Monthly Archives: April 2011

CAN THE BREAKFAST BRIGADE GO ON?

CAN THE BREAKFAST BRIGADE CONTINUE THROUGH MAY?  We need morning people – or extreme night people (still awake at 4:30am)! With the spring semester over, we’re going to be short of help. If you can commit to volunteering between 4:30 – 7am during May, please email us – gvillecw[at]yahoo[dot]com – and let us know which Fridays you’re up for.

HOUSE NEWS: Volunteer needs, cleaning supplies, and student community members for next Fall

Kendera, the calm in the center of the whirlwind of last-minute Cafe preparations

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

CAN YOU HELP DURING THE MONTH OF MAY? While graduation is looming and we are about to lose some wonderful volunteers and participants, we are striving to keep to most of the spring schedule through May. We are receiving an abundance of food after the farmers market and want to use it at the Cafe and Breakfast Brigade. Can you help? We’ll need a new team of “Local Food Chef Trainees” for May to prepare the cafe meal (9:30 – 12) as well as folks to serve it (12-3). We also need a new bunch of morning people for the Breakfast Brigade (4:30-7:00 AM). Please email us and let us know if you an help keep this going during the month of May!

IN NEED OF CLEANING SUPPLIES! If you’re a student who is getting ready to go home for the summer or move out of your apartment, please consider donating your cleaning supplies to the GCW! We can always use laundry detergent, various bathroom cleaners, bleach, etc. We could also use a good brrom for the house (ours are wearing down) if you have one that needs a new home.

LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT FALL: Next semester we’ll be accepting 3-6 student/young adults interested in exploring life and work ina gospel-based community, standing with and working alongside people whom our society marginalizes, and deepening one’s sense of the intersection between  spirituality and social justice. Let us know if you’re interested in more information.

Happy Easter!

EASTER: Dance, Wherever You May Be

I recently talked with a friend who, like me, goes through periods when she feels stuck in a long Lent – waiting for God or some new idea of God to manifest itself. “Religion” has let us down on occasion, and we both sometimes wonder where we belong. I described myself as a member of the The Church of Perpetual Wonder and Frequent Disappointment.  She says she’s a Follower of Dancing Matt. “You get out there and do your crazy-looking dance with as much joy and hope as you can muster – and sometimes people join you.”

The English words to the music in the background of the Dancing Matt video are from a poem by Rabindranath Tagore. They point to something beautiful and true about every life: that we are connected to one another and to all of Creation – whatever our geographical home or spiritual state at the moment.

Stream of Life
by Rabindranath Tagore

The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day
runs through the world and dances in rhythmic measures.

It is the same life that shoots in joy through the dust of the earth
in numberless blades of grass
and breaks into tumultuous waves of leaves and flowers.

It is the same life that is rocked in the ocean-cradle of birth
and of death, in ebb and in flow.

I feel my limbs are made glorious by the touch of this world of life.
And my pride is from the life-throb of ages dancing in my blood this moment.

This is actually not far afield from our Catholic roots. I found myself thinking of a more traditional hymn we had both sung often over the years, and I found a number of renditions on YouTube. Here is a sweet, vintage version by Tommy Makem (one of the most Irish-looking men I’ve ever seen!).

***

Dance, dance, wherever you may be
I am the lord of the dance, said He
And I lead you all, wherever you may be
And I lead you all in the dance, said He.

I danced on a Friday when the world turned black
It’s hard to dance with the devil on your back
They buried my body, they thought I was gone
But I am the dance, and the dance goes on.

Dance, dance, wherever you may be
I am the lord of the dance, said He
And I lead you all, wherever you may be
And I lead you all in the dance, said He.

- Kelli

LENT: Week six, Saturday – Practice Resurrection

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.

And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.

When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.

Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.

Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.

Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.

Listen to carrion — put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap
for power, please women more than men.

Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?

Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.

As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn’t go.

Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

- Wendell Berry, The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

LENT: Week six, Good Friday – Salvation

Many years ago now, when I was invited to speak at a church gathering, my host said, “Tell us what is saving your life now.” It was such a good question that I have made a practice of asking others to answer it even as I continue to answer it myself. Salvation is so much more than many of its proponents would have us believe. In the Bible, human being experience God’s salvation when peace ends war, when food follows famine, when health supplants sickness and freedom trumps oppression. Salvation is a word for the divine spaciousness that comes to human beings in all the tight places where their lives are at risk, regardless of how they got there or whether they know God’s name. Sometimes it comes as an extended human hand and sometimes as a bolt from the blue, but either way it opens a door in what looked for the world like a wall. This is the way of life, and God alone knows how it works.

- Barbara Brown Taylor

HOUSE NEWS: St. Pat’s Easter Basket Project

St. Pat's students with Easter baskets

Yesterday, we were grateful to have students from St. Patrick’s Interparish School join us for Dorothy’s Farmer Market Cafe. Besides helping out at the Cafe, the students and their parents had put together over 60 Easter baskets to share with our friends and guests who join us for lunch on Wednesdays. Some baskets were Easter-traditional, including candy and sweets, and were available for folks to take to their kids, nieces and nephews, etc. Other baskets included items like deodorant, playing cards, shampoo AND some candy. It was one of our largest cafes in recent weeks with over 75 people coming by and sharing a meal. Thanks to everyone who helped out and a special thanks to the students from St. Pat’s!

To see pictures from the day, click here.

LENT: Week six, Thursday – Recollection

Sometimes from sorrow, for no reason,
you sing. For no reason, you accept
the way of being lost, cutting loose from all else and electing a world where you go
where you want to.

Arbitrary, sound comes, a reminder
that a steady center is holding
all else. If you listen, that sound will tell where it is, and you can slide your way past trouble.

Certain twisted monsters
always bar the path—but that’s when you get going best, glad to be lost, learning how real it is
here on the earth, again and again.

- William Stafford, Cutting Loose

LENT: Week six, Wednesday – You don’t have that kind of time

When I was 38, my best friend, Pammy, died, and we went shopping about two weeks before she died, and she was in a wig and a wheelchair. I was buying a dress for this boyfriend I was trying to impress, and I bought a tighter, shorter dress than I was used to. And I said to her, ‘Do you think this makes my hips look big?’ and she said to me, so calmly, ‘Anne, you don’t have that kind of time.’ And I think Easter has been about the resonance of that simple statement; and that when I stop, when I go into contemplation and meditation, when I breathe again and do the sacred action of plopping and hanging my head and being done with my own agenda, I hear that, ‘You don’t have that kind of time,’ you have time only to cultivate presence and authenticity and service, praying against all odds to get your sense of humor back.

- Anne Lamott

LENT: Week six, Tuesday – Belonging

Early-stage religion is more about belonging and believing than about transformation.  When belonging and believing are the primary concerns, people don’t see their need for growth, healing, or basic spiritual curiosity.  Once we let the group substitute for an inner life or our own faith journey, all we need to do is “attend.”  For several centuries, church has been more a matter of attendance at a service than an observably different lifestyle.  Membership requirements and penalties predominated, not the change-your-life message that Jesus so clearly preached.

Membership questions lead to endless arguments about who is in and who is out, who is right and who is wrong, who is worthy of our God, and who is not.  Such distinctions appeal to our ego and its need to feel worthy and superior and to be part of a group that defines itself by exclusion.  The church ends up a gated country club, giving people a false sense of superiority.  This is why Jesus walks to those on the edges: the handicapped, the sinners, the excluded ones.

- Richard Rohr

HOUSE NEWS: Toward Easter

We had an exciting week of art at the house with lots of last-minute crafting, some wonderful unexpected donated art, and many, many friends coming through the doors. The sale was a great success in a number of ways; we are so grateful to all of you who helped make it so by contributing art, helping us set-up, sending over refreshments, volunteering during the sale, coming to the open house, and buying things!

This week we will wind up our Thursday Lenten Reflection and Potluck.  Because so many of our participants leave for the summer, this will be our last Thursday potluck until late August.  Check out our schedule for changes this week as we head toward Easter – and graduation, or at least the end of the semester, for many.

Several of our friends have mentioned an old saying of  Fr. John Gillespie, former pastor at St. Augustine’s: “You can make up for a bad Lent with a good Holy Week.”  May this be a good Holy Week.

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