Hi all. Since our last email....lots of small acts of justice done with great love, as we carry out our mission of growing healthy lives and neighborhoods in the 74126 and 74130....Go to www.facebook.com/revronrobinson to follow us day by day.
...We conducted our first mobile food van visit, using the Cherokee School grounds, and fed more than 150 families with about 60 pounds of food each. We hope to arrange more of those soon.
...We started a community wide Recycle opportunity with a new bin located at the community center.
...We took a trip to Austin, Texas to work with a church there to promote community gardening and missional church work; they will be coming back to work with us in our next Week of Service here, March 11-16. I also preached there on "Freely Following Jesus", a sermon you can read at http://www.progressivechurchplanting.blogspot.com/2012/01/freely-following-jesus-sermon-preached.html
...We have kept working on the site preparation and already begun planting again at our northside community Welcome Table KitchenGardenPark and Orchard, 6005 N. Johnstown Ave., and we have begun cleaning up the abandoned old parsonage building on our Center grounds and plan to turn it into a 24 hour prayer and meditation space, as well as a showcase for native plant landscaping, and more.
(We will be doing other "guerilla" cleaning, beautification in our area on a weekly basis due to so much need; for example, for a week now there has been a dead dog left in the parking lot of the abandoned Cherokee School building, even though school employees have driven by it daily, and county and city officials who do animal pickup have been notified; we are hoping the school will take care of it soon, but we also may do it on our own (I am thinking the dog deserves a special burial and service now, especially because of the treatment in neglect of its body); and the old gas station/domino parler/alternator shop right across from Cherokee School continues to get worse and vandalized and in need of attention, and as we seek to try to attract new partners for the abandoned Cherokee school we need to make the surrounding area as appealing as possible; so we may just start cleaning up the property as we did the historic fire dept building and old feed store building near the school.)
...We have marched together in the candlelight vigil march during the Martin Luther King, Jr. day, enjoyed the interfaith service, and had a parade entry in the MLK Parade.
...We have distributed 20 cases of tomatoes throughout the community, and so we can now imagine how numerous families are eating shared food together this weekend, in a variety of ways, in a kind of community wide communion or agape meal; and we continue to sign up and feed many new families each week during our Food Pantry Days Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3 to 6 pm.
...We have continued to support Greeley School with student of the month lunches, and McLain School through support of its alumni and community foundation and school projects; McLain is going to be offering intensive after school tutoring work until 8 pm in the evenings in hopes of helping senior students adjust to newer much stricter testing standards this year, and we have agreed to help these students take that important extra effort by providing food for the students who stay that long. We need your help to help us provide these important meals for the students at both schools, so please make a contribution at www.turleyok.blogspot.com, safe and tax deductible and every little act makes a huge difference. Don't think someone else is going to do it...Even though we have many repair needs and renovation and roof repair and vandalism repair in our own community center building to serve the public, we keep making the vital and missional move of putting our resources into the wider community first such as helping our local school children; in this way we keep decentralizing our work, and creating a "go to them" instead of a "come to us" culture.
...Coming up this week are several important gatherings:
Sunday, Jan. 29, our missional church will meet at 9:30 am for viewing and discussion of an episode of the progressive Christian curriculum Saving Jesus, as we focus on new understandings of the "atonement" through the work of biblical scholars like John Dominic Crossan and others; then we will have communion, common meal, and at 1 pm a special missional movie showing of the classic "The Grapes of Wrath", and talk about the parallels between Dust Bowl and Depression Oklahoma and the U.S. and today's neglect of the poor and the abandoned places, and how solidarity can grow as we resist the forces that seek to drive people apart. Come for any or all of the events.
Monday, Jan. 30, 6 pm, a board meeting of the A Third Place Community Foundation here at the community center, 5920 N. Owasso, as we set our major planning dates and goals for the year. Auction, Valentine's Day Party, Community Center Dedication Service, KitchenGardenPark and Orchard Dedication Service and Celebration, Our Week of Service in March, our festivals for the community throughout the year, our volunteeer work days, and volunteer training days, our own Board retreat and leadership development, our partnerships with OU and other groups.
Tuesday, Jan. 31, 7 pm, at O'Brien Park Recreation Center, the Turley Community Association public townhall meeting to connect residents with area and local officials and get updates on the happenings and issues in the community.
Thursday, Feb. 2, 3:30 pm at the community center, the monthly Future of Turley planning session, an important group and this month an important meeting as we will hear presentations on the new Health Department building under construction now near us, and also hear a presentation from the proposed The LightHouse Charter School with plans to partner with Tulsa Schools to go into the current Greeley School site. Greeley, where Cherokee students were moved to when it was closed by us last year, would be closed and students not in the charter school would be moved into the Gilcrease School area. These are both exciting developments in offering more educational opportunities in a part of our area, but with many questions and with the stress of more change happening here in our already stressed and impoverished neighborhoods and families. We will also be signing up people to work on our ongoing work and updates about Disaster Response, Cherokee School, Post office closings, and Incorporation, and establishing planning to improve the area through more destruction of abandoned properties, and improvements.
Looking ahead, we will begin again with a weekly vespers service in the evenings when Lent starts. We will have an Ash Wednesday service on Feb. 22 and then the evening prayer services on Thursdays at 6 pm beginning Feb. 23. Stay tuned for more on those....And on Tuesday 6:30 pm Feb. 28 we will cap Black History month with our monthly movie and discussion and free meal, as we view the new documentary "Stubborn As A Mule" featuring Tulsa native Dr. Cornel West and others looking at history in the U.S. and the struggle for reparations for African Americans. After our Monday evening planning dinner, we will also have many more dates to promote.
I hope you will join us at the Unitarian Universalist Christian Fellowship Revival and Retreat in the Washington, D.C. area March 22-25 as we explore Welcoming the Feminine in Christianity, with major lectures by Dr. Amy Oden, an Oklahoma native and author, and dean of Wesley Theological Seminary, Dr. Mary Hunt, author and director of Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual, and best selling author and lecturer Margaret Starbird, and with many and varied worship services and workshops and small group and social experiences. If you can't make it, please forward this on to others you know, and perhaps in the area, who might be interested in attending. For more go to www.uuchristian.org/revival. We have full time, single day, and even single event registration, and all worship services are free and open to the public.
An important message about our chaotic way of working on transformation, our calling, and our calling to you, comes from the new book by Reggie McNeal, "Missional Communities: the rise of the the post congregational church" who writes: "Orchestral concert-goers are acquainted with the dissonant and chaotic sounds emanating from the orchestra pit prior to the performance. Musicians create a cacophony of noise as they tune their instruments and warm up for the show. No one thinks the lack of harmony or coordination is a sign of trouble. In fact, just the opposite is true. This is necessary preparation for the performance. The unconnected riffs actually increase the anticipation for what is to come. The seeming pandemonium gives way to organized beauty once the conductor takes the stand....We are warming up for the next great performance of the church. It is a collaborative score called "The Church As Missional Communities." Some people are already in the pit, making noise. Others are being recruited. This is your chance. Now is the time. Grab your instrument. The Conductor is approaching the podium. The world waits for the music."
Bring your passion to partner with us and make beautiful music together.
blessings, and thanks for all you are and all you do, and more soon,
918-691-3223 and 918-794-4637 918-430-1150
also check out www.missionalprogressives.blogspot.com
Posted by Ron at 6:17 PM