Friday, February 18, 2011

Building The Future: Latest News and More

Hi all. Please share this with others in your institutions and personal social networks who might find common cause with us.

Quite a few weeks we have had: After the blizzard and then the great freeze, then my father's heart attack and hospitalization (he is out and well and beginning his recovery) and meetings with my mother's hospice team, the move into our new The Welcome Table Community Center is picking up again. We got everything out of the former rented space just as the blizzard hit; now we are beginning to unpack and already are having some community oriented meetings as we start to embody this new space, reclaiming an abandoned building and its grounds just as we have started on The Welcome Table Community Garden Kitchen Park nearby too. A lot of Miracles Among The Ruins continuing. Hope you can support us with your presence, volunteer help, or donations at

This Sunday Feb. 20 we at A Third Place Community Foundation will host a Vision Retreat for the New Building. Even as we are temporarily getting the old sanctuary space set up and are now using it, and the food pantry room, and even as the vandalism still needs to be fixed and painted over, and the plumbing isn't working, we want to keep our eyes on the horizon and be focused on why we are going to be using it in the first place, and how to best serve all our community for which we exist. We will meet at the Turley United Methodist Church, 6050 N. Johnstown, at noon for a meal and introduction and background from me, then we will go tour the new building and grounds at 5920 N. Owasso, then we will return to the Methodist church where Adriane Jaynes will lead our vision retreat. Come for as much of it as you can come. We should be finished by 4 pm. RSVP if you can make it.

Building the Future:
Visioning Session For New Building Use
Sunday, February 20, 2011
1. Lunch
a. Introduction/Overview – Ron
2. Tour of New Building
3. How can this space serve the community?
a. What does the community need that could be provided here?
b. What partners could we bring along to help?
c. What values do we want the building and the grounds to represent?
4. What have we done that we want to keep?
a. Programs?
b. Activities?
c. Building usage?
5. What have we not done, that we would like to be doing?
6. Sharing our big dreams

We have many project going on now: work on grants and work days for the Garden Park and for Cherokee Elementary School, and for the Safe Routes Sidewalk Project, and for the McLain High School Initiative, and for the community forums for the OU Specialty Health Clinic, and for our leading role in the developing Community Health Workers Project, in addition to the building and Center work. Already we will soon have the food pantry up and running and a little library and a computer center and coffee and chat and game space and our chapel space, and hope to get the recovery group meeting again with us soon, most of which is all in the original sanctuary part of the building. It is a small version of what will come, and we still have the walls with graffiti and broken windows and busted doors and no plumbing and are a little more than broke at the end of each month. But like the seeds under the several feet of snow this past week, things are germinating under the surface. See how far we have come by visiting

And the gatherings for The Welcome Table Church continue too; we are looking forward to hosting a Lenten and Easter DVD series on the Economy of Love from Shane Claiborne about the need and ways of supporting one another and building an economy that benefits the least and supports community instead of breaking it apart. We will be scheduling our Movie of the Month for Black History Month. We hold our weekly communion worship and common meal. Read more about the spiritual side of what we do and why at

Plus check out the ministry I am privileged to be serving as Executive Director at; our plans for General Assembly and the Revival in Washington, D.C. are underway and we have weekly bible reflection on our Virtual Monastery site and work with small groups around the world. And this semester I am teaching and online Supervised Ministry course and also a UU Practical Theology independent study and am director of ministerial formation for unitarian universalism at Phillips Theological Seminary, I hope you will find ways to support both the UU Christian Fellowship and PTS for the great work they are doing; none of what we are involved in here now would be possible without the learnings I have had through both of these institutions.

Come be with us during the week and look for ways to partner with us. We can always schedule volunteer work days with groups to meet your schedule. Worship is held most times for the time being on Sundays at 11 am at 5920 N. Owasso Ave. Visit our websites for updates or call 691-3223.
Thanks and blessings,

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