Monthly Archives: February 2013

SCRIPTURE STUDY: Luke 13:1-9, Resisting the bottom line, for what else is there for us to do?

Let me start by saying that I find Luke 13:1-9 problematic. What we’ll hear this Sunday—what we hear whenever it is preached on—is that repentance is the theme of the passage. Which, I’ll agree, Luke has shaped it to be for this intent. But I can’t help but wonder if there are other things going on in the passage which go unnoticed and which might be begging for deeper reflection.

To get at least the minimal context for Luke 13:1-9, we need to start way back 12:1, because 13:1-9 is simply the final part of a much longer discourse that encompasses all of chapter 12. A few things of note in the discourse:

  • The intended audience to whom Jesus is speaking seems to fluctuate between the general (the crowd) and the specific (his disciples, opponents), without it being clear immediately to whom his words are directed.
  • Jesus’ words throughout chapter 12, even when he is offering reassurance, are difficult and blunt, encompassing persecution, loss of possessions, warnings, judgment, division, death, and conflict.
  • The setting for the discourse is largely unspecified; broadly it is taking place on the “journey toward Jerusalem.”

The first characters introduced in v. 1 are “some people” who tell Jesus a story about some “Galileans” who were killed by Pilate while on the Temple grounds preparing their sacrifices for worship. The identity of “some people” is not otherwise specified but we can get some clues as to who they are and what their intentions are through their own words and then Jesus’ response to them in v. 2. The fact that they are speaking of “Galileans” probably signifies that they are NOT Galileans. The harshness of Jesus’ response toward them should signal to us that their disposition in sharing the story is not a positive one; Jesus pulls back the curtain on what is behind the seemingly innocuous story—their assertion that the viciousness and suddenness of the deaths of these Galileans speaks to their deep sinfulness. There is a current throughout Scripture and Israelite religion that associates suffering with personal sinfulness (think Job or the story in John’s gospel about the man born blind). But rather than answer the question, Jesus redirects their concern with the sinfulness of others to their own sinfulness in v. 3: “But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did!” Rather than engage in an argument about the relative sinfulness of the actions of others, Jesus seems to be suggesting to his questioners (as well as all those present and us as readers) that what we ought to be concerned about is our own sinfulness and get about the work of acknowledging and dealing with that. And lest his questioners get any kick out of pointing out the fallenness of Jesus’ fellow Galileans, in v. 4-5 he reminds them of the disaster that caused the deaths of 18 Jerusalemites (maybe because his questioners are also Jerusalemites?), before quickly also redirecting his listeners from the failures of others to their own need for repentance.

I think Luke also is giving us a little background on Pilate and foreshadowing of what is to come. I’m sure it wasn’t lost on Jesus or the crowds that Pilate is presented here as killing Galileans; maybe even part of the reason for telling this particular story to Jesus is to remind him what he has to look forward to as a Galilean. But the story also makes sure we are aware of the brutality of Pilate, his disregard for the religion and culture of the people over whom he rules (killing the Galileans in the Temple as they are preparing to offer sacrifice), and his predisposition to employing extreme violence to solve issues. We shouldn’t therefore mistake his reluctance to crucify Jesus later in Luke’s gospel as a commentary on what kind of man Pilate was, or an apologetic seeking to “wash the hands” of the Romans for their complicity in Jesus’ death. Pilate’s reluctance isn’t about Pilate; it’s about Jesus and his innocence. And for all his claims about finding Jesus innocent, Pilate goes right along with the execution after all is said and done.

Luke then employs a parable about a fig tree, a landowner and a gardener, choosing it for the purpose of demonstrating the theme of the previous exchange—repentance. What we typically take from this parable is the warning that like this tree which does not bear fruit, our repentance must be followed by “bearing good fruit,” lest the landowner (God?) decide to cut us down. We can see how Luke connects the passage to Jesus’ call for repentance. In chapter three, Luke has John the Baptist preaching repentance and using the metaphor that those coming to him for baptism must “produce good fruits as evidence of your repentance” otherwise they will be “cut down and thrown into the fire.” John the Baptist is all over Luke 13:1-9!

