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In the midst of scarcity and struggle here, the blessings emerge; Thanksgiving News and More in Turley and Far Northside

This weekend begins the time of year when we get to lift up to the world around us that God's Dream to which we commit to and work toward bringing out in and through beloved community that exists for others, even in our community of struggle. This dream or worldview is different and more meaningful and life-giving than the American Dream that these days, in difference to how it was originally and has been in times of crisis, seeks to define us as out for ourselves over and against each other. Thanksgiving's time of serving others, Advent's season of waiting, pondering, going deeper into the darkness, trusting in peace, joy, love, and hope against the commercial world's values of getting and keeping. And Christmas time of the ordinary becoming incredibly extraordinary, when the giftedness of all of Creation comes about in someone very vulnerable, very fragile, very marginal.

Today we seek to grow and serve at O'Brien Park, our partners, during the Fall Festival from 2 to 5 pm. Come be with us and meet others and have a fun for all ages time, 6147 N. Birmingham.

 Our recovery groups meet at 5:30 and 7:30 pm tonight.

 Tomorrow we have our special annual Thanksgiving Worship Meal and Reverse Offering. This year from 9:30 am to 1 pm we will have four movements of worship and meal and communion. See the full menu liturgy and explanations at Come and bring friends and experience God in sacred meal and food justice. Come and bring something to add to the salad or soup or potluck.

Tomorrow at 1 pm come or stay for our missional progressives movie and discussion "Of Gods and Men" about a monastic missional community that had a crises of faith and yet continued to serve their Muslim neighbors through dangerous time.

This Thursday at noon for any who need community we will have a "super potluck" for all.

Next Sunday begins the Advent season. We will have special classes watching the Sojourners video series Justice For the Poor each Sunday at 9:30 am followed by our special Advent worship communion service. Then beginning Thursday Dec. 1 we will have a brief weekly Advent Vespers service at 6:30 pm. This follows our usual Tuesday and Thursday Food Pantry service days from 3 to 6 pm.
On Tuesday, Nov. 29 at 7 pm at O'Brien Recreation Center we will be part of a special community association meeting for our area focusing again on our project with OU Design Studio on repurposing the Cherokee building into community use; there will also be a presentation on the renewed Vann Green Park Industrial area in our neighborhood; and many other updates and chances to connect with neighbors.
We have had full Food Pantry days, teaching about healthy foods and giving out recipes as well as food; we have had a great fall harvest at our new kitchengardenpark and orchard, with much of its yield going to the food pantry already.

 We have been supporting McLain High School Parent GearUp program and Greeley Elementary School student of the month luncheons and a special Christmas toy giveaway. You can help us donate to both through safe online giving at where you will also read more about our presence and our neighborhoods and vision. We are also working on the ongoing work of community renewal through the McLain foundation, through our disaster response network creation, and through other community partners and connections.

 We also have to bite the utility bullet and get our $1000 deposit paid for gas heating for the winter, and work on preparing our newly opened north wing where the food pantry and classrooms and clothing and lending rooms and restrooms are. So any funds at this special time when we are giving so much to an increasing number of neighbors is deeply appreciated by all.
We had a wonderful return visit and inspirational talk and dinner with Sherry Clark of Families And Communities Empowered For Safety. She left us with good ideas and practical advice on how to make our lives and communities safer, and through the Turley Area Alliance Against Crime neighborhood watch meetings we are going to move on to a focus on juvenile justice soon.
On behalf of our community group, A Third Place Foundation, I was surprised and pleased to receive special recognition from the statewide Recreation and Parks Society for our contribution to the movement through our partnership with O'Brien and through our beginning of the Miracle among the Ruins Welcome Table Kitchen Garden Park and Orchard in our healthy food desert, a place not only where food is grown but relationships and renewal is as well. And posthumously our Board member and long time sustainable activist Linda Taylor received the Distinguished Service Award from the state organization.

 Stay tuned for our Advent and Christmas month news and reports, as our monthly focus will be on lifting up the lives of children and youth in our area and in the world, and more epistles from the adventurous life here in the 74126 and 74130 and adjoining zips where the life expectancy might be much lower but the blessings are never higher and deeper.

blessings, and see you soon, Ron

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