First, it is with heavy hearts that we pass on the news of the sudden illness and pending removal of life support from our friend, board member, and co-conspirator for love and justice Gwen Goff. Prayers for her, her family, all of her community connections; her spirit still guides us and will be present in all of these gatherings mentioned below.
Coming so soon after the death of our other partner Steve Eberle, and this past Spring of Michael Niles, one of our partners and husband of our president, and then more recently the fires, the break-in, the breakdown of AC and plumbing which closed us for a while (which is now fixed), the closing of the post office pending in a few days, and the start of this school year without students at Cherokee/Turley for the first time in a hundred years, and the continuing heat wave, and it has been a rough summer of grief and stress. We are looking toward September. It is time to celebrate, to be with one another, to commit and to connect.
And so we continue to be a presence for justice, for community renewal, for growing healthy lives and neighborhoods. Please come to these following events and pass on the news to others, and look for ways you can partner with us in these and so much more. After the events, be inspired by a quote from someone who captures well what we do here...
TURLEY AREA COMING EVENTS For All
@ Welcome Table Community Center, 5920 N. Owasso Ave. www.turleyok.blogspot.com
1. Don't Miss this opportunity...We are partners helping to coordinate The University of Oklahoma Turley/NorthTulsa area Community Health Summer 2011 Project: Take a health attitudes survey and get a free Visa gift card to use at local northside stores. Throughout this month, our community health focus month, we have been conducting surveys and handing out gift cards at various events. We are about to finish the project which we have been able to extend. So....Come to the Turley Area COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION Public Meeting, Tuesday Aug. 30 at 7 pm to be held this month here at The Community Center to participate. Must be 18 or over and not taken the survey before, and live in the 74126 or 74130 zipcodes or nearby to them. Meet local officials, join in neighborhood planning groups, find out what's going on.
2. Turley Area Disaster Response Planning, and Community Leadership Coordination, Thurs., Sept. 1, 2 pm, and first Thursdays of the month at the Community Center, 5920 N. Owasso. Followup to the fires, continuing to pursue small area planning to help us get sidewalks, lights, incorporation, and followups to school closings and changes.
3. Benefit Bean Dinner for Turley Fire Department, in response to the recent fires, Sat. Sept. 3, Noon to 5 pm, Fire Station, 6408 N. Peoria. Help support those who support and save and protect us.
4. Free Back to School Workshops and Conference For All Families in elementary, junior, and senior high, Sat. Sept. 10, 8:30 am to 1 pm, McLain School, 4949 N. Peoria, for more info call Andrea Walker 918-830-7016, email@example.com. Thank you to Metropolitan Baptist Church for sponsoring this event. Also our McLain Foundation will begin meeting again this week on Tuesday at 4:15 pm. And Plan now to help us help others at the Back to School Night, Horace Greeley School, Tuesday, Sept. 13. We were blessed to have the opportunity to feed all the staff and teachers before school started, which was so vital as the school is merging staff as well as students this year, and eating together is a way to build relationships and morale among staff that will benefit our children. We hope to do more of this with them during the year, and with other schools in our area. September will be Education Focus Month here at the Center.
5. Turley Area Litter Clean-Up Day and Heritage Lunch, bring stories and photos and honor our elders and learn the history of our area, and Planning Groups and more, 8 am to 2 pm, community center, 5920 N. Owasso; free trash bags, bottled water, free lunch for volunteers, workshops, community information.
6. Benefit Spaghetti Dinner for Fire Victims, Turley Odd Fellows Lodge, 6227 N. Quincy Ave., All Welcome, Monday, Sept. 26, 5 pm, $5 meal.
7. Movie Club, Education Focus Month, “October Sky” Wed. Sept. 28, 6:30 pm, community center, free pizza popcorn. Come be inspired. Come discuss how we can help children who no one else believes in.