But let’s look at what the parable might have signified separate from Luke’s theme of repentance and bearing good fruit.

fig treeWe have a man who owns an orchard, i.e. a landowner, and an absentee landowner at that (the meaning of coming for three years looking for fruit is that he comes only at harvest time, from somewhere else). We can also glean that he is not the one who takes care of the orchard or this particular fig tree. He has hired help, a gardener/vinedresser, for that—the second character in the story. What is also evident is that the main concern of the landowner is the bottom line: this tree produces no fruit, it puts no money in his pocket, it is simply “wasting space” as he explains in other words.

Those in the crowd would have found this absentee landowner to be a familiar figure; many of them would have possibly been employed by someone just like him, working to tend his orchard and seeing all of their work go to benefit his bank account.

But the gardener is another story, and it is perhaps the gardener whom we should see as the example for us to follow in the story. At the landowner’s threat to cut down the fig tree, the gardener offers instead to give it extra care, extra attention, despite knowing that whatever his efforts, the landowner will exercise his right to cut down the tree should he see fit. So the gardener buys the tree a reprieve. His concern is not the bottom line, but the tree itself, alive despite its apparent “uselessness” in the market economy. Like someone said in our study last night, the gardener who tends all of the trees in the orchard goes to extra lengths to care for this one tree—not unlike another Lucan character, the shepherd who seeks out the one lost sheep. And perhaps too, the gardener remembers other stories about how those who were “barren” (Sarah, Hannah, Elizabeth, et al) and past their time to bear fruit, did just that after an intervention from God. Maybe this parable is about the faith of the gardener, who shows us that there are more important things than the bottom line, and that, as one biblical scholar suggested, we’re called to “just keep manuring; what else is there for us to do?”

LENT: Awe

Anti-Gang Groups-Bailout

One dictionary definition of the word awe is “wonder, but with more reverence.”  If you have an hour or so this week, please consider watching this interview with Greg Boyle. Boyle is a Jesuit priest, founder of Homeboy Industries, author of Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion and works with gang members in East Los Angeles.  It would take several listens to glean all the insight from this interview, which ranges from inspirational stories about individuals he has met to the church’s role in the world and potential contribution at this stage in history.  He was particularly moving when he likened the serious struggles of some of the young people he knows to the early Christian community described in the Acts of the Apostles. The link was awe.

We often hear this familiar story of the early church as a sweet and inspiring description of a Utopian moment from long ago. Boyle studied it as an actual measure of the health of any community – that they “take care of each other,” “no one goes hungry,” etc.  When he came upon the phrase, “and awe came upon everyone,” a real light went on. What if, he asked, the measure of our compassion lies not in our service to those on the margins but in our willingness to see ourselves in kinship? How can we seek a compassion that can stand in awe at what people have to carry rather than stand in judgment at how they carry it?

We have known this feeling on occasion, and it is as good as it is rare.  The defensive, overly-stressed version of ourselves wants everyone to please just behave themselves and for the world to shape up in general. We’re quick to judge what is wrong on all sides of any situation. But there are moments of grace – unwarranted and unexpected – when the curtain is drawn and we see things a little more truly as they are, or at least might be in a Divine Mother’s eyes.  Then we feel it: kinship – the recognition that we are actually brothers and sisters, and  awe at the resilience in others instead of recoil from the brokenness.

-Kelli

{image: from Kevin & Linds}

HOUSE NEWS: Extra help needed at the microfarm and more…

Click here to see an entire list of what is happening this week at the Gainesville Catholic Worker.

LATEST SUMMARY FROM THE SCRIPTURE STUDY: Click here, “Luke 9:28-36 – Shut up and listen to him,” to see a short summary of our conversation from last week’s Scripture study around the Transfiguration episode in Luke’s gospel. This reading from Luke was yesterday’s gospel reading for the Second Sunday of Lent. Our Lenten Scripture study will continue this week on Wednesday, 7:30-9pm. Everyone is welcome.

