Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Maundy Thursday with our Missional Community of Faith

A Missional Community of Faith at A Third Place Community
“doing small things with great love changes the world”
“you don’t have to think alike to love alike”
“freely following Jesus, in deeds not creeds, making Jesus visible in the world”

Maundy Thursday Communion Service: A Feast of Life and Love and Liberation
Today is the day which God has made:
Let us rejoice and be glad therein.
What does the Eternal require of us?
To do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God.
This is our covenant:
In the light of truth, and the loving and liberating spirit of Jesus, we gather in freedom, to worship God, and serve all.
Opening Prayer
O God, who by the example of thy servant Jesus has taught us the greatness of true humility, give us grace to serve one another in all lowliness and to enter into the fellowship of his sufferings. For life eternal, salvation, and hope, grant us thanksgiving in the breaking of bread and of the vine outpoured, and in the life given us through Jesus Christ. Everlasting God, the comfort for all who mourn, the strength of all who suffer, let the prayers of those who cry out this night come unto thee, and may they rejoice and find feast wherever they may be. Let all who are beset by fears, troubled by poverty, worn by illness, all who are wronged and oppressed, the lonely, the weary and heavy-laden, come unto you and be sustained. Amen. (selections from King’s Chapel Book of Common Prayer)

Scripture and Song: Communion, Feasts, and God’s Beloved Community
Later Jesus and his disciples were at home having supper with a collection of disreputable guests. Unlikely as it seems, more than a few of them had become followers. The religion scholars and Pharisees saw him keeping this kind of company and lit into his disciples: "What kind of example is this, acting cozy with the riffraff?" 17Jesus, overhearing, shot back, "Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? I'm here inviting the sin-sick, not the spiritually-fit."…Mark 2 (The Message)
“Amazing Grace”

18The disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees made a practice of fasting. Some people confronted Jesus: "Why do the followers of John and the Pharisees take on the discipline of fasting, but your followers don't?" 19-20Jesus said, "When you're celebrating a wedding, you don't skimp on the cake and wine. You feast. Later you may need to pull in your belt, but not now. As long as the bride and groom are with you, you have a good time. No one throws cold water on a friendly bonfire. This is Kingdom Come!"---from Mark 2
So, my friends, when you come together to the Lord's Table, be reverent and courteous with one another. It is a spiritual meal—a love feast.---1 Corinthians 11
“Leaning on the Everlasting Arms”

8The Day of Unleavened Bread came, the day the Passover lamb was butchered. Jesus sent Peter and John off, saying, "Go prepare the Passover for us so we can eat it together." 9They said, "Where do you want us to do this?" 10-12He said, "Keep your eyes open as you enter the city. A man carrying a water jug will meet you. Follow him home. Then speak with the owner of the house: The Teacher wants to know, 'Where is the guest room where I can eat the Passover meal with my disciples?' He will show you a spacious second-story room, swept and ready. Prepare the meal there." 13They left, found everything just as he told them, and prepared the Passover meal. 14-16When it was time, he sat down, all the apostles with him, and said, "You've no idea how much I have looked forward to eating this Passover meal with you before I enter my time of suffering. It's the last one I'll eat until we all eat it together in the kingdom of God." 17-18Taking the cup, he blessed it, then said, "Take this and pass it among you. As for me, I'll not drink wine again until the kingdom of God arrives." 19Taking bread, he blessed it, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body, given for you. Eat it in my memory." 20He did the same with the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant written in my blood, blood poured out for you.”
“Let Us Break Bread Together”

Jesus said: "Who would you rather be: the one who eats the dinner or the one who serves the dinner? You'd rather eat and be served, right? But I've taken my place among you as the one who serves. And you've stuck with me through thick and thin. Now I confer on you the royal authority my Father conferred on me so you can eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and be strengthened as you take up responsibilities among the congregations of God's people.---Luke 22
And from Luke 24: They came to the edge of the village where they were headed. He acted as if he were going on but they pressed him: "Stay and have supper with us. It's nearly evening; the day is done." So he went in with them. And here is what happened: He sat down at the table with them. Taking the bread, he blessed and broke and gave it to them. At that moment, open-eyed, wide-eyed, they recognized him. And then he disappeared.
“Tis A Gift To Be Simple”

