Saturday, February 23, 2013
Small Acts of Justice Done With Great Love: our latest report
Hi all. Feel free to share with others...
From our beginning, one of our taglines that guide us has been borrowed from Mother Teresa, the call to do "small acts of justice with great love". By small acts we mean we are as devoted to the one on one encounters, to the meetings where two show up instead of twenty, even to the solitary act of one person going out of their way to help when no one ever knows what they did. By justice we mean the desire to "make right" or "to bring into alignment" (as in how a row of type is justified) what has been broken or put askew either by life itself, by powers of oppression and especially the powers of abandonment and neglect and isolation; it is more about the process we commit to daily than an outcome always over the horizon. By "great love" we mean with humility, with vulnerability for our shared humanness, and always with copious amounts of forgiveness and grace. In this way, we have been very busy of late, too busy to stop, sadly, and report, and we have many opportunities coming up for more small acts of justice done with great love. You are invited to participate, to support.
1. See the latest reflection on an inspiring presentation I attended at OU Tulsa, and my response to it, on health care and poverty and innovations that could disrupt the status quo, and why the status quo is killing us, literally, from our area perspective in the 74126, at http://www.turleyok.blogspot.com/2013/02/a-view-from-74126-on-health-care-after.html
2. Also, from my perspective as a community resident in the McLain school feeder area, as an alum of McLain, and as a board member on the McLain Foundation, I was promoting the recent public survey about ideas for how to grow learning and justice at our area high school currently being studied from many outsiders (which has both good and bad tendencies), and so here is my response from my own heart and observations: http://www.turleyok.blogspot.com/2013/01/mclain-high-school-take-survey-get.html. More will be coming up soon about the McLain Foundation and our need for more to get involved, both with current projects like sending aviation students on their first flight and to a field trip, but also to long term systemic growth for the Foundation and its mission of helping the community and the school. See below for the coming week's projects here with McLain students and OU students.
3. We have been busy transforming one half of one of our building wings into an expanded "cornerstore food pantry" which is also opening up a new room for more meeting space, and we have expanded our Clothing Room into renovated space in our large Community Room which we have only been able to use for storage up to now. We had a wonderful visit again by the Food Bank mobile food van, and we were able to reach out to new folks in our area who were not yet a part of our food program. Thanks to both The Lighthouse Academy Charter School in our 74126 service area, and to Sperry Elementary School in our 74073 pantry service area for help in connecting us with families. We also gave out food from that visit, some four tons in total, to many other people in our area during our new First Saturday Pantry day.
4. There is still much to be done in the coming months on these projects at our The Welcome Table Community Center, and we are getting help this week on them and other projects from special events with OU Tulsa graduate students and with Tulsa McLain students as part of service learning and the Smart Choices=Healthy Living grant. Monday, Feb. 25, come from 5:30 to 8 pm, dinner included, as we work with the students as they get hands-on experiences in community renewal...Earlier that day, at 2 pm we will hold a planning meeting toward starting a community fair for seniors, age 60 and above, and for a senior citizens center in our area north of 46th St., and a survey of area seniors to help guide us. All interested welcome. And congratulations to our neighbors and partners, Sarah's Residential Living Center, north of McLain, on their 10th anniversary. What a good model of care and love they embody.
5. Or come and spread the news about Wednesday, from 10 am to 4 pm as we host the Tulsa Health Dept.'s important free screening clinic where people will not only get results of blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, and body indexes, but also get the chance to visit with medical mentors and referrals as needed. That will be between 10 am and 2 pm. And our weekly food pantry will be going on as well from Noon to 4 pm. Share info on both of these events. And the OU and McLain students will be working with us on this day, too, from 1:30 to 4 pm....At the very start of the day Wednesday, 7:30 am breakfast at the Regional Food Bank, Deb Carroll and I will be talking with a group from the Tulsa Metropolitan Ministries about our food justice and faith commitments.
6. Before that, Don't forget Tuesday Feb. 26 our weekly preparation volunteering at 10 am, all welcome to come and help us get ready for the week, or that evening's two meetings at O'Brien Park Center with the Turley Community Association, 6 pm planning meeting to get updates and work on the Fire Dept.'s important and much needed Fire District campaign; see the attached flier, and reports on other matters in the community, and then at 7 pm for the Town Hall public forum.
