The Miracle Among The Ruins: A Third Place Community Foundation: Creating The Welcome Table Community Center, GardenPark and Orchard, Corner Store Free Pantry, Art Studio, Clothing/ThriftStore, and Supporting Renewal in the 74126 and 74130. Click on the Donate button or Subscribe button below for options to support our projects. We are a grassroots volunteer 501c3 nonprofit. Center located at 5920 N. Owasso Ave. Gardens at 6005 N. Johnstown. Contact us at 918-691-3223, 430-1150, 794-4637
Current full list of upcoming events, more to come, hope to see you at one or more of the events: Please Share. Sat. April 19 10 am our area legislative forum with public officials and community representatives at Rudisill Library, Pine and Hartford Ave. every third saturday same location same time.
Saturday April 19 Planting Party and Free Breakfast 9 to 11 am, 6005 N. Johnstown Ave. community gardenpark and orchard.
Saturday April 19 10 am to Noon. Free Corner Store Pantry and clothing thrift store, Welcome Table community center, 5920 N. Owasso Ave.
[Easter Sunrise Service of Prayer and Meditation and Music held at the gardenpark and orchard 6:30 to 7:15 am followed by breakfast.]
Tuesday, April 22 1:30 pm arrival for 2 pm monthly food handlers permit class at our North Regional Wellness Center, 56th and MLK Blvd (old Cincinnati Ave.) This new facility in Turley has a basketball court, walking trail, playground facilities and more open to the public on its grounds.
Tuesday, April 22 5 pm Turley Area Litter Cleanup part one, and free supper for volunteers; meet at the Welcome Table community center, get trash bags gloves and bottles of water. Celebrating Earth Day with Keep Oklahoma Beautiful and the Great American Clean-up Event.
Wed. April 23 10 am to Noon at the Free Corner Store Pantry and Clothing Room.
Wed. April 23 1:30 to 4 pm. GardenWork Party at the community garden, hosting volunteers from around Tulsa; and neighborhood cleanup event part two, meet at the park.
Thursday, April 24 6 to 8 pm free cooking demonstration class for healthy eating, our northside regional wellness center on 56th St.
Friday, April 25, 4 pm McLain School Community and Alumni Foundation meeting, 4929 N. Peoria Ave.
Friday, April 25 7 pm Art Gallery Exhibition Opening at northside wellness center by local young people on teen pregnancy prevention, "Flash Focus Event and Reception" $15. support our youth who took these photos reflecting their life.
Saturday, April 26 10 am to Noon Free Corner Store Pantry and Clothing Room.
Saturday, April 26 4 pm free supper and Planting Party at the gardenpark and orchard.
Tuesday, April 29, 7 pm Turley Community Association meeting O'Brien Park Center, 6147 N. Birmingham Ave. monthly every last tuesday.
Wed. April 30, 10 am to Noon Free Corner Store Pantry and Clothing Room.
Thursday, May 1 Free Lunch Noon Public and Partners Planning Meeting for McLain/Turley area, at the community center. come hear about improvement plans, meet partners, bring issues and concerns for planning. this is the planning and working meeting connected to the last tuesday or the month public town hall conversation and meeting.
Saturday, May 3 10 am to Noon Free Corner Store Pantry, and Turley Area litter pickup event part three, Great American Cleanup, and 4 to 6 pm planting party at the gardenpark and orchard, free supper for volunteers.
Monday, May 5 11 am to 1 pm free Cooking For Diabetes class at our northside regional wellness center health department.
Wed. May 7 10 am to Noon Free Corner Store Pantry Day.
Saturday, May 10 7 am to 10 am Community Breakfast at Odd Fellows Lodge, 6227 N. Quincy Ave. $5 for adults and kids under 10 free.
Sat. May 10 9 am free breakfast and planting party at the gardenpark and orchard. Also Turley Area Litter Clean-Up Event, part four. Start at the Park to get bags, water, gloves. meal for volunteers.
Sat. May 10 and Wed. May 14, 10 am to Noon Free Corner Store Pantry and more Day.
