s Office on Homelessness join us as our Roundtable speaker. Amanda is a VISTA volunteer, and her specific project is the “Faces of Grace Speakers’ Bureau,” aimed at providing speakers who are or have been homeless to area groups, schools, and places of worship. Remember that the Roundtable is a potluck affair, so bring a dish to share if you can, or just show up. We start at 6pm and finish up at about 7:30pm.
And lastly, please join us in volunteering this week at any of our Breakfast Brigades (Wed and Fri at 4:15am) or Dorothy’s Cafes (anytime between 9:30am and 5:30pm). We’ve been a little short-handed and sure could use both folks willing to commit to being a regular volunteer for any of these projects or folks who can show up just whenever they have some free time. If you’re interested especially about being part of the regular “team” for any of these projects, please let us know so we can count on you.
For the rest of this week’s schedule, click here.
Thanks for all your support,