Monthly Archives: January 2010
LAST WEEK’S ROUNDTABLE: Lucy Ngatia’s talk on climate change mitigation in Kenya was so inspiring. A small group of Kenyan women, noting changes in their community – fewer zebras and other wildlife, a shrinking river, a disappearing snowcap on the mountain – decided to take action. An important point that Lucy made was that it was in meeting and discussing that the women became inspired: first that their observations were true – that each realized she was not the only one who hadn’t seen a zebra recently; but also that it was their responsibility to do something, and that together they could make a difference. Even though “third world” countries do much less damage to the environment than the highly industrialized ones do, there is an impact – and these women refuse to shift the blame or wait for change. They are now growing trees in family nurseries and planting them to replace the ones used up for firewood. They are building cow sheds and learning to build inexpensive biodigesters (thank you, Dave Chynoweth!) to transform dung into energy with which to replace the wood fuel. Why the women? Because they care for the children – not only their own, but those “downstream” where water is becoming more scarce. Listening to Lucy, I wanted to help them, but I also wanted to think about how the changes these women are making in their daily lives translate into things we might be doing here based on what we, here in Gainesville, see. Such a “Catholic Worker Way” of seeing things – asking what one can do right now to in this particular situation to alleviate suffering, not waiting for the Powers That Be to come to their senses.
HELP NEEDED: We are trying to schedule volunteers so that things will be covered adequately during the coffee houses, Dorothy’s Cafe, and the Breakfast Brigade. We are still regularly running short of help during the Coffee House and the Cafe. If you can help, please email or call ahead so we’ll know you are coming so we can send out a request for more help if it’s needed; times and duties are listed here. If you can commit to a regular volunteer time each week, let us know that too.
COFFEE HOUSE CHANGE: Times are still the same, and good coffee and tea are still flowing. But we would like to try out an all-women’s coffee shop on Thursday. So, women volunteers, this would be a great time to volunteer.
Thanks for all you do to keep the “Green House” going. We hope to see you this week.
At our first roundtable of the semester this Thursday, we’re excited to have Lucy Ngapia, a UF doctoral student from Kenya, discuss her work with Kenyan women to mitigate climate change. Please bring a dish to share if you can and join us from 6-7:30 for an interesting discussion with Lucy.
Also, we especially need help at Dorothy’s Cafe on Wednesday! Please see “this week” for timeslots and a description of work to be done. Let us know if you can help; we’re trying to schedule folks ahead so we’ll have even coverage throughout the day. You can sign up for any time period that fits your schedule -from one hour to all day long.
Other volunteer opps this week include Breakfast Brigade on Friday and the new Coffee House on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. Again, check “this week” for details.
Thanks for all you do help the work of the house go on. So many people came to get blankets, socks, and warm clothes over the last couple weeks, and it was so good to have them! We’re not sure who brought the hand-crocheted hats (and scarf), but a big thank you for the time you put in to making these beautiful, much-needed items. And thanks, too, for the coffee, tea, and coffee makers. It is heartening for everyone involved to be able to be able to share what we have with neighbors who need it, and it was particularly sweet to see eyes light up at the bounty shared over the cold snap.
The Epiphany Party was a great start to the new semester and to a new year. Delicious food, good company and lots of warmth – both human and fireplace-generated. A big THANK YOU to everyone who helped get things off to such a good start!
SCHEDULING HELP: This week marks the start of house projects old and new – some with a twist. The biggest change is that we hope to schedule folks ahead of time whenever possible to insure that we have even coverage. Things go so much more smoothly and mean a lot more to both volunteers and guests when we have the “right” amount of volunteer help. At the end of this email is a list of tasks and times for the coffee house, café, and breakfast brigade. Please write and let us know where we can plug you in; multiple time slots are fine by us!
THANK YOU: Also, a huge thank you to folks who donated blankets, jackets, sweatshirts, socks, and warm hats. The doorbell has been ringing regularly and a lot of folks have asked us to please let you know how much they appreciate your generosity. Thanks, too, to those of you who have donated coffee and coffee pots to the Coffee House project. We are looking forward to providing the kind of warm, relaxing atmosphere we enjoy at “real” coffee shops. Please feel free to drop by on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons to enjoy a cup.