Friday, May 16, 10 am to Noon, Mobile Food Pantry visit to the Welcome Table from the Food Bank. giving out five tons of food in one hour. Volunteers report at 10 am. Food Delivery begins at 11 am. You must have ticket with you to receive food. Get tickets during the Corner Store Food Pantry days while tickets last. We do this every few months.
Thursday, May 22, 6 to 8 pm free cooking class for children and youth ages 6 and up with parent or guardian present, "cooking healthy breakfast" at our northside regional wellness center on 56th St.
Palm Sunday: Occupying The Abandoned
Temples of the American Dream Empire
First, before getting to the Palm
Sunday message, it has been an exciting past month or so here in the 74126
area; we have become a center for service learning and missional trips lately. We
are gradually becoming a center where people can “come and see” the effects of
racism on many ethnic groups, economic injustice and classism, and the evil and
suffering that happens when the marketplace is not tempered with the moral
imperative, when government and other groups focus on numbers and not on need,
on individuals and not on neighborhoods.
Already this year we have hosted
groups working with us on Tulsa’s northside from Fayetteville, AR and Oklahoma
City and Dallas area and from around the country during the Life On Fire event
here, and from many places and schools around the Tulsa area who have not been
familiar with our part of town. We just finished hosting three classes of
graduate social work students from OU who have been working on research
projects with us as well as doing direct help for us. We met a lot of people
and made connection at the Tulsa Eco-Fest held near our area at the Tulsa
Community College Northeast Campus. This past Sunday I made a presentation on
our area and our work to the Adult Forum at Hope Unitarian Church in Tulsa. We
were scheduled to host a big contingent from Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity during
their conference recently but their schedule had to be changed, and we hope to
connect in the future.
Coming up, On Wednesday afternoon,
April 23, we will have a big group of volunteers from a Tulsa company coming to
work at our gardenpark and orchard on N. Johnstown Ave. And just this weekend
at the Global Society for Arts in Health convention held in Houston, a
presentation on our area and our work was given and well received and more
connections made. On Saturday, August 26, we will host a lunch for the
Commission on Appraisal of the Unitarian Universalist Association as they “come
to see” and learn about missional church manifestations in a progressive
And still so much to be done; figuring
out ways to pay and staff and continue to reach out with our neighbors on
projects even as we continue to go deep and grow our relationships and presence;
funding the big projects we are nurturing (the closed Cherokee School reopening
and repurposing; abandoned and neglected properties and low-rent “relocation” housing
possibilities; organizing for justice with the Industrial Areas Foundation) are
getting seeds planted but need a boost in effort and partners and money. And we
still struggle to stay open month after month, still trying to build up the
foundation of supporters who will give at least a nickel or dime a day to help
us with the basics of utilities and mortgage which, because we put it all into
mission and have not yet started any salaries, means every contribution is
going to direct missional work of feeding and clothing people and growing their
overall health and community.
We are also trying to get the word
out about us better to more people and potential partners this year. If anyone
is able to help us produce videos about what we do and why and with whom,
please let me know. And we are hoping this year to begin the long delayed work
of fixing up our community center and creating social events at the gardenpark
and orchard. The more volunteers the more we are able to do. We would love for
this year to be the year we get great signs up at the park, and great art at
the park and outside the community center, as well as the new outside deck and
benches at the community center, the new deck and stage at the gardenpark, and
the big 20 foot table at the park.
And, before I print the message
below, Here is the list of coming events planned so far for the next few weeks;
your chance to connect with us:
Third, Fourth and any Fifth Saturdays 9 am, weather permitting, Welcome
Table Community GardenPark and Orchard, 6005 N. Johnstown Ave. Free Supper,
First Saturday 4 pm. Growing your own food is like printing your own money. Get
a Free Garden Bed. Just come eat with us and enjoy the gardenpark.
Wednesday and Saturday, 10 am to Noon, Free Food and Clothing and More On Community
Days, Welcome Table Center, 5920 N. Owasso Ave. serving the 74126, 74130,
74073 zips. Also free books, computer center, art studio.
