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Donate By Year's End To Our Amazing Story of A Third Place projects on the Far Northside miracles among the ruins

...Become now a part of the miracles among the ruins and help launch us into an even more incredible year of growing healthy lives, neighborhoods in the 74126 and adjacent zips, renewing community, empowering residents, all through small acts of justice done with great love and hope....

You have been reading all year of the work going on, of the lives touched in small ways and of the grand plans that have emerged and are on the verge of the great tipping point to turning around our community area serving from 46th to 76th St. North and from the Osage County line to Highway 75. Now you can become a part of that story...

Make your online donation by year's end at; you don't need paypal to use the online service. Or send a check to A 'Third Place Foundation at The Welcome Table Community Center, 5920 N. Owasso Ave., Turley, OK 74126. Or bring it by during our New Year's Eve gathering beginning at 9 pm tomorrow evening.

If you missed it, here is our annual end of the year report to the community. Please find ways to share it with others, and go to the website and read and share of the many other events and issues and projects underway in our area.

Be an underwriter, be a presence in this abandoned place of the Empire:

$100 helps us provide one of our many community meals throughout the month

$300 pays for a whole month's mortgage for us, or a whole month's insurance for us, or helps us staff the food center for a month.

$500 pays for a whole month's utilities for us, keeping us open and as a warming station for those without heat during these cold months, keeping the computer center alive.

$1000 will announce us to the world with new community signs for the center and for the kitchengardenpark and orchard.

Help us keep the mission alive...

The Week Ahead:

Sat. Dec. 31, beginning at 8 am and going all morning, we will be doing major site preparation work at our emerging community garden park kitchen and orchard at 6005 N. Johnstown Ave. This has been one of the amazing stories of this past year, and so come witness as we take another leap forward on the last day of the year turning abandoned property into an oasis for healthy food and community connections.

Sat. Dec. 31, 9 pm. to after midnight. This has been the year we also bought another old historic abandoned building and turned it into our community center, so it is fitting that we end the year relaxing and enjoying this place of renewal, where passions meet the world's great needs, and people find purpose and hope in giving back to others. We will have food, play board games, watch the Best Picture Gandhi to usher in a year of revolutionary peace, and community liberating presence here in our area.

Tuesday, Jan. 3 and Thursday, Jan. 5, from 3 to 6 pm, our Food Pantry Center, where we also provide healthy recipes and healthy meals made out of the food pantry ingredients, where we will be signing people up and handing out tickets for the great food giveaway on Jan. 13 we are coordinating with the Food Bank.

Thursday, Jan. 5, 3:30 pm our Future of the Turley Area deep planning session; we will be unveiling and working on the boundaries for the incorporation of a city of Turley, working on taking our disaster response network to the next level by identifying resources and leaders in sixteen neighborhoods within our currently unincorporated area, hearing reports from partners and networking our organizations.

Thursday, Jan. 5, 5:30 pm, helping the Advisory Board of the O'Brien Park welcome its new activities director with a public reception. This is one of our partners in the community.

Also help plan our parade presence in the Martin Luther King Jr. parade and candlelight vigil and events. And stay tuned in January for the start or something new...

Merry continuing Christmastide, and a happy new year to you and to your communities.


The Christmas Words

from The Welcome Table

a free universalist christian missional community

5920 N. Owasso Ave., Turley, OK 74126

feel free to forward and share with others...

Soon it will be the season of Christmas. Already though its spirit of surprising love, abundance, peace, joy, and hope have been felt here in our area. Thanks for letting us share them with you. Our wish is that these reports bring you as much goodwill as you all have brought to us.

We call this area of North Tulsa and Turley at this time of year especially a "new Nazareth." Scriptures report that people believed that the village of Nazareth had such a bad reputation that "nothing good could come from it." At the time 2000 years ago, Nazareth was little known and little regarded. Just a few miles away stood the bigger, shining new city of Sepphoris, a kind of suburban sprawl built by and for the economy of the Roman Empire, taking up land that had sustained the poor, displacing people. Nazareth was even moreso then a place for the left out, the left behind, the decidedly uncool people. And yet, today, so few have ever heard of Sepphoris, while Nazareth, well Nazareth is known the world over for the good that came from it, and that keeps coming.