EXTRA HELP AT THE MICROFARM: We’ve been a little short-handed at BAM (Black Acres Microfarm) for our weekly and monthly workdays. If you’re looking for a great, outdoor, fun, interesting volunteer gig, consider helping out at BAM. Jade and Lynn have done extraordinary things with their property (olive trees, mango trees, blackberry bushes, bee hives!) and Jade is always willing to pass on what he has learned and help others get started in cultivating a garden or more on their own land. The microfarm provides so much good produce to the people we see, and having a little extra help in its upkeep would be so good right now. The regular weekly workday is Thursday, anytime between 8am and noon. The monthly workday is the fourth Saturday of the month from 9am-noon. This is a great opportunity for families and groups! Email us if you want more info and we’ll put you in touch with Jade.

PAPER, NOT PLASTIC: On Saturday, from 1-4pm, the Art for All group will be making paper flowers and paper cranes. The Green House Knitters are now meeting during the same time frame at the house, so bring your knitting or crocheting if you’re interested!

SKELETON SCHEDULE NEXT WEEK, MARCH 3-9: During the UF Spring Break, March 3-9, we’ll be on a skeleton schedule, with many of our projects taking the week off. We’ll still be open but make sure to check out the schedule for what is happening (Art for All, Green House Knitters, etc.) and what is not (regular house hours, Breakfast@theGreenHouse and Dorothy’s Cafe). I will also NOT be sending out a “This Week” email next week. We’ll return to our regular schedule on March 10.

Hope to see many of you this week!

SCRIPTURE STUDY: Luke 9:28-36, Shut up and listen to him

transfiguration_icon

This upcoming Sunday’s gospel reading is from Luke, chapter 9, verses 28-36, the transfiguration episode. Immediately when we begin the passage in v. 28, “after he (Jesus) said this,” a notation that should spell out that this episode is connected to and to be understood in relation to the passage that just preceded it. So what was it that Jesus just said? In 9:22-27 Jesus predicts his suffering and death at the hands of the religious authorities and lays out some hard words about what is in store for those who will follow him: denial of one’s self, taking up the Cross, losing one’s life, and so on. His words to his disciples and other would-be followers come on the heel of Peter’s announcement that he is “the Christ of God,” the Messiah—a term fraught with cultural, political and religious baggage that all point to a Messiah who is like David was, i.e. a warrior-king. Jesus’ words in 22-27 are the beginning of his work to undermine the traditional understanding of Messiah and craft a new one.

So we have Jesus, with three of his disciples, ascending a mountain to pray in v. 28. The setting on a mountain should conjure up for us memories of other important events and figures related to ascending a mountain—not the least being the Exodus story, Moses and his various encounters with God. Throughout Scripture, the mountain is an “in-between space,” rising up from what happens below in ordinary life toward the skies and the realm of heaven. In Luke it functions here as a place of revelation, but also a setting for prayer. And for both these reasons, as well as additional ones, it is a contrast to the Jerusalem Temple, a different sort of place for prayer and revelation. It is interesting that the whole following scene unfolds on the mountain, perhaps purposely chosen as a contrast to the Temple where God’s presence was “officially” supposed to reside, amidst the official authorities and the cultic system and the economics of sacrifice.

On the mountain, Jesus is joined by and converses with Moses and Elijah. The question for us is why these two? Why not David? Or any of the patriarchs? Jesus’ association with these two should give us a clue as to which tradition Jesus stands in within the Judaism of his day. He doesn’t stand in the tradition of David the warrior-king, the quintessential Messiah figure, but rather with Moses—the liberator of slaves and opponent of Pharaoh and the Egyptian empire—and Elijah—the prophet par excellence who challenges the Israelite King Ahab and his Queen Jezebel over their greed and injustice. Like these two, Jesus in Luke’s gospel will be cast as one who challenges the powerful.

As Moses and Elijah begin to depart, the disciples awake, glimpse what is going on, but as Luke tells us in v. 33 in reference specifically to Peter, “he did not know what he was talking about.” Peter has misgauged what is happening and his attempt to “capture” the moment by erecting three tents or booths to memorialize the episode is emphatically shot down in the most ominous way possible: a voice from a cloud interrupts his nonsense in v. 34.