8. "Taste and Teach" events at our Welcome Table KitchenGardenPark where the new orchard is, 6005 N. Johnstown Ave., come every Wednesday from 6 pm to ?, or on Saturdays from 8 am to 10 am, meet others who wish to learn, to grow, to serve, to celebrate, to connect. This is why the park is being developed, so share with others and see how the miracle among the ruins is continuing.
9. Recovery Groups, Saturdays, 5 pm Jerks Anonymous and 7:30 pm Alcoholics Anonymous, at the Center.
10. Other public meetings. TURLEY WATER BOARD PUBLIC MEETING LAST WORKING DAY OF MONTH 8:30 AM AT THE WATER DEPT…. and TURLEY FIRE AND RESCUE MEETINGS THURSDAYS 7 PM, Fire Station.
11. Worship Circle, Welcome Table Church, a free universalist christian missional community, write to firstname.lastname@example.org for times of gatherings at the center or gardens or other places, or follow on facebook at www.facebook.com/revronrobinson, or at www.progressivechurchplanting.blogspot.com or www.missionalprogressives.blogspot.com. We have been worshipping with others lately, but we will be back at the center beginning Sept. 11 for special worship; contact me 918-691-3223 or by email to find out more about where and how we will gather. See recent sermons at the sites above.
Commentary: Here is one of the best depictions of what we are up to, and why, and what our vision is. It comes from Mary Lou Kownacki and "A Monk in the lnner City":
"What do I do here? I listen. I get to know my neighbors, really know them. I listen to their hopes and dreams for decent jobs, decent homes, a safe place to raise their children. They are worried about their children, especially their teenagers, who can see no future except minimum-paying jobs, lockup, or dropping out on the streets...What do I do here? I plead a case for presence, beauty, community, and a call to follow God into the wilderness.
"Once upon a time men and women who wanted to seek God relocated themselves in abandoned places. These "wilderness places" often associated with the desert [like our healthy food desert], gave the seekers a unique perspective and freedom. Living on the margins of society, stripped of the trappings of social expectation and pressure, they began to see differently. Immersed in the word of God, they began to listen differently. They put on the broken heart of God and spoke the truth on God's behalf for the poor, the victims of injustice, the suffering.
"Their location in the wilderness gave them great freedom. Why? Because no one paid attention to them. Because they were not the movers and shakers of the city. Because they had no political influence, no one cared what they did. No one even noticed their quiet works of transformation among the poor until suddenly "the desert and parched land bloomed with abundant flowers."
More to come, blessings, thanks, Ron
Coming Events in Turley Area: Health Survey Gift Cards, Public Meeting, Heritage Lunch, CleanUp Day, Movie, Gardens, Schools, Benefit Dinners, More
TURLEY AREA COMING EVENTS For All
@ The Welcome Table Community Center, 5920 N. Owasso Ave. and elsewhere in the area, 918-794-4637
The University of Oklahoma Turley/NorthTulsa area Community Health Summer 2011 Project: Take a health attitudes survey and get a free Visa gift card to use at local northside stores. Come to the COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION Public Meeting, Tuesday Aug. 30 at 7 pm at The Community Center to participate. Must be 18 or over and not taken the survey before, and live in the 74126 or 74130 zipcodes or nearby to them. Meet local officials. A community health month project of Turley's local nonprofit A Third Place Community Foundation.
Turley Area Disaster Response Planning, and Community Leadership Coordination, Thurs., Sept. 1, 2 pm, and first Thursdays of the month at the Community Center, 5920 N. Owasso. We will be joined by leaders of Tulsa Partners to discuss development of a local disaster response plan, and continuing issues of incorporation, area planning, and response to the recent fires, needs for sidewalks, lights, and more.
Benefit Bean Dinner for Turley Fire Department, in response to the recent fires, Sat. Sept. 3, Noon to 5 pm, Fire Station, 6408 N. Peoria.
Free Back to School Workshops and Conference For All Families in elementary, junior, and senior high, Sat. Sept. 10, 8:30 am to 1 pm, McLain School, 4949 N. Peoria, for more info call Andrea Walker 918-830-7016, email@example.com. Sponsored by Metropolitan Baptist Church.