Saturdays, 7 to 10 am, $5 with Kids 10 and under free, Odd Fellows Lodge, 6227
N. Quincy Ave.
finished our wonderful Community Easter Kids Celebration on Saturday with the
local United Methodist Church, 6050 N. Johnstown Ave. including kid gardening
at our gardenpark and orchard. It was so good to see the children enjoying
an actual hunt for easter eggs and surprises instead of what happens at so many
institutional egg hunts which are more like race and grabs as the eggs are just
laid out in an open field.
Sunday Worship with communion was held this morning at Turley United Methodist
Church, 6050 N. Johnstown Ave. at 10:30 am followed by free lunch afterwards. One
of our “rules of life” for our missional community is to eat together as often
as possible, at least three times a week.
April 16, 12:30 pm lunch for seniors (55 plus) at our Welcome Table Center
followed by trip to Aquarium in Jenks.
April 17, 6:30 pm free dinner and Maundy Thursday communion worship at The
Welcome Table Center
April 18, Good Friday worship at noon with us at All Souls Church, 2952 S.
Peoria Ave. and/or Good Friday service 6 pm at Turley United Methodist.
April 19, 10 am Our Area Public Forum, Rudisill Library, Pine &
Sunday, April 20, Sunrise Prayer and Meditation Event, 6:30 to 7 am or so, on
top of the hill at The Welcome Table GardenPark and Orchard; come feel the
spirit of resurrection and renewal at our miracle among the ruins space, followed by breakfast at The Welcome Table
Center. Worship at 10:30 am at Turley United Methodist Church. Come for any or
Tuesday, April 22, Turley Litter Pick-Up and Free Dinner for volunteers who
help, 5 pm meet at The Welcome Table Center.
Community Association, Tuesday April 29, 7 pm O'Brien Park Center, 6147 N.
Area Planning and Partner Meeting, Thursday, May 1, Noon with Free Lunch, The
Welcome Table Center.
Food Pantry Day, Friday, May 16, volunteers begin at 10 am, food pickup at 11
am, The Welcome Table Center. Get vouchers at Wed. and Sat. community
days. We eat lunch together with volunteers once the event is over.
Picnic on the Cherokee School playground, Sunday May 18, 11 am to 1 pm. See below
Saturday 6 pm 12 Step Recovery Group, at the Welcome Table Center.
Thursday at 6:30 pm, Turley Area Alliance Against Crime, at the
Thursday, 7 pm, Turley Fire and Rescue Dept meetings, 6404 N.
Our diabetes management class and
free healthy lunch just finished up on Saturday its important six week presence
at The Welcome Table Center and we have been glad to co-host that with the
Palm Sunday Message:
The Three Americas, or Occupying The Empire’s Abandoned Places To Remind The
World That God Lives Here
This Sunday’s meal message was about
how Jesus “occupied” the Empire’s Temple and mocked the false values of Caeser’s
Empire when and how he rode into Jerusalem for Passover, with some street
theater in the midst of a dangerous time and place to show both people and the
powerful that another world was possible, not only possible but could begin
right now, right here, with these people. Many of the most vulnerable had been
left behind both by the occupying Roman forces and by their own leaders. Jesus
was sending a signal to both the haves and the have-nots that the God of the
most vulnerable was still with them and was full of hope love and justice.
In that spirit, I talked about how
our tradition in our community was to spend Palm Sunday “occupying” one of our
abandoned places. In the past we have done it at places we eventually came to
own and renew, such as the block of abandoned houses where the park is, and the
vandalized church building where our community center is now, and we have done it
at the old closed Cherokee School and one of the first was when we put pots of
flowers along North Peoria Ave. and at our on-going gardening and
beautification project occupying 66th and N. Lewis intersection. We
talked about the Palm Sunday that we finished worship by going to an abandoned
building and sign out front, where a civic club had been that shut down and
several restaurants had been in and shut down; we “occupied” the sign and put
up messages of welcome that God is Love and that God Lives in our area, even in
such places as ours that others fear to come to, or run down, or just neglect.
And though the weather kept us
indoors this Palm Sunday, we decided to throw a picnic for our community and
any who want to join us on the playground at Cherokee School, 6001 N. Peoria
Ave. Sunday, May 18, 11 am to 1 pm. Bring potluck (no alcoholic beverages) and sports
equipment, and for former students bring yearbooks photos; the playgrounds and
basketball courts and tetherball and grounds are still there waiting to be
used. It will be our delayed Palm Sunday event.