The voice speaks in a way that should recall the earlier passage after Jesus’ baptism, the revelation that he was God’s beloved son—a revelation that sent Jesus off into the wilderness to figure out exactly what that means (click here to read our reflection on that passage from last week). The voice this time speaks not to Jesus, but to the disciples: “This is my chosen Son! Listen to him!” The exclamation points belong to the passage, because the voice here speaks with power and emphasis. And it is the second part of what the voice says that catapults us back again to what Jesus said just prior to this passage in vs. 22-27, taking us full circle. Listen to him. Don’t get caught up in your tent-building Peter, or building statues or monuments, or tabernacles or worship. Don’t get excited about Jesus being the new David, ready to kick the Romans out and set up a new monarchy. Don’t get lured in by the miracles and healings. The important thing here is to listen to him. Pay attention to what he says, and then go live it. So difficult for the disciples then; difficult for those of us who call ourselves followers of him now. Do we really listen to Jesus? Do we take his words to heart and stand in that tradition with him, Moses and Elijah, speaking truth to power and advocating in behalf of the poor, oppressed, downtrodden and marginalized?

The verse ends with the disciples doing that first action that might lead to listening to him. They fall silent. And as the road turns toward Jerusalem for them and for Jesus, maybe we’ll fall silent too and start listening.

HOUSE NEWS: Monthly microfarm workday on Saturday and Lenten ideas for procrastinators!

Click here to see an entire list of what is happening this week at the Gainesville Catholic Worker.

DIGGING IN THE DIRT: This Saturday, February 23rd will be our monthly workday at Black Acres Microfarm (or BAM). We’ll be on site and can use some extra volunteers between 9am and noon at BAM, in the 400 block of NW 32nd Street (you can’t miss it). If you’ve never been out to BAM, you need to come and see the incredible things Jade and Lynn have done with their property. The food they grow is a main source of the produce that we serve each week at the cafe. So come on out between 9am and noon on Saturday, whether you can give 30 minutes or the full three hours.

TEMPTATIONS TO POWER: Our Lenten Scripture study began last week when we looked at the temptation narrative in Luke’s gospel. If you can’t join us but want to follow along on the web, you’ll find a summary of last week’s study by clicking here. We’ll continue our study this week on Wednesday from 7:30-9pm with a look at Luke 9:28-36 if you’re interested in joining us.

STILL LOOKING FOR IDEAS FOR LENT? If you are still looking for ideas for how to observe the Lenten season, we’d like to invite you to consider making the GCW part of your Lenten practice this year. Here is some of what we’re offering:

  • A special Lenten Scripture study focusing on the Sunday gospel readings throughout the season. We’ll begin this week on Wednesday, February 13, from 7:30-9pm at the house, and meet for the next 6-7 weeks. Just bring your bible.
  • We practice community prayer twice a week at 6am, on Mondays and Thursdays. It is usually a time of quiet contemplation followed by a short reflection/discussion. It is over by 6:30am.
  • On Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout Lent, we’ll offer special reflections on the website. The Thursday reflection will incorporate some of the insights from our Scripture study the previous night. Feel free to visit the site on those days or any time throughou the week and emply those reflections in your own prayer and meditation.
  • Commit to volunteering with us for one of our regular projects for the 6 weeks of Lent. We can still use extra help at each of the breakfasts during the week, at Dorothy’s Cafe, at the microfarm on Thursday mornings, Art for All on Saturday, etc. Even an hour of help at any of those projects is a real benefit for us. Or join us for the monthly microfarm workdays on Saturday, February 23rd and Saturday, March 23rd.

SPRING ARTS: On Saturday, from 1-4pm, the Art for All group will be getting a jump on spring by making flowers from fabric, tissue paper and recycled paper. Mary and others will show folks how to use fabric, while Kathy and Elizabeth will have some patterns and ideas for paper flowers. They’ll also have more bottles for people who want to recycle them into vases. And don’t forget! The Green House Knitters are now meeting during the same time frame at the house, so bring your knitting or crocheting if you’re interested!

Hope to see many of you this week!

SCRIPTURE STUDY: Luke 4:1-13, Temptations to power

temptations-apWe began our Lenten Scripture study last Wednesday with the gospel reading for yesterday, the First Sunday of Lent: Luke 4:1-13, the temptation narrative.