Responsive Reading
I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me. I was naked and you clothed me. I was sick and you visited me. I was in prison and you came to me. And they said, Lord, when did we do that? And he said, When you did it for the least of these, you did it to me. Here is the bread of life, food for the spirit. Let all who hunger come and eat. Here is the fruit of the vine, pressed and poured out for us. Let all who thirst now come and drink.
We come to break bread. We come to drink of the fruit of the vine. We come to make peace. May we never praise God with our mouths while denying in our hearts or by our acts the love that is our common speech. We come to be restored in the love of God. All are welcome. All are worthy.
(based on Robert Eller-Isaacs, based on Matthew 25, alt. Singing The Living Tradition hymnal)

Call To The Table
Leader: From olden times comes to us this meal of bread and wine. In the night before his passing, Jesus and his friends were gathered around this table.
Congregation: He had spoken of God who wants to save the world; of the cross that must be carried; of the beaker that should be emptied; of the joy awaiting the faithful.
Leader: Now he spoke of the sacrifice that would be made;
Congregation: Of the communion in His love, stronger than death.
Leader: The bread, made of grain, would be broken.
Congregation: As his body would be broken and die.
Leader: The wine, pressed from grapes, would be shed.
Congregation: As his blood would be shed.
Leader: Those who had joined the meal, knew the significance.
Congregation: They understood the darkness of betraying love, the grief of sacrificing for love, the power of communion in a love stronger than death; the peace for those who remember his love.
Leader: The meal of the bread and wine is the communion in this love we behold in Jesus and in which we share through him.
Congregation: The communion with the dead, the communion with those far away, the communion with those near and the communion with those who will succeed us.
Leader: Friends, in faith and love, we invite you to our Holy Communion. We invite all of you, whether or not you belong to this or any other church, or to none at all, all of you who know yourselves to be bonded in the Spirit, or who long to live in the spirit of Jesus.
(Litany from First Unitarian Church, Worcester, MA)

Let us join in saying the prayer Jesus taught to all those who would follow in his compassionate and transforming way. Feel free to use the words you were taught in the diverse faith traditions, or the words you have chosen for the spirit of the prayer: Our Father who art in heaven hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day, our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.

Come to this sacred table not because you must, but because you may. Come not because you are fulfilled, but because in your emptiness you stand in need of God’s mercy and assurance. Come not to express an opinion, but to seek a presence and to pray for a spirit. Come to this table, then, sisters and brothers, as you are. Partake and share. It is spread for you and me that we might know that God has come to us, shared our common lot, and invited us to join the people of God…(Book of Worship, United Church of Christ)

Passing the Bread of Life Everlasting and the Cup of Hope Eternal
This bread, which we take and break, bless and give, is The bread of life everlasting, broken in our hands as is our world and our lives, but made whole again in the love and forgiveness of God. Jesus said, eat in remembrance of me.
The cup of hope and spirit eternal that knows no end, our communion in the risen life poured out for all. Jesus said, drink in remembrance of me.

Homily Based On A Reading From “An Altar in the World” by Barbara Brown Taylor: The Spiritual Practice of Blessings

Passing of Blessings: kneel and/or touch the shoulder of one next to you: In service to God through service with one another, may you know the blessing you are and the blessings you have to give, and that nothing can ever separate you from the love of God.
“We’re Going to Sit At the Welcome Table”

At the end of his last supper with his disciples, Jesus said: Let me give you a new command. Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciple—when they see the love you have for each other.

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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Breaking News: Community LivingKitchen Garden Park Is ON

....with your crucial help. Now. Read below and pass on to everyone, let's see how fast we can get this around the world via the internet. If you are reading this and finding out about us and our project and community for the first time, welcome and stay in touch, and thanks.