On a deeper level, with such events
and with all our work in our four directions initiative of far north Tulsa, we
are fighting against the division of what I call the burgeoning polarization
into the Three Americas; what we see happening in our metropolitan area seems
to be found elsewhere as well. There is a dominant (always with minority
strains fighting against it) “big box store” culture in the surburban areas of
individualism, libertarianism, consumerism, and uniformity of “red-state” politics
and theology and culture. There is a growing dominant “urban cool” “blue-state”culture
in the denser populated areas of downtown and various entertainment and
restaurant and artistic districts with consumerism still strong but modified as
consuming creativity, and with a stronger “tribal” than libertarian vibe. Both
of these Americas are places where different forms of the American Dream might
attract you, but they are places where people go to, in various ways, “make it.”
They are places with growing numbers of people (but not “peoples”) and
therefore they are the places where government and businesses--both run with
marketplace mentalities--invest in with infrastructure, entrepreneuriship, and
And then there are the third
districts, the abandoned places, the boarded up places, the no sidewalks and
streetlights places, the places where post offices are closed and health
clinics are closed (with kudos to those who are fighting against this in our
area with health clinics beginning to open to reverse this trend) and schools
are closed and with community centers and community pools closed or threatened to
be closed and with shopping centers closed—even though there are the areas of
highest need for these. This is a form of America that both of the other two
zones turn away from. The Third America. While those who remain intentionally
and would not live elsewhere, or those who can’t afford to live elsewhere and
move here but are always hoping to “make it” by leaving, wrestle with growing
lack of connection with one another and with those in power. And the land
itself becomes disconnected with the people as its ownership transfers increasingly
to those who live in the other Americas and as a result of the weakening of the
power and voice of those who live here the land itself can be repurposed away
from communal needs to the needs of corporations and businesses (where environmental
injustice comes in to mirror economic and educational injustice, with landfills
and salvages dominating the landscape) owned by those who live elsewhere, and
the local businesses and nonprofits that do remain are often struggling against
the tide, or are also in some cases adding to the blight.
On Palm Sunday, and as we move into
Holy Week, with the simple meal fellowship of Maundy Thursday and the mandate
to love one another, with the all too familiar abandonment and destruction of
Good Friday, with the despair and sitting with grief of Holy Saturday and with
its story of unseen forces still at work getting ready for renewal, with its story
of Jesus relocating to Hell itself to turn it into a place not even abandoned
by the love of God, and with the story of the unexpected life and the miracles
of hope that Easter celebrates, through it all we seek to love the hell out of
this world of the Third America, to connect the disconnected on a grassroots
level and also to connect the other two Americas with the Third America, the
Third Place so to speak. Like the disciples of old, we don’t do it well. But we
too remain, or we return, or we relocate our lives because we have been the
recipients of a grace that abounds that reminds us that Love overcomes death,
injustice, neglect, helplessness, shame, failures. We do not know what the
future holds; every month brings new challenges and the same old struggles, but
Palm Sunday teaches us that the future of new life is already started.
Free BreakfastEvery Saturday 9 am, weather permitting, Welcome Table Community
GardenPark and Orchard, 6005 N. Johnstown Ave. Growing your own food is like
printing your own money. Get a Free Garden Bed.
Every Wednesday and Saturday, 10 am
to Noon, Free Food and Clothing and More On Community
Days, Welcome Table Center, 5920 N. Owasso Ave. serving the 74126, 74130,
74073 zips. Also free books, computer center, art studio.
(due to a funeral the foodstore will be closed Saturday, April 12; open again Wed. April 16 at 10 am and by appointment calling 918-691-3223)
Community Breakfast April 12, 7 to 10 am, $5 with Kids 10 and under free, Odd Fellows Lodge,
6227 N. Quincy Ave.
Community Easter Kids Celebration, Sat. April 12, 10:30 am to 12:30 pm at Turley United Methodist Church, 6050 N. Johnstown Ave. including kid gardening at our gardenpark and orchard.