7. Other opportunities to grow as a person and help our community grow, to serve and connect with other people: Turley Area Alliance Against Crime, neighborhood watch, Thur. Feb. 28, 6:30 pm at the Community Center, every last Thursday.....Our Art Studio Free For All Ages, lunch included, Community Art Days at the Center, Fri.-Sat. Mar. 8-9, Fri.-Sat. April 5-6, and Sat. Apr. 20, 10 am to 4 pm each day...Turley and Far North Legal Aid. Call Sara Cherry 918-295-9461 for appointments...
Community Pancake Breakfast, Sat. Mar. 9, 8 to 10 am, Odd Fellows, 6227 N. Quincy Ave. $5 for all you care to eat; kids under 10 eat free....
Every Saturday, 9 am. Get Your Own Garden Bed, Seeds, or Help Grow for the Pantry, at our Community GardenPark and Orchard, 6005 N. Johnstown Ave. call 9183463475.
On Sat. Mar. 16, we will host a gathering at the park of the Tulsa Community Gardening Association....
Recovery 12 step groups. Saturdays, 6 pm and 7:30 pm, at the community center....Turley Water Board Public Meeting, Last Working Day of Month, 8:30 am, 6108 N. Peoria Ave. Turley Fire Dept. Meetings Thursdays, 7 PM, Fire Station, 6408 N. Peoria.
8. The Welcome Table missional community is holding a series of weekly Sunday 11 am movies and prayers and meals for all welcome during Lent and Easter, focusing on reconciliation, redistribution, relocation, the 3Rs of community renewal. Feb. 24, Chocolat; Mar. 3, Jesus of Montreal, Mar. 10 Spitfire Grill, Mar. 17, Pay It Forward, Mar. 24, The Mission, Maundy Thursday, Mar. 28, Babette's Feast, and Easter Sunday, Mar. 31, Places in the Heart....Those 3Rs are inspired by the work of the African-American civil rights leader and community renewal guru at the Christian Community Development Association, John Perkins. Here is a great article about him in the Jackson, MS paper: http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/news/2008/dec/17/radical-faith-the-revolution-of-john-perkins/. And speaking of Lent, it was a great honor to be a part of this year's Ash Wednesday Ashes to Go ministry on the streets of Tulsa. I worked with a colleague saying prayers and giving the imposition of ashes with people outside the downtown bus station on a cold Ash Wednesday day made warmer by the hospitality and sharing of those who came by and received ashes and gave of themselves and the hopes and struggles of their day. more at www.ashestogo.org. Did the same to some who requested it at our food pantry time that day. We had our Ash Wednesday service that evening before a leadership informal circle of sharing and planning and coordinating and meal.
9. Much more is happening on big issues, on small little projects, on outreach to others, on inreach to grow leaders, on building our own capacity to respond quickly to opportunities that are congruent with our mission. Chances are if you have a passion, a project, a partnership, we will have a way to connect with it.
10. I have been invited to preach in April at the annual convention of the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Philippines in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental province, and am trying to raise funds to get there since they are among the poorest of the islands and can't afford the airfare, but will provide hospitality once there. I figure if we all kick in a little we can help make it happen so I have a site for donations and more information, particularly about their fascinating history, at http://www.gofundme.com/22w3r4. I hope you can contribute and spread the giving opportunity. I look forward to bringing their good news back to you all.
11. I am tremendously enjoying teaching this semester a supervised ministry course at www.ptstulsa.edu, especially concerned with ministry in and with and to the wider community. Here is a recent blogpost about The Power of Relocation, and its many varieties but centrality for mission. http://progressivechurchplanting.blogspot.com/2013/02/the-power-of-relocation-part-one.html Check back often for updates and other lecture notes and comments that give background to why we do what we do where we do it with whom we do it.
12. On March 7 we will be getting training in order to better educate area residents about the ins and outs and benefits of the SNAP program of food assistance (old food stamps program), and also that Thursday at 3:30 pm we will have our important monthly planning and work sessions for partners to connect with our needs in the area.
Hope to see you soon, or visit with you online, and thanks for your support as we seek to "do small acts of justice with great love."
blessings, and more soon, Ron
ps I had a refreshing time late last month meeting new friends and partnerships at the recent gathering of the www.christianuniversalists.org and look forward to more connections.
Other websites that influence our ministry here:
Posted by Ron at 11:18 PM