We started by first noting the context of the passage in Luke’s gospel, particularly paying attention to the action which occurs just prior—the baptism of Jesus at the Jordan, followed by this revelation: “… heaven was opened and the holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my beloved son; with you I am well pleased’” (3:22). We noted that this scene sets up the temptation narrative; that before the baptism and the voice from heaven—with the exception of the infancy narrative in Luke—Jesus is seemingly a normal, ordinary Jewish man from Nazareth. But upon being baptized, Jesus experiences something extraordinary, something which propels him not back home but further into the desert/wilderness, and this time, on his own. The “voice from heaven” initiates an abrupt and serious change in Jesus’ life, and begs the question: What does this mean to be the “beloved son”?

So we pick up the story in 4:1 and the overtones of the Exodus story are apparent almost immediately: Jesus is led, like the Israelites following their liberation from Egypt, into the desert, for forty days (with the forty days for Jesus equaling the forty years the Israelites wandered in the desert/wilderness). In the Exodus story, the Israelites, just recently freed from slavery in Egypt, will begin to complain, longing for a return to Egypt and the oppression of the Pharaoh where at least they had food to fill their bellies. Such complaints and grumbling will eventually lead to idolatry, marking the Israelites 40 years as a time of struggle and repeated detours into faithlessness. The question arises for us: Will Jesus, the chosen person (beloved son) fare any better during the time of trial than God’s chosen people did during the Exodus? What does it mean to be the beloved son of God?

It is upon the seemingly subtle word “If” in verse 3 that the purpose of the passage first turns. Following the voice from heaven proclaiming him “the beloved son”, Jesus must have found himself in the position of trying to make sense of what that meant for him and for his life from this point forward. We might even see the solitary sojourn into the desert as a type of “vision quest,” a searching for answers and an attempt to integrate some extraordinary new knowledge or experience that means never being the same again. So just as Jesus is wrestling with what it means that he has been named the beloved son of God, along comes the Tempter teasing that very question with a quick and easy way to confirm the experience: Do a magic trick. Turn the stone into bread. Jesus, having not eaten for 40 days and certainly famished, might have seen such a suggestion as no big deal—it doesn’t hurt anyone, there is no maliciousness in it, and he is in need of food. Why not take care of two of his most pressing needs at one time: feed his hunger and see if there is any power behind this revelation that he has received about himself. Jesus’ refusal to do just this should give us a clue as to what being a “child of God” is not about: it is not about using one’s power to fulfill one’s own needs, putting God at the service of one’s self.

But it is the second temptation that is really striking. In verse 5-6 the devil shows Jesus all of the world’s kingdoms and offers them to Jesus, with the boast that power and glory of all of these kingdoms has been “handed over to me, and I may give it to whomever I wish.” The only requirement is that Jesus worship the devil, which of course, he refuses in verse 8.

But it is that boast of the devil—that it is not God but rather the devil who doles out power to those in charge of running the great kingdoms and empires of the world, and which goes seemingly unchallenged by Jesus as if it is of course a matter of simple fact—which should stop us in our tracks. The author of Luke’s gospel states here very clearly that the kind of power exercised by the kingdoms of the world is not God-given power but rather demonic power, power in opposition to God. Luke doesn’t single out specific kinds of kingdoms, but seems to be including all kingdoms—all large-scale organized political, military, religious and economic power no matter their differences or even if they are in opposition to one another—as deriving their power from that which is opposed to God. Such a statement flies in the face of any claim by any empire—be it Babylonian or Roman or American—to being blessed and sanctioned by God. To all of these, Jesus—and purportedly any who would follow him—says no, equating the exercise of such power with the worship and service of that which is not God.

Following the third and final temptation, which Jesus also declines, the devil departs, apparently awaiting another opportunity. Jesus, after being chosen by God, has demonstrated his faithfulness in contrast to the repeated stumblings and failings of God’s chosen people the Israelites following the Exodus. Jesus has revealed too what it means to be “God’s beloved”—to resist the lure of using power to satisfy one’s self; to not mistake the organized power exercised by “kingdoms” of this time (or any time) as being blessed and sanctioned by God, to be properly suspicious of invitations to participate in that power (even if one believes that one could do good), since the source of that power is not God; and to be wary of religions, as in the final temptation, for it has no special exemption from being manipulated to serve the will of those opposed to God (indeed, even the devil can quote Scripture to suit his purposes, see verses 10-11).