Consider this: At a bad economic time of recession. At a time in our Tulsa area when community centers have been closed down, especially in our lowest income areas like ours. At a time when parks which are so critical to the life and health of communities and families have had budgets slashed. At a time when our state is dead last as the healthiest state. When our 74126 zip code has the lowest life expectancy in our area. When 40 percent of the vacant residential properties in our two mile radius have been abandoned, not for rent or for sale. When we live in a food desert. When nothing new is beginning for our children, and instead our schools are cutting out teachers, programs, in ways not seen before in our history...

...Being a group of "crazy" local northside residents in this area, we believe another world, another community, another response is possible. So working with the University of Oklahoma Graduate Design Studio and the University of Oklahoma Graduate Social Work Department which helped us with our initial brainstorming and dreams and project we are developing plans for a place for extensive community gardening, gazebo for entertaining, space for families, a living kitchen right by the garden where people who grow can cook and dehydrate healthy food on the space, where we can have cooking lessons, nutrition demonstration, even outdoors community health classes, community meals, play equipment, a firepit, where folks can watch fireworks and the stars at night, where it will be an outdoors "third place" environment, sustainable, bringing hope. So...

We, A Third Place Community, now have a chance to purchase a city block, an acre, up on a hilltop overlooking downtown Tulsa, at 60th and N. Johnstown Ave. where two abandoned homes are rundown and abandoned. Right across from where one of our community gardens started last summer is now located. A location bridging two ethnically diverse neighborhoods, one incorporated in the city of Tulsa and one in the unincorporated Turley part, where people and school children walk.

We have had our offer of $15,000 accepted for the property, paid in cash at closing. Now to make it real we have to raise the funds as soon as we can. Which means we have to ask everyone for help and to pass this on to their email lists and social media in order for us to reach our goal:

Be a part of this groundbreaking, ground transforming initiative, at this time, and at this place. Be a part of the group that makes another world possible. People from right here, and from around the country and even the world have a chance to make this real, to be listed on our sign at the site of LivingKitchen Garden Park Givers. Your name, your family, your children's names, those whom you want to give it in honor to or memory of.

We need as soon as possible to raise the $15,000, even as the OU Design Studio is finishing up the plans and visuals that we will pass on as soon as they are completed.

We need just one person to give $15,000, or 15 people to give $1,000, or 150 people to give $100. That is how we make it real. Be a part of this opportunity, right now, to be a part of this original list of Garden Park Givers. Reply and let all know you are helping. Let's raise it by Easter, April 4. Talk about a resurrection of hope and spirit of life. Pass this notice on to all and let them know you are contributing at what amount and give them a chance to change the world too between now and Easter.

Send checks made out to A Third Place Community Foundation to 6514 N. Peoria Ave., Turley, OK 74126. We are a 501c3 non profit organization. Sorry we don't have an online donation avenue possible yet, but don't let that stop you. Do it the old-fashioned way.
Send a message that another response, another world, another kind of community is possible.

Go to or become a fan of us on Facebook and follow how we are doing, what we have done, and our activities coming up and dreams. This initiative is a great one, but even greater is on the way.

Pledge, donate, surprise yourself and the world and all those who don't know that a small group of dedicated citizens can change the world. Pass on the Possibility.

Thanks so much,

Ron Robinson
A Third Place Community
"small acts of justice done with great love change the world"
first place is your home, second place is where you gather with those of like minds and interests; a third place is where you build community with those different from you for the good of all.
6514 N. Peoria Ave.
918-794-4637, 691-3223, 430-1150

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Friday, March 19, 2010

The Miracles Before Our Very Eyes We Do Not See

Hi all. Long time no check in. Read below or go to Go to and and see a few of the many things that have kept us busy being church in this Lenten season in this I am teaching two classes at as well as being one of the directors of ministerial formation there and enjoying it immensely, but sometimes the cup gets so full to overflowing you just have to share it, take a moment and sip from it slowly. This will then be somewhat of a different kind of report from our different way of being church; as always do us a favor and pass it on, post it on, witness for us....

