Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Come Plant Seeds of Change With Us This Saturday, and Beyond

Ways you can participate with us, come help us. Especially on the next two Saturdays.

News and Updates and More from our A Third Place Community, serving TulsaNorth/Turley area: Please pass on to others on your email lists who might be interested, or who haven't heard about us yet, or social networks, organizational partners, etc.

1. Thank you again for your support of the Miracle Among The Ruins community gardenkitchenpark project of ours. We raised the funds, bought the block on North Johnstown, and the County should begin clearing the property this Fall. Stay tuned for groundbreaking ceremony news when that happens. We will have a yard sale on the site Sat. Oct. 2 selling stuff off of the block plus other items. Abandoned properties were one of the top issues raised by community residents during our first forums three years ago facilitated here in partnership with the OU Graduate social work students, and was a major focus of our first social work intern documenting properties especially in the area outside the city limits where there is no zoning enforcement, and we are thrilled to see not only this property but perhaps up to 30 that will be removed by the county with owner permission in this new project thanks to federal stimulus funds.

2. Chance To Help: This Saturday Sept. 18 from 8 am to noon, please come for as long as you can, bring families, church groups, youth groups, friends, to Horace Greeley Elementary School, at 63rd and N. Cincinnati, as we begin the beautification of the entry, bringing a focus point, creating outdoor classroom opportunities, uplifting the spirits of children as they come in the morning. Last September we had our big event at Cherokee School on North Peoria and it has had a major beautification transformation; this September let's do it for Greeley School. No experience necessary. Free lunch for helpers noon at A Third Place Center, 6514 N. Peoria. Bad weather will move it to the next Saturday. Let's show the children of Greeley and the residents of surrounding subdivisions (Greeley is my own closest school) that we believe their area is worthy of attention and value.

3. Saturday Sept. 25, come from 9 to 11 am for community center project reports from OU graduate social work students, volunteer trash off day, 11 am to noon, Turley Area History Project, tell stories, help us map the past to plan for the future; noon to 1 pm Heritage Lunch and live music, freewill donation, afternoon beautification projects and guerrilla gardening events around our two mile service area as part of our Four Directions Initiative of community renewal. We will have a reporter for a national religious magazine with us this weekend doing a story on us and our area, so please plan to come by and participate for as long as you can in one of the many hands on projects, or just the lunch, that day.
3. This Sunday, 10 am at church at the Center, focus in relation to Yom Kippur, will be showing the acclaimed documentary "The Power of Forgiveness" directed by Martin Doblemeier who did the biopic on theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer. This one highlights the aftermath of the Amish school shooting, 9/11, Irish violence, holocaust, and insights from Vietnamese Buddhist monk Tich Nhat Hanh. Sunday, Sept. 25, will be sharing biblical passages and stories that most move us and have changed us and that we use as guides. Sunday, Oct. 3 we will celebrate World Communion Day. And book Sunday Oct. 10 as we take church on the road and go on a retreat to the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve and Pawhuska. From Oct. 14-17, or the weekend mini-conference, come to Revival/Retreat with us in the Dallas area. See more at www.uuchristian.org/revival.

4. In other news, we received a grant from the Zarrow Foundation to help with, and we have a signed contract to purchase, the old church building near 59th and N. Peoria, and are hoping to get a bank loan for it, to expand and move to the next plateau in fulfilling our mission of "Renewing Community, Empowering Residents, Growing Healthy Lives and Neighborhoods." A center for our community and library and computer center and art, for our health clinic and new lay health advocates network, for a full food justice center, beautification and gardening center, service learning for students and urban missional monastery, with a chapel, for those who wish to come stay and serve with us. We will let you know if it all comes together soon.

5. We are working with Cherokee School and community activists and governmental planning officials on major federal grants to transform the streets in front of the school, and up to the old train tracks bike and walking trail where the historic Turley downtown used to be that is virtually all gone now. The area, which includes a state highway, is a dangerous one for students and for residents who walk to school and the stores and have to use the street itself. We will be meeting at the school Friday Sept. 24 at 1 pm for more planning, but if you or others you know have skills or interest in recreating a walkable, bikeable beautiful ecological community with sidewalks, lights, trees, for safer students, better business, here in this much needed area, let me know.

For more events (like the monthly diversity movie night showing and conversations, the monthly second Saturday community reconciliation lunches, the weekly gatherings, and with our partners and for background on our grassroots all volunteer neighborhood renewal movement, go to www.turleyok.blogspot.com.

blessings, Ron

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