This coming Wednesday, February 20th, at 7:30pm, we’ll be looking at Luke 9:28-36. Feel free to come and join us.

HOUSE NEWS: Some ideas for observing Lent, and more!

Click here to see an entire list of what is happening this week at the Gainesville Catholic Worker.

We had a great Roundtable, with nearly 35 folks, last week. Vickie did a great job sharing her thesis on “The Catholic Worker Movement and Bioregionalism.” I forgot to record it as was my intention, but I did take these photos…

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WHAT ARE YOU DOING FOR LENT THIS YEAR? The official start of the season of Lent, Ash Wednesday, takes place this week on Wednesday, February 13. In many Christian denominations, Lent is a time of preparation for Easter, marked by prayer, fasting and self-denial, repentance, and acts of mercy, justice and love. If you are looking for ideas for how to observe the Lenten season, we’d like to invite you to consider making the GCW part of your Lenten practice this year. Here is some of what we’re offering:

  • A special Lenten Scripture study focusing on the Sunday gospel readings throughout the season. We’ll begin this week on Wednesday, February 13, from 7:30-9pm at the house, and meet for the next 6-7 weeks. Just bring your bible.
  • We practice community prayer twice a week at 6am, on Mondays and Thursdays. It is usually a time of quiet contemplation followed by a short reflection/discussion. It is over by 6:30am.
  • On Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout Lent, we’ll offer special reflections on the website. The Thursday reflection will incorporate some of the insights from our Scripture study the previous night. Feel free to visit the site on those days or any time throughou the week and emply those reflections in your own prayer and meditation.
  • Commit to volunteering with us for one of our regular projects for the 6 weeks of Lent. We can still use extra help at each of the breakfasts during the week, at Dorothy’s Cafe, at the microfarm on Thursday mornings, Art for All on Saturday, etc. Even an hour of help at any of those projects is a real benefit for us. Or join us for the monthly microfarm workdays on Saturday, February 23rd and Saturday, March 23rd.

Also, as a household, we’ll be renewing a practice we undertook several years ago: not using electricity from sundown through sunrise. We did this as our communal Lenten fast, with the original stated intention of lowering our energy consumption. But we found so much more too: gathering together in the early evenings around candlelight or lantern to talk and relax instead of retreating to our rooms and our computers; turning in earlier and getting better a better night’s sleep; finding entertainment that was more communal and engaging, instead of passive entertainment like watching a movie or TV show; sitting outside or taking a walk to catch the last few moments of sunlight; and so forth. If your household undertakes similar “fasts,” we’d love to hear about them!

OUR LENTEN SCRIPTURE STUDY: We had a nice response to our idea of holding a Scripture study for Lent this year, with a committed group of about 8-10 of us signing on. We’ll be starting this Wednesday, February 13, from 7:30-9pm at the Green House. Anyone is welcome to join us. Just bring your bible and show up Wednesday. We’ll meet every Wednesday throughout Lent (with the exception of March 6 which falls in the middle of UF’s Spring Break week), and we’ll have a wrap-up session the Wednesday after Lent, April 3.

COMMUNITY PRAYER AND POTLUCK THIS SUNDAY: A group of folks, including some of us associated with the GCW, have committed to forming an intentional community. Once-a-month, we gather at various people’s homes, in the spirit of the early church, to pray together and share a meal. The gathering is open to anyone who would like to join us. This month’s prayer and potluck is happening on Sunday, February 17th, from 4-7pm, at Jade and Lynn’s, the Microfarm, located in the 400 block of NW 32nd Street. Everyone is welcome to join us. Bring a dish to share if you can!