Let's talk worship: This Sunday communion first thing at 10 am then off across town to Sheridan Lanes for Church Without Walls bowling party (join us and support bowlers even if you choose not to bowl), think of a service project there or on the way there and back, and lunch out together. Invite friends, et al. contribute what you can, in our usual shared way, everyone will be take care of. Next Sunday on Palm Sunday March 28 we will have a special Seminary Sunday Day; a indepth look at the events of Holy Week from the march into Jerusalem through the Resurrection, from First Light: Jesus and the Kingdom of God by scholars Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan, communion and common meal worked in, in the Jesus way....Also plan to attend the Friday April 2 annual our mutual Noon Good Friday Worship Service in the chapel at All Souls, 2952 S. Peoria Ave....On Easter there will be some kind of surprise, of course...

Let's talk mission: we partner with OU graduate school of social work on Tuesdays 5:30 to 8 pm Mar. 23 and 30 and in April 20 and 27 to begin our first session of the free, meal included, Community Academy for residents 14 years old and up to help develop their relationship and organizational skills to become leaders in our community, to help their churches or groups or projects and dreams they have and want to make real. Future community academies may stress a variety of skills and classes and groups. On March 30 we will host the regular monthly Turley Community Association meeting as part of the class....Saturday March 27 9 or 10 am start or come when you can to first Spring gardening and cleanup with our partner Cherokee School; we will do the second one Sat. April 17...on Tuesday April 6 calling all artists and crafts people to come at 6:30 pm, meal included of course, also trying to arrange a quilt show in our gallery space...on Tuesday April 13 6:30 pm our gardening and food justice group will be showing the monthly documentary and planning the gardening we do communally and guerilla fashion (Food Inc was a hit this month; in April it will be SuperSize Me)...and importantly on Saturday April 10 from 8 to 10 am we have our community pancake and more benefit breakfast; $5 donation or more suggestion and a chance to eat and visit and hear whats going on in lives and the community of Tulsa North and the Turley area. Then join us for random acts of kindness and/or gardening, always multigenerational...check the blogs for more and updates; just too many projects and initiatives going on to mention here...

Let's talk party: All are invited to the annual Easter Eve Holy Saturday Celebrate Jesus Emptying Hell, AshingRobinson Garden Party, 11 am to 3 pm or so, 563 E. 63rd St. N. that's up the hill from the Two Turtles Smoke Shop and Dollar General west of Peoria turn right on North Garrison and we are the little rock house tucked up with Turley Mountain rising behind us, with the National Wildlife Federation Habitat Approved Sign on the Fence. We might even end it with a little Easter Eve vigil at the house or down at a third place.

Worship, Mission, Party, that's the agenda of revolutions, you need all three, at least in the way of Jesus. Speaking of which, the real reason I write to you today...

One of the common texts from scripture for this coming Sunday has in part this, from the gospel of John:
"Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 2There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. 3Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 4But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, 5“Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?” 6(He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) 7Jesus said, “Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. 8You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.”"

So there you have human nature, I suppose. There is Lazarus, raised from the dead, sitting at the table with Jesus, eating with Jesus, in his own home, but no one says a word about how amazing that is, no one is still going on and on about this transformation, this renewal (it isnt a resurrection of course, not in the same vein as Jesus' later, but that's another commentary); it is still so amazing and yet everything has gone back to the relative status quo so quickly. Maybe it is one of those cases where to look at the transformed one, to notice her or him, would put your own need of transformation into stark relief and you can't stand that; maybe we just have to have that status quo, homeostasis, restored. Lazarus quietly a miracle in the presence of the miracle maker and what does our Judas side fixate on, to complain about? Mary's hospitality to Jesus. Can't have that either.

