www.athirdplace.org (website for our A Third Place Community Foundation and its Welcome Table projects, miracles among the ruins).
Hi all. As usual, unless you are following along with us on Facebook these days, you might not know that we have been pretty busy in our mission fields here, so busy it is hard to keep up the reports like we used to do more regularly; but some of the highlights are listed below for you to follow the links and also to share with others in your email lists and social media circles.
1. We have been a part of this year's North Tulsa Development Council class with Leadership Tulsa and our team project has been on cultivating civic engagement on the northside. As a pilot project to laying a firmer foundation of data to track civic engagement, and to working toward identifying barriers to it in our neighborhoods, our team has been conducting a community benchmark survey both online and in a pilot area of far north Tulsa. We have one week to go in collecting data in this first go-round and for all those who take the ten minutes to fill out the survey, either online or in person, they will receive four free tickets to the Tulsa Zoo. Here is the link to share this final week with others who live on the northside: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7WZ3CX5 Thanks for taking it if you live here, and thanks for sharing with others who do whom you might know.
As part of this project, we have also started working with the Tulsa County Voter Engagement Initiative and plan to be a part of its Summit meeting later this summer. More on that as the details come, but it will be held on the northside. Part of this has been a followup to the voting disparity work analysis I did after the November elections. You can read that blogpost at http://turleyok.blogspot.com/2014/12/north-vs-south-and-2014-election.html
2. We were blessed to be able to host the daily Mobile Eatery from the Food Bank during Spring Break to feed children, youth, and adults as well that week here at our Community Center; we are working with them and others in our area to create and promote the Summer Cafe sites for children and youth too. In our area our partner, the Tulsa Health Dept. Northside Wellness Center will be a major site again this year, as well as O'Brien Park, and we are working toward being a site here too. You can see news coverage of the Spring Break feeding at http://www.newson6.com/story/28534587/food-banks-mobile-eatery-feeds-hungry-oklahomans-during-spring-break.
Speaking of feeding, we offer free breakfast to the community every Saturday at 9 am at our community gardenpark and orchard at 6005 N. Johnstown Ave. and have been a volunteer site for some 150 University of Tulsa students, and both at the park and our community center, 5920 N. Owasso Ave., we hosted a group from First Unitarian Church of Oklahoma City for a weekend of work with us. Besides our own three times or more a week meals, we have also recently helped provide pizza dinner for parents of McLain High School students for a gathering. And this past week we hosted Langston University nursing students during one of our regular food community days at our free grocery store, as they provided a healthy meal and also talked with residents about Diabetes. We also enjoyed helping to promote and participate in the health department's Senior Day at the Wellness Center this past Monday. Our own senior group has taken visits to Gilcrease Museum lately, and has trips planned to the Zoo and to the Botanical Garden coming up in the future.
3. This coming Saturday, April 18, from 10 am to noon we will host our annual trash litter pickup volunteer day in our area, celebrating Earth Day and the Great American Clean-Up with Keep Oklahoma Beautiful. We will provide trash bags, gloves, and water, and will also feed volunteers free lunch at the end. Meet at our Welcome Table Center.
4. We were pleased to be at the Tulsa School Board the night it voted to officially reopen the closed Cherokee School across from us for the expansion of The Lighthouse Academy Charter School, and we are working with the school and community leaders to make its reopening special and a launch for revitalization of our area; we are also pleased to see the former closed Wiley Post School which was used by the Health Dept. and by the YWCA and now by World Won Ministries for EduRec will be again used as a school for the creation of the new Langston Hughes Academy for Arts and Technology beginning with 9th grade students.
Our partner meetings are held monthly first Thursdays at noon with a free lunch at The Welcome Table Center; come see how you connect with our neighborhoods. Or always give me a call at 918-691-3223.
To follow along with The Welcome Table Church news and our progressive missional community, and to see some of my recent sermons posted from my trips to Texas, go to www.progressivechurchplanting.blogspot.com and www.missionalprogressives.blogspot.com. I preached on the importance of place in determining the mission and future of the church; and I preached on Growing Smaller to do Bigger Things in the World as part of size and the future of the church.
Our big coming event will be our annual missional church retreat, Fri. May 29 to Sun. May 31. This year's theme is Spiritual Practices in Missional Settings. Come go deeper with us and experience how places of abandonment, scarcity, and poverty can be places of transformation. For more information go to https://www.facebook.com/events/979142832101643/
Also our weekly worship gatherings; tomorrow worshipping at 5 pm Sunday, Apr. 12 with Trinity Episcopal Church downtown at 5th and Cincinnati Ave. during their taize-style worship communion and meal; then travel to Stillwater on Sunday, April 19 at 10:30 am as I preach at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Stillwater; we will be back to worshipping at The Welcome Table at 5 pm on Sunday, April 26, always with a meal. And our last Thursday of each month, April 30 10 am Bible and Brunch study and conversation and meal at The Welcome Table; come and explore scripture with us and how it inspires all we do, and challenges us to even more.
It was a privilege to be a part of the 50th Anniversary Tulsa Selma celebration worship, and also to preach at the Good Friday service at All Souls: here is a link to my homily, "Crosses and Conversions" on Good Friday, centered upon the anniversary of the Good Friday race-based killings in our area and my own family's North Tulsa presence and conversions from before the time of the Tulsa Race Massacre up through these Good Friday race-based killings: http://www.progressivechurchplanting.blogspot.com/2015/04/good-friday-homily.html. It was great to attend the showing and discussion with OU graduate social work students of the documentary Hate Crimes in the Heartland.
This summer at the General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association in Portland, OR I will be on and moderate three missional church panels: one a broad overview of the radical difference of missional church; two specific explorations of some of the manifestations of it in our wider association; and third, with the UU Christian Fellowship, looking at what the first century church can teach the 21st century church.
I guess that is all. I know there is much more; so many small acts of justice done with great love...and so much more to do.
For those who would like to order one of our "Love The Hell Out Of This World" tshirts, or our God Is Love tshirt, or Death and Glory tshirt with one of the universalist historic logos of the off-centered cross in a circle, each shirt for $20, get more information at https://www.facebook.com/UUCFtees.
Loving the Hell out of the 74126,
Posted by Ron at 4:30 PM