Monday, February 21, 2011

Greetings To Visitors From UU World


Thanks to all who are finding us from this magazine article: http://www.uuworld.org/currentissue.shtml and thanks to the writer, editors, and photographer. This is my chance to give some acknowledgments to others.


Thanks to all who live and serve here with us who are an inspiration to me by their large heart for our neighbors and their passion for finding God and embodying Jesus in ways that others find foolish, un-cool, and dangerous. We know that even though the Empire, and those who choose it, have emptied and abandoned the area (as so many similiar areas in so many cities and even small towns), that it is never truly abandoned as long as love is incarnated through small acts of justice. Thanks to all who have remained here through the years, all who have returned here, all who have relocated here, all who are finding ways to spiritually relocate here. For more on us and current plans and projects and presence and to donate to support us, which is so needed now in our transition, go to www.turleyok.blogspot.com. You can also read more at this site you are on. For more on the missional ways of being church and being progressive go to my www.missionalprogressives.blogspot.com.


Thanks for those who have helped guide us to this still emerging point: especially to those who have shaped the UU Christian Fellowship where I have been privileged to serve as Executive Director nationally while working locally in this ministry. How did you get the idea to do that? I am often asked. It's all about Jesus, I say. What I mean is at www.uuchristian.org. And as I have also said, my following Jesus and learning to apply theology to daily life was and continues to be inspired by my connection to Phillips Theological Seminary, an amazing place, welcoming home now for more than a generation to Unitarian Universalists, as students, staff, and faculty, for preparing for ordination or for theologial studies, and where I am also honored to be serving as adjunct faculty and director of minsterial formation for UUism. Check it out, and the online courses, at www.ptstulsa.edu. I encourage people to support both institutions and consider ways they can walk with you spiritually too.
Thanks to the colleagues here in the Tulsa area: Hope Unitarian and All Souls and First Unitarian OKC have supported us with their outreach funds and in other ways. I will be speaking at All Souls Emerson Hall Forum on Sunday, April 3, at 11:30 am on "Life and Death and Resurrection in the 74126." And thanks to my missional cohort of colleagues here from other denominations as we figure out ways to network and collaborate, and in that vein thanks also to our social justice and educational partners that have taught us too, and let us teach them, especially the faculty and students at the OU Graduate School of Social Work in Tulsa and Norman.
A little background on that cover shot: It was taken in the old parsonage next to the old abandoned church building we purchased and are transforming. It is still like it is in the picture. It is very typical of the many such houses in the neighborhoods surrounding us where 40 percent of all empty homes, and there are vast numbers of them, are no longer trying to be sold or rented. Our other recently purchased property nearby for our emerging GardenKitchenPark had similar houses we had torn down to make room for the gardens to come. This building we hope not to have to tear down, though it is severly damaged and vandalized throughout, but to turn into a garden center, recycle center, tool lending library, and demonstration of how native plants can transform an area with low maintenance. Oh, and the photo was taken on a Sunday after worship had been finished back in our former space we hadn't yet moved from, but after we had come to the new grounds to plant a tree. It has me thinking we need to hold a worship service directly here in this damaged place too.




1 comment:

Rev Magda said...

Wow Ron! What a great article. I'm tempted to post it on the UUCF website. What do you think? Thanks so much for your ministry. Kathleen