Wednesday, April 16, 12:30 pm lunch for seniors (55 plus) at our Welcome Table Center followed by trip to Aquarium in Jenks.
Thursday, April 17, 6:30 pm free dinner and Maundy Thursday communion worship at The Welcome Table Center
Friday, April 18, Good Friday worship at noon with us at All Souls Church, 2952 S. Peoria Ave.
Sat. April 19, 10 am Our Area Public Forum,
Rudisill Library, Pine & Hartford Ave.
Easter Sunday, April 20, Sunrise Prayer and Meditation Event, 6:30 to 7 am on top of the hill at The Welcome Table GardenPark and Orchard followed by breakfast at The Welcome Table Center. Worship at 10:30 am at Turley United Methodist Church. Come for any or all. Earth Day Tuesday, April 22, Turley Litter Pick-Up and Free Dinner for volunteers who help, 5 pm meet at The Welcome Table Center.
Turley Community Association, Tuesday April 29, 7 pm O'Brien Park Center, 6147 N. Birmingham Ave.
McLain/Turley Area Planning and Partner Meeting, Thursday, May 1, Noon with Free Lunch, The Welcome Table Center.
Mobile Food Pantry Day, Friday, May 16, volunteers begin at 10 am, food pickup at 11 am, The Welcome Table Center. Get vouchers at Wed. and Sat. community days.
Every Saturday 6 pm 12 Step
Recovery Group, at the Welcome Table Center.
Last Thursday at 6:30 pm, Turley
Area Alliance Against Crime, at the Center.
Each Thursday, 7 pm, Turley Fire
and Rescue Dept meetings, 6404 N. Peoria.
Renewing The Far
Northside: Volunteer Grassroots Response
2002-03 Epiphany Church began in Owasso, suburb of Tulsa
2004 moved to 6305 N. Peoria Ave. Turley/McLain
2005 became The Living Room Church and began partnering with Turley Community Association and Cherokee School on
2007 Opened A Third Place Community Center
at 6416 N. Peoria Ave. and moved in it and began working with OU Graduate
Social Work program on community forums;
2008 hosted OU Health Clinic;
2009 created A Third Place Community
Foundation and began demonstration gardening with Turley United Methodist
Church and providing school gardens and landscaping for Cherokee Elementary
School and helped form McLain School Foundation;
2010 bought a block of abandoned houses
and trashed property at 6005 N. Johnstown Ave. to begin transforming
into a community gardenpark;
2011 bought an abandoned church building
at 5920 N. Owasso Ave. and moved the community center into it and planted
the community orchard;
2012 created The Welcome Table Free Corner
Store Food Pantry.
Area We Serve:
Primarily from 46th St. N.
to 76th St. N. and from Highway 75 to Osage County Line; all within
the McLain School boundary; far north Tulsa and Turley community area but our
food store also serves the Sperry area. We are located in 74126, one of the
lowest income zipcodes in the Tulsa area with a life expectancy 14 years lower
than midtown Tulsa. We also serve 74130.
Twice a Week Free Food Store;
times a year Mobile Pantry giving out 5 tons of food in one hour;
Mobile Eatery from Food Bank
Computer Center/Free Wifi
and More (take what you need; leave what you can)
Community Art Studio and Art
Washer/Dryer and Shower
Community Recycling Bin
Weekly 12-Step Recovery
Community Holiday Events and
Monthly Community Planning
Monthly Turley Area Seniors
Community GardenPark and Orchard and
Free weekly meals at the Park
Current Community Projects
Abandoned Properties: Demolition or
66th and N. Lewis Intersection Transformation
Turley Sign Project
Roadside Wildflowers/Trash Pickup
Wildflower Preservation Rest Area across from our park
Planting Project Seeds:
In Conversation or In Vision
Cherokee School, closed in 2011, Repurposing
Site Low Rent Housing Program, plus “Relocation Homes” transforming abandoned
Osage Prairie Trail Awareness and Appreciation Event(s) and Community Info
Far North Main Street from 46th to 66th St. on N.
Community Lay Health Advocate Program (turning health clinics
Village Post Office to replace closed post office
University of Oklahoma-Tulsa
Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma
Tulsa Health Department North Regional Wellness