The New Nazareth: All you have to do, anytime there is a story about any sort of crime, and in fact a story even about any sort of new development or plans or groundbreaking, here on the northside of Tulsa, is to go to the Tulsa World online and read the comments left by people to the story. The refrain is the same; people get what they deserve because they are there, meaning here, and if they were smart they would leave, and no one would ever or should ever move there, and nothing good will last because our neighbors won't let it, and it has nothing whatsoever to do with the lack of resources and the history of segregation and neglect and decisions made by people who leave elsewhere breaking apart the social communities, it is all about people making bad choices they and their children even should be punished for. We hear this all the time from people who have grown up and spent many adult years in the Tulsa area without ever coming to this area, and how afraid they are when they do, and how others warn them not to. It is not that we don't have struggles and problems of crime, and bad choices so often driven by so many addictions, and lord knows it is so much easier to get people to respond based on fear of something or someone than to get them to respond out of a desire and belief that they can make this part of the world, and their lives, better.

And yet, just a few days ago, we held a party here, threw open our doors for anyone to come, had no security guards, and had no idea how many would come celebrate Christmas with our small group; the past few years in our old community center space just a half mile north of us now, we had had a good time with about 20-30 people from the area, most of whom we knew. But this year, in our new and still emerging community center space, without still being able to afford much attractive signage on the outside to let people know what this big building is being used for, our Christmas Party had some 125 people, a majority of whom hadn't been here before, or only for our Halloween Party when we had 300 people show up, and no security guards then either, and no violence then either. We fed people with Christmas tamales and pizza from businesses right here, and from what we and another church provided; we brought and got gifts to hand out and in a fishes and loaves moment kept finding gifts to give out to all the children who came; and we sang as a community christmas songs and hymns, these voices of people who hadn't sung together before, and might not have another opportunity to sing with others this season.

And yet, here in the new Nazareth, at that party, a little girl said, to no one in particular, as she was moved by the spirit of the moment of community, "This is the best night of my life." Think about that. It was both a moment of great wonder; like an angel proclaiming in a night full of danger and oppression and isolation "Be Not Afraid for I bring you great tidings..." And it was heart breaking too. She had not had this experience before, so many people gathering in peace, joy, hope, and love. She probably, if she is like so many we live with here, a few in her family and perhaps estranged from other family, so no extended family expereinces, no church expereince, no means to go outside the area much if at all; the lights of Christmas, the excess and abundance of Christmas, the story of Christmas itself, mostly comes to her through the screen of a television, which both connects her to a greater world and accentuates her own isolation and disconnect from it. Her family has had to choose between keeping utilities on and having food and having gifts; we make it just a bit more bearable by helping with the food and gifts so they can spend on the utilities, though skimping on all of it.

And yet, here we were all for her, celebrating, blessing our meal and running out of it and getting more of it and all saying Amen, and people making connections for the first time, and hearing about all we have been doing and will be doing, people impromptu volunteering to help us at the food pantry this past week even as they come to get their own food in what has been our busiest ever week; we have run out of turkeys from the food bank and have had to purchase more on our own to meet the need; and this week in another amazing event the children in our neighborhood school, Horace Greeley Elementary School, who are all on free lunch programs themselves, they and their families filled up 15 boxes of food in the month of Nov. and Dec. and on the last day of school contributed it to our food pantry, which many of them use. And yet that night, and this month has all been very ordinary; it has taken so little effort, really, on our part; so few people have created it; no one has been stressed out or worried about its outcome; no one has tried to control it and shut it down out of fear of what might happen, or what might not happen, not have enough, or get this or that wrong.

And yet, though most of our commercial and public district is dark at night even in this season, we have lighted up our building, and we have even lighted up the historic memorial arch and evergreen tree in the courtyard of Cherokee School that has been closed since we finished our summer daily free lunch there. These few lights are what that little girl sees though with her own eyes, not through a screen, and I believe they mean more than all the bright lights on the other side of town, because they are here where she lives.