Back to School Night, Greeley School, Tuesday, Sept. 13. Help us help the students, teachers, families, 63rd and N. Cincinnati (Martin Luther King Blvd) Ave.
Turley Area Litter Clean-Up Day and Heritage Lunch and Planning Groups and more, 8 am to 2 pm, community center, 5920 N. Owasso; free trash bags, bottled water, free lunch for volunteers, workshops, information. Come pick up the trash off our streets, have fun, free lunch, do planning of future events, share stories of Turley area past.
Benefit Spaghetti Dinner for Fire Victims, Turley Odd Fellows Lodge, 6227 N. Quincy Ave., All Welcome, Monday, Sept. 26, 5 pm, $5 meal.
Movie Club, Education Focus Month, “October Sky” Wed. Sept. 28, 6:30 pm, community center, free pizza popcorn. A movie about the real story of the 1960s Rocket Boys of West Virginia who proved their world wrong about what they were supposed to do with their life, thanks to a supportive teacher who believed in them.
Community Garden Gatherings Every Saturday 8 to 10 am, Park, 6005 N. Johnstown Ave. …Saturdays, 5 pm Jerks Anonymous, 7:30 pm, Alcoholics Anonymous, community center…TURLEY WATER BOARD PUBLIC MEETING LAST WORKING DAY OF MONTH 8:30 AM AT THE WATER DEPT…. TURLEY FIRE AND RESCUE MEETINGS THURSDAYS 7 PM, Fire Station.
CBS Radio just interviewed us about Turley about a story on Oklahoma heat wave (http://www.cbsnews.com/2718-100_162-296.html?tag=hdr;wnav), after AP did yesterday (see http://hosted2.ap.org/MAQUI/ENTAPNEWSTICKER/Article_2011-08-20/id-41612cd9dcf346e2b31bef2110d79629), about our community center response during the heat wave, fires, and all here in our community lately; no news story is able to capture all that needs to be said and just one little sentence or two barely scratches the surface...
about life in poverty areas especially when heat wave makes it even tougher on folks without ac, without cars, without access to malls, who walk without sidewalks to grocery stores and schools, and then the shutting down of post office coming after shutting the school, and the fires and home losses and depletion of resources for the fire department and the community center....and those with AC, like our situation, are having theirs breaking down and not able to replace; fortunately schools going back here this week so kids will have a cool place, though for many walking back in the heat is tough.
and then our center which acts as cooling station in afternoons and provides water, food, TV computers, games, etc. has its own AC wear down from so much use and eventually this past week wear out, plumbing breaks, and the breakin after the fires takes computers, phones..
....so with all that hard to contain to a cute blurb and hard to shut me up, but I do appreciate very much of the national news and attention, helping people perhaps to see what they don't in normal run of their day see or experience; like how hard it is for people in the heat wave who work day labor outdoors and rely on mowing lawns and small day jobs, working in heat or not being able to find work like they used to; worrying about paying electric and water bills so not eating but very little to save up for the bills to come....
but like we said at worship in the park this morning, being here is what counts, and doing things poorly but doing them is what counts and what lasts; so tomorrow we will be taking again the ice chests of bottled water out to the streets, and hope to get AC replaced asap and then find ways to pay for it later....and to learn from this summer and disasters how to be present even more and better; we will be meeting at the center thursday sept 1 at 2 pm, if AC gets replaced, with area leaders and those from Tulsa Partners about the disaster response plan ideas and process for next time we have mass evacuations from fires or possible floods tornadoes etc. And we are still out promoting all community events like the fund raiser for the Turley Fire Dept. Sat. Sept. 3 noon to 5 pm $5 per person bean dinner at the fire station 6408 N. Peoria; don't want to miss that chance to help and get some good food....And we will keep hosting community celebrations to remind us of the abundance of life together even in the midst of the things that try to drive us to thinking only about ourselves; and we have a community history and heritage lunch planned at the center for noon on Sat. Sept. 17 after a morning of service cleaning up our community. and our Sept. focus will be on educational justice, and our movie will be "October Sky" Wed. Sept. 28 6:30 pm.
