Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Tulsa World article about Miracle Among The Ruins, and more

Here is the link to the story about our community and our Miracle Among The Ruins project for Tulsa North and Turley area that ran in the Tulsa World yesterday.

Feel free to share it these last few days of the drive with others; even though donations that come in may not post to our banking account until after the closing date on Tuesday they will still be much appreciated and even moreso greatly needed as grants haven't come in yet and so we will have had to empty all our account and count on some more to come in between now and then to be able to reach the goal, then play dodge the landlord, just like our neighbors often do :), but we will do it. It is a position we are comfortable with; we have a motto that all goes into mission and we like to end each month broke putting it all out into the community, and trusting, as it has happened the past three years, that more will come. Sound theology that. More will come. It is one of the seeds we try to sow in the spirit of this place and in the lives of one another.

Today we are touring our community and discussing our Four Directions Initiative, leaving the center at 9 am, with stops at Cherokee School not only to see our group sponsoring an Art in the Garden Workshop, but also to talk about another exciting transformative project that just came up out of a meeting we were in today, one that we think the OU grad student partners and others will be able to help us with grant writing. We have a plan created with community and school leaders and government officials today to tackle the school children safety issue here where there are no sidewalks and children have to walk in dangerous streets--our school is located on a state highway and people have been hit crossing--and there is bad signage and too high a speed limit.

By expanding our vision to include several blocks spinning out from the school we are going to take care not only to make it safer to get to and from the school, but we will be helping to recreate a sense of a place where our downtown used to be, and might come back with such change as this. We will be helping to create a micro community with safe walkable bikeable paths tree lined and with beautification that will slow down the traffic, which will itself aid the few existing businesses, and will connect the school and businesses and highway with the adjacent bike and pedestrian trail that people don't often depart from as they go through our area because it is not safe to do so. Unlike the other communities along the trail that goes from downtown Tulsa clear out north of Skiatook, we have no accessible places for riders to pause as they ride past us, another way we are cut off from others. We will do this by taking an area around the school and cutting the highway down to two lanes, adding in sidewalks and trees and parallel parking, and running this project also west of the school up the road toward our Miracle Among The Ruins project past which the children and others walk now in dangerous ways and why the park there is a safety measure too.

Among the tour stops this morning will also be the old Methodist church building we are hoping to buy as soon as we can finish buying the Miracle Among The Ruins project. This has always been our big project and dream for a center like we have now expanded, health clinic expanded, and worship space chapel for frequent daily office prayer and individual meditation and more, and it is now looking more doable; if we can buy the gardenkitchenpark property we can use it as collateral for some of the down required on this project.

In fact, this Sunday morning we will be touring and talking about the building at 8:30 am then we will hold a "guerilla underground communion service" in the building at 9 am in the chapel sanctuary space in front of the original 90 year old stained glass window of Jesus as the Good Shepherd, where Jesus is carrying back the one lost sheep, emblematic of how all are saved, how the church exists for others, how all are called home. This is the window that I used to walk past and look up to as a child until I was ten, and so did my father as a child. It is the sanctuary space where my grandfather's funeral was held when I was eight years old. It will be a homecoming communion service and even should we not manage to purchase the building we will have this one Sunday. And as we hold our brief service I will be thinking of all we are engaged in now in the community and remembering in doing so those pioneers one hundred years ago that worked to make this building the first church in the community, called a community church, to serve the whole community.

Then Sunday we will travel out to Hope Church in Tulsa where at 10 am I will give a presentation on our Miracle Among The Ruins project and how it fits into our renewal vision, how it falls under our guiding principles of relocation, redistribution, and reconciliation. Then we will meet at El Rio Verde for lunch together.

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