I know there is that troubling passage. Jesus has a way of troubling things. The poor will always be with you; but he won't be. That social justice side of us, God forbid I sound like Glenn Beck, wants to say thank god for Judas naming the elephant in the room; but then the even quieter side of us wants to say, there goes Judas again; yes we know there is always something we need to do better for others, but there are times when the best, most immediate way you can change the world is to fill that world with the fragrance of perfume, unexpectedly (especially if you have a still raised from the dead Lazarus in the room, the real elephant in the room nobody is mentioning). Hmm, like putting your own oxygen mask on first before you can help others breathe in emergencies?

So here we have "the poor" with us always; someone gets a job and moves on somewhere else into their own place and their rented house goes empty then someone else moves in, paying or not. It is so easy to think of people as "the poor" without names and histories attached; I don't want to pick on poor Judas, Lord knows history has done that enough, but he reminds me of someone making a site visit here where we are, talking of statistics and stereotypes. He reminds me of me too. Meanwhile there are the miracles with names, Lazarus and Jesus, one getting attention and one being ignored, in his own home.

Funny what people see and don't see, fixate on and ignore.....

....We had a young man shot in front of the Chicken Hut in a crowd of people out after 2 am when the dance clubs close, and that is tragic, and mob mentality set in and people wouldn't talk to police, again, and got in the way of the first responders, again, and much was made in the media and online of people walking up to place their orders with him still lying wounded or dead. And that shouldn't be. And yet that is what people see instead of seeing what the people here see and don't see everyday. You have heard me before: a litany of things absent, so that the Chicken Hut, small as it is, becomes a gathering place for young people who want to continue being together but have no where else to go; Lord knows all the community centers we just closed in our lowest income areas couldn't be opened and adopted by churches and businesses to offer midnight basketball, a place to crash, etc. There are no movie theaters, few if any places like Chicken Hut to go to so that the one place gets the crush of people, and it isn't like they could have gone home and ordered in pizza to unwind cause you can't get pizza delivery. But the commentators don't see all that, or all the other aspects of the lives of those making bad decisions for sure. Did I just call them Judas? Sorry Judas.

The attitude is that if you are living here in the first place you get what you deserve; if you are out on Memorial Drive on the southside at that time and something like that happens it is a terrible commentary on society; but when it happens here, well then it is a commentary on the individuals involved and doesn't have anything to do with society because that's what they get for living here; the goal is often to help people get on their feet so they can high-tail it to the other side of town or the suburbs, onward and upward, let those behind suffer because they didn't get on their feet fast enough. It is one of the stories of the history of how this zipcode became to be struggling and abandoned. It is one of the reason why we have added a Fourth R to our list of the 3Rs of Community Development and Spiritual Life: remember the original 3Rs are relocation, redistribution, and reconciliation; the fourth R is Retention; as we improve the community we do it with and for the residents who are here, and so they won't have to move even when the neighborhoods are raised from the dead around them.

Even Jesus would soon, he was saying, be one whom they would not see anymore. Pay attention. Jesus was a peasant, as poor as they come, without even a home of his own so he made his home with others. Pay attention. See him. Jesus saw the Roman crosses lining the roads around Bethany, talk about your fragile gang-ridden neighborhoods with occupying forces and not much property value; he knew he could be gone at any moment, and so did Mary, who brought a glimpse of anointing to Jesus while he was alive, a small measure of the healing and anointing and life he had helped initiate and brought everywhere he went. Judas might have spread the value of that perfume around to so many of "the poor" that none got but a fractional amount so he could say he had helped such and such a number of "the poor." Mary started with the poor in front of her who had a name and a need. Hers was a miracle too, such a fragrance, such an act. Lazarus was a miracle. Jesus was a miracle. And don't forget to see Martha serving up the miracle in the background; no complaints from her in this story; I like to think of her as in her groove here, like some Top Chef, living out her passion feeding and orchestrating the community life happening all around her.

So many miracles, it's hard to see them all. So many miracles, it's hard to see at all. All that worship, all that mission, all that party, all that community organizing behind the scenes I don't write about us, all that we take for granted, all of you, miracle all.

Blessings to you and yours, thanks for all you do and all you see wherever you are and for your presence with us here, and more to come, soon I hope,


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

What God and A Few Missional Minded (UU Christians) Can Do

Can you get five people, more or less, together to change the world? Here is a current status update on what can result. Yours will look different. But you can do it. Let me just say faith is so much a part of everything we've done, including forming a non profit that is not officially faith-based. Faith that is for us grounded in the intersection of Jesus and Freedom, faith that leads us to work with people of many faiths, faith that must take form to be real, and for us that form is below, and we can just begin to dream and imagine what the form will be in another three years. Glory Glory Halleluia!.

A Third Place Community Center
History, Mission, Values, Vision

A 501c3 grassroots volunteer-based community development initiative
for Tulsa’s northern-edge neighborhoods
6514 N. Peoria Ave. Turley OK 74126; 918-794-4637

Our Name: “A Third Place” refers to the types of public civic spaces where people meet with those who are different in many ways from themselves, for forming community spirit and connections for the greater community life. The “first place” may be the home; the “second place” may be work or a religious body or association of like-minded people; the “third place” is a diverse, and free, community space.

Our History: In January 2007 just a handful of Turley area residents, having met as a church that had begun in the area in 2004 and in the suburban community of Owasso in 2003, decided to transform themselves by moving and renting a larger space to create a free community center for all residents living in a two mile radius, primarily in zip codes 74126, 74130. A Third Place Community Center was born. At the same time we began work toward creating partnerships and our new non-profit community development foundation. In Fall 2009 the A Third Place Community Foundation received its IRS status. Although members of a single church began it, and office space is rented and shared with a national religious organization, Board members now have a variety of faith affiliations and the Foundation is not categorized as a faith-based group. Below are listed many projects and partnerships to date.

Our Service Area: A two mile radius—from 46th to 86th Sts North, and Highway 75 to Osage County Line---was chosen because it is the area in which our residents live, primarily shop, go to school, use services, and many work. It is also a bridge area connecting incorporated and unincorporated urban neighborhoods of great ethnic and age diversity. We are in the area of greatest poverty and lowest life expectancy in the Tulsa area.

Our Mission: To Change The World Though Small Acts of Justice Done with Great Love.

Our Vision: Creating many diverse kinds of “a third place” centers and connections for the development of community life, especially in areas of greatest social fragmentation.

Our Values: Welcoming All Who Welcome All. Creating Safe and Civil Space For Building Relationships Across Divides of Race, Age, Gender, Sexual Orientation, Physical Abilities, Economic Conditions, Political Persuasions, Religious Affiliations, and National Origins. Dedicated to Sustainability in our Native, Natural Environment, and in promoting “smart growth”.

Our Guiding “4Rs” Principles: Retaining Residents while developing community life. Re-location (of people, families, services, businesses, etc.) into our currently abandoned, neglected, underserved, low-income areas. Re-Distribution of Justice, Health, Goods, Spirit, Hidden Resources of Strength. Reconciliation among separated people, families, neighborhoods, races and cultures, religions, and other groups.

Our Current Projects: The Community Center Meeting Space For Making New Friends and Dreaming New Dreams…OU Community Medicine Clinic…Community Resource Information…Our Own Library….Free Internet Center….Food Pantry, including dog food…Giving Room for clothing and other items….Art Gallery…Music Coffeehouse Concerts…Community Meals and Feeding and Nutrition Programs….Children's Area and Library….Television watching and Game Playing….Community Festivals and Holiday Celebrations….Community meetings….Community development service-learning projects between residents and OU graduate students….Nutrition Class, Diabetes Class, other classes as part of grassroots Community Academy….Sewing Project…Arts and Crafts Gatherings and Projects….Let Turley Bloom community gardening and community orchard and roadside beauty….12 Step Recovery….Saving Pets of Turley

Our Current Partnerships: OU Graduate School of Social Work…...OU Community Medicine…..Cherokee Elementary School…OBrien Park…Turley Community Association….Healthy Cornerstore Initiatives….McLain High School Initiative….North Tulsa Economic Development Initiative….House District 72 Community Coalitions “from Turley to TU”….TU SEED Law Clinic….OU Tulsa Urban Design Studio…. The Living Room Church….Turley United Methodist Church…Unitarian Universalist Christian Fellowship…The Lighthouse 12-Step Recovery….North Tulsa Farmers Market….Pending partnership with the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, and more all the time. If you read this and are interested, let us know how we can help your mission come true in our area.