ART WITH OLD GLASS BOTTLES: On Saturday, from 1-4pm, the Art for All group will be using old glass bottles to make vases when they decoupage tissue paper, ribbon, yarn and paper onto the bottles. Any type of glass bottle can become our inspiration — beer bottles, ice tea bottles, wine bottles.  Glass jars can be decorated to create special containers for candy, nuts or whatever you like. In the following weeks, we might make fabric and tissue flowers to put into the vases. Everyone is welcome to come and all supplies are provided. Also, if you’d like to purchase a last-minute special, handmade Valentine’s from the Art for All project for $2, stop by the house anytime this week betwen 1-5pm.

GREEN HOUSE KNITTERS ON A NEW DAY: This Monday will be the last Monday evening meeting of the Green House Knitters. Starting later this week, the GH Knitters will start gathering on Saturdays, from 1-4pm, same time as Art for All, beginning Saturday, February 16th. The GH Knitters invite all women to join them, with yarn and needles provided and plenty of help learning to knit if you’re interested.

Hope to see many of you this week!

HOUSE NEWS: A special Roundtable with Vickie, and anyone up for a Lenten Bible study?

Click here to see an entire list of what is happening this week at the Gainesville Catholic Worker.

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ROUNDTABLE WITH OUR OWN VICKIE MACHADO THIS WEEK! We’re really excited to have our own Vickie Machado as the featured speaker for this month’s Roundtable. The theme will be “The Catholic Worker Movement and Bioregionalism” and the Roundtable takes place on Thursday at 6:30pm until 8pm. Vickie has been a community member for the past two years, and a part of the extended community of the GCW for much longer than that! She is a MA student in Religion and Nature at UF and has been presenting on various aspects of Catholic Worker thought and practice at conferences, etc. for the past few years. For this Roundtable, she’ll be presenting a version of her thesis, which she is set to present and defend to her committee in early March. Here is a blurb on the thesis: “The purpose of my thesis is to understand the sustainability of the Catholic Worker movement today with regards to bioregionalism. While the main foundations of the movement are important to its success, the sustainability of Catholic Worker houses and communities does not solely come from its principal groundwork, but rather, as I suggest, from how these concepts are continually and accordingly implemented with careful regard to both time and location. I find that current Catholic Workers have sustained themselves over the years due to their adaptability and fluidness. Rather than adopting the same model in every location, each house and community fills its own niche for the region in which it operates.” So come listen to and support Vickie this Thursday! And don’t forget to bring a dish to share if you can!

THANKS FOR HELPING FILL VOLUNTEER SLOTS (MORE STILL AVAILABLE THOUGH!): We’re so grateful for the response to our plea for some new regular volunteers who could commit to weekly slots. We have filled all three of the four breakfast slots with at least one extra volunteer, but still are looking for someone to help out on Thursday mornings between 7-9. Let us know if you’re interested. And we can still use another extra person for any of the other breakfast slots–the more the merrier! For the cafe, we got 2 new weekly volunteers for the afternoon, but we could still use at least one extra for the morning, between 10 and noon. And as usual, we can always fit in an extra pair of hands at any time during the cafe!

SCRIPTURE STUDY FOR LENT? We’re thinking of starting up a Scripture study for Lent this year and we’re interested in hearing if this might be something others would like to commit to and join us for. John would lead a study of the gospel readings throughout the Lenten season, each Wednesday evening, from 7:30 until around 9. If you’re up for this as a Lenten practice for yourself, email us and let us know. If we get a committed group of 6-8 folks, we’ll start next Wednesday, February 13th. Email us at gvillecw@yahoo.com.

ART FOR ALL VALENTINES: Art for All folks continue to design and make beautiful Valentines each Saturday. The card-making and other crafts associated with Valentine’s Day will continue this Saturday from 1-4pm. If you’d like to purchase a special, handmade Valentine’s from the Art for All project for $2, stop by the house anytime this week betwen 1-5pm. Click here for a photo of some of what they’re designing.

As we mentioned in a previous post, we published the latest edition of our newsletter, Conspire, last week and we now have copies available at the house. You can also see a PDF version online by clicking here. Hope to see many of you this week!

Warm the heart of someone special!

Warm the heart of someone special!

Valentines for sale at the Green House, $2 each. Stop by Monday-Saturday, 1-5, or email us and we can mail one to you – gvillecw@yahoo.com!

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