And yet, I like to think of what has been experienced here in the past few weeks (including the worship and discussions and movies and common meals we have on a regular basis in the missional community gatherings and with our Advent Vespers too) all as a truly living nativity scene. Not one that has people dressing up to look like the manger scene, as wonderful as those are; Not a pageant either; but a truly living embodied nativity scene, for at our Christmas Party, at our overflowing food pantry experiences, at the Greeley school food drive for us, Christ was born again.

That is what Christmas is about, especially here; it is about creating "And yet" moments, an "And yet" world. The world was ruled in terror; the rich kept getting richer and the poor kept growing in number and kept getting poorer with fewer places to turn to for help; the land was being used up; the religious authorities were becoming servants of the Empire; technology was improving and the spirits of people were declining; the prophets were getting their heads cut off and more were jailed, more silenced, more made refugees. And yet, a baby was the same time, then as now, that babies thousand times over in numbers die, are killed, and yet a baby was born...and in that fragile, vulnerable particular event, is all of divinity and eternity, the spark of possibility that not only is another world possible, but in that birth another world has been started, all in order to remind us that it is such abandoned, fragile, vulnerable, and very ordinary particular people and places and events that we are to go in search of the Sacred.

"This is the best night of my life." I hope, truly, that our Christmas Party, our place, ourselves, all become a fading memory for that little girl here. I hope another world embraces her and she has so many other better best nights of her life that this one will be lost to her. I hope that other world happens right here too, and that she is nurtured here and able to grow and give back to others all right here, instead of having to flee to Sepphoris. Mostly, I hope we are able to continue creating such nativity events for others like her in many more ways, places, and times around our community here. For all that, go to and read all we have done and are doing through our community foundation work; this letter has been about the spiritual center that is the hub for all the spokes of the other work, though you can at the link above easily make a donation and be a part of our community here where such a little amount makes such a big difference.

Finally, here is some of the news of the ways we gather:

Saturday, Dec. 24, 5 pm join us at the Turley United Methodist Church for a Christmas Eve candlelight service, at 6050 N. Johnstown Ave. across from our Welcome Table KitchenGardenPark and Orchard.

Sunday, Dec. 25, 9:30 am join us for Christmas Morning Worship of our own Lessons and Carols and Communion Service and Meal here at 5920 N. Owasso Ave. We will take a break from our Justice for the Poor video series and resume it on Jan. 1.

Thursday, Dec. 29, 6:30 pm the neighborhood safety meeting his held here.

Saturday Dec. 31 beginning at 9 pm we will have a New Years Eve Watch Party here, games, watching the movie Ghandi to bring in a new year of peace and resistance to Empire, with refreshments, black eyed peas and more.

Sunday, Jan. 1 New Years Day worship, 9:30 am to 1 pm our usual gathering for video series from Sojourners, communion and meal and service.

Thursday, Jan. 5, our Future of Turley planning group here at 3:30 pm, and at 5:30 pm at O'Brien Park, 6147 N. Birmingham Ave., we will join the Advisory Board to welcome at a reception our new activities director there.

More to come in the New Years Letter....till then, live justly, love mercy, walk humbly with your God, and pay attention to the many ways Christ is being born in, among, and beyond you, remembering that Christmastide begins, not ends, Dec. 25 so keep it in your heart, share it and celebrate it throughout the 12 days; to help in that go visit and go to the Christmas links there on the home page, and keep checking back for the gifts of Christmas there; and pause to reflect on how Christmas is not your birthday (even those of you born on Dec. 25 lol) but is the birthday of the one whose wish list is to bring good news to the poor.

blessings, and thanks again,

Ron Robinson

This Incredible Year in Turley

Hi and thanks to all for your interest and presence with us this past year. We just finished hosting another wonderful group from Leadership Tulsa today on a tour of the northside, so much to say and talk about in so short a time, and so I come away wishing that everyone could walk with us through the year, the ups and downs, the detours and deadends and surprising openings that mark our journey each year. This letter might fall in the category of Things I Kept Thinking About....I hope you will also read it and consider ways to give to us at the end of the year after you hear about what a year it has been in so many different ways.

 2011 has been a phenomenal year when things kept getting worse, and things kept getting better, side by side. It has been a year in this regard unlike any before in our own history here, and perhaps in our community's.

 We began