...we will continue to look at the deeper systemic issues of justice at the same time we do the daily response of one to one needs that comes up; we will be talking Tuesday Aug. 23 at 1:30 pm with politicians about trying to get the post office to work with us to staff our own postal center with their help here in the center or with a local business interested in it ...On Wednesday Aug. 24 we keep our focus on Community health month here with the movie "Sicko" and discussion and free food at 6:30 pm and hope we can do it in the center but if AC not replaced by then will find another place for it...Then thursday evening Aug. 25 we host the local neighborhood leaders safety and watch meetings of the turley area alliance against crime...
....and speaking of community health month, we found out we can extend for a few more weeks our summer health survey program with OU where we give out to local residents gift cards to use for their time taking the surveys with us; so we get more data, can reach more areas of the community, and pump more money directly back to the people here in our neighborhoods, and build connections to our projects and one another at the same time; we hope to have more health events at school, community meeting, and again at the north tulsa farmers market to reach people living here on the northside....another reason to get our AC replaced in time for our the community meeting next week and the community leadership meeting....
...Even when the Center is shut down because of the AC out we take the Center to the Community as we did this past Wednesday providing a pizza and salad lunch for all the teachers at the Horace Greeley Elementary School, now our closest school; it was a time to promote reconciliation of teachers from two schools that had merged due to the closing of Cherokee school; allowing teachers time and place to eat together and visit all together is a rare thing for a school where schedules and more keep all so busy and apart, but we want to do more of this and find ways to promote teachers building relationships with one another in order to help foster that among the students who are going through all the changes of closed schools and new schools too.
....finally while all of this is the arms and legs hands and feet and body of the church being the church int he community for the community and with people of varying faiths and no faith communities, our worship circles, like this morning at the park in the relative cool of the early morn, are the heart, and we have real, relaxed, and relational times, sharing life, getting in touch with all that sustains us, so that we can share and be the church in many ways while we are out in the world....So this Thursday we will be sharing worship with Phillips theological Semianry, 905 N. Mingo, at 11:30 am followed by lunch as some of us in the Unitarian Universalist sphere provide the chapel liturgy for communion. You also get a good homily from PTS President Gary Peluso-Verdend....Then next Sunday The Welcome Table Universalist Church will go on the road to Stillwater as I will be preaching at the UU Church there; we will carpool and caravan and then have some fun in Stillwater after the fun of worship of course.
will try to post more links and updates at www.turleyok.blogspot.com and www.progressivechurchplanting.blogspot.com
We will have live music at 11 am by Johnny Cervantes and The Oklahomans; we will have free community resources and information tables to help your families with many issues; we will have classes and conversation on getting better health care led by a Medical Doctor; we will have clothing and more giveaway, book sale, and OU Community Health and Social Work partners will be here giving health care attitude surveys for us and we will be giving out $10 gift cards to Quick Trip for those who take the surveys, while they last. And we will have free pizza at noon. And children's activities.
Plus come hear about our Community Orchard and Gardens to grow healthy food for our area which has the lowest life expectancy in the Tulsa area, and most poverty; plus come hear and see the vision of what the community center can be and become. Bring Food for our Food Drive. See the Muhammad Ali Peace Garden. And more...All are welcome. Spread the news.
We have already begun making big transformations clearing out the old trash and debris to make room for the orchard and the garden beds, but with this grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank, with the help of Turley's Freedom Bank, and the Tallgrass Resource and Conservation District, you will really be able to see a transformation and creation of a new place to grow healthy food together, to meet and greet neighbors, and make connections to change our community for the better. Information is available at the site at 6005 N. Johnstown Ave. on how to be a part of the Garden. Or call 918-430-1150, 918-794-4637, or 918-691-3223. Thanks for all the helpers already.