Our Dreams: 1. Purchase and renew the historic but abandoned 10,500 square foot Turley Methodist Church building and properties near 59th and N Peoria to expand into and create a Community Center for Body, Mind, Spirit, moving and transforming our clinic and current projects into this newer better space with room to grow new projects connected with our community gardens and food justice work; 2. purchase and transform a hilltop acre at 60th and N. Johnstown overlooking downtown, a “city block”, with two abandoned dilapidated homes and transform the space into The LivingKitchen Garden Pocket Park for growing, cooking, teaching, feeding, celebrating, bridging two neighborhoods, one incorporated and one not; 3. create one or more “healthy cornerstores” in our center and in other areas of our service boundary; 4. Grow Staff Capacity to support current and future projects; 5. Create additional A Third Place Centers, either in building spaces of their own such as in the McLain Shopping Center, or in existing businesses and schools or spaces used by existing groups, and in non-building spaces such as our community gardens or in other public spaces…..

…..All so every neighborhod has a free community center within walking distance, and has volunteer trained neighborhood community health associates and designated resource responders within walking distance.

New Website under construction as project of OU graduate students and the Center; in meantime see and Contact or

Our Leadership: Executive Director, currently volunteer: Rev. Ron Robinson, Turley.
Board members: Dr. Lisa Byers, Owasso and originally from north Tulsa; Marcy Janitz, Turley,; Dr. Bonnie Ashing, Turley; Julie Sansone, Turley; Chris Sansone, Turley; Gwen Goff, north Tulsa; Linda Taylor, north Tulsa; Jim Webb, Turley.

Our Members and Governance: We are a voluntary association. Membership is open and needed by all, individuals and institutions, within or beyond our service area. Members elect the Board which operates the Foundation between Annual or Special Membership Meetings. Membership Forms are available at the Center or currently by calling 918-794-4637 or emailing

Our Thanks For Your Interest, Support, and Partnership As We Dream Another World Into Being
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Friday, March 05, 2010

Turning Your Congregation Inside Out: Creating Missional Communities of Faith... the name of the workshop I will be doing with Joel Miller of Buffalo and perhaps some others during UUA General Assembly in Minneapolis on Friday, June 25 from 1 to 2:15 pm in the convention center. Hope you will put it on your schedule if you are going. That evening from 6 to 8 pm come eat and hymn sing with the UU Christian Fellowship at the First Unitarian Church of Minneapolis close to the convention center. The workshop will use what we do here on Tulsa's northernedge neighborhoods, and learnings from others, to shift our thinking on church, and church planting, and the cultures we need to be with in mission. A summary of our changes, how to use the 3Rs of community development---relocation, redistribution, reconciliation--to guide missional activities, and the many ways to become what Michael Durral calls public churches. Not that others have to follow our model, but hoping it will inspire others to take risks to embody faith, because if you don't it is the surest route to stay the course into oblivion and irrelevancy. More on it to come. End. Type your summary here

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Re-Discovering Jesus and Communities of Hope: Plan Now: UU Christian Fellowship Revival/Retreat Dallas Brandon Scott and John Buehrens and More

Don't miss this year's Revival/Retreat, open to all, sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Christian Fellowship, at Horizon UU Church in Carrollton Texas near Dallas, Thursday Oct. 14 to Sunday, Oct. 17. Theme is Re-Discovering Jesus and Communities of Hope. Keynote lectures by parables scholar and author Brandon Scott and former president of the UUA and pastor and author John Buehrens. Multi choir opening worship. Taize worship. Communion and Baptism and Prayer and Healing services. Workshops. Service Project. Small group community relationships.

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