NEEDS: Hats, gloves, men’s jackets, fair trade coffee and tea
PLEASE WRITE AND LET US KNOW IF YOU CAN HELP:
Tuesday Coffee House:
Preparation 12:30 – 1 (1-2 volunteers)
Serving and Kitchen Help 1-3 (2-3 volunteers)
Clean up 3-4 (1-2 volunteers)
Preparation 11-12 (2 volunteers)
Serving and Kitchen Help 11:45 – 5 (4-5 volunters)
Clean up – ongoing from noon till 6 (3-4 volunteers)
Thursday Coffee House (see above for tasks and times)
Friday Breakfast Brigade:
4:15 – 7 (6 volunteers)
Have a good week! We hope to see you!
Officially, our new schedule for the Spring 2010 semester (January thru May) starts next week. But this week we wanted to share a few quick updates and some information with you as you consider your commitments, projects and plans for the coming months.
Last semester, after talks with a handful of our long-time supporters and community members, we came to the insight that it was time for us to start reflecting on the future of the work of the Gainesville Catholic Worker. It’s been over 10 years since we started most of the projects which comprise the GCW, and it’s been 6 years since we’ve been in the Green House (nee the Blue House). The work can sometimes be so hectic and fast-paced that we don’t always do a good job of evaluating what we’ve done and where we’ve been, as well as considering where we are going and what we are striving to be. So we’ve decided to use the next several months as a period of discernment to revisit the original mission of the house, to consider what we’ve learned and experienced, and to reflect on where we want to go from here. We’ve made a few changes, including some slight tweaks to the schedule, to help us do this. We ask that you keep us in your prayers and we invite your feedback on what your experience has been as a part of the extended community that makes up the GCW.
EPIPHANY OPEN HOUSE: This Friday, from 7-9pm, join us at the GCW for an Epiphany open house celebration. We’ll have hot apple cider and a few other goodies, and we’re hoping many of you will bring something to share too! If you’ve never been to the house or it’s been awhile, come and see our new paint job (90% complete); if you’re a regular at the house, come and let us know how your holidays were! We’d love to see you!
GCW COFFEE SHOP: Our regular schedule starts next week, and one new addition to the schedule will be a Tuesday and Thursday Coffee Shop at the house for our friends looking for a good cup of coffee and refuge from the cold. We’ll be doing the coffee shop from 1-3pm on those days. To help make this work well, we’re looking for a nice gift of a large coffee maker from someone! If you have the means and can help us out, let us know. And for other folks looking to contribute, we’ll be looking for good, fair-trade coffee and tea and other related necessities to keep our supply regularly stocked, and a handful of folks that can act as “baristas” at the coffee shop. Let us know if you’re interested. Thanks!
THURSDAY CHANGES: In addition to the coffee shop on Thursday, we’ll be hosting a Mass and potluck dinner on the First Thursday of each month, as well as a monthly Roundtable discussion (instead of weekly) with potluck dinner every Third Thursday.
VOLUNTEERING AT THE GCW: First, and most importantly, we ALWAYS love to have volunteers who can make a regular weekly commitment to the various projects that happen at the GCW, especially Dorothy’s Cafe. Knowing that we have a handful of regular volunteers who know what they’re doing and can help manage other volunteers is always a big plus for us. So, if you’re looking for a regular volunteering gig, think about what we offer and let us know what you’d like to do. Secondly, we started asking people to sign up to volunteer with the Breakfast Brigade each week at the end of last semester, and we’re going to carry it over and expand it for this semester. Each week when we send out the Monday email (and Facebook message) letting folks know what is going on, take a look at it and email (or call) us and let us know what you’d like to be scheduled for. This process seemed to deepen the experience for folks, as well as make projects more manageable too.
Finally, if you were away for the holidays, welcome back! We can’t wait to see you and hear about any adventures you may have had. And as always, thanks to all of you for your kindness, support and generosity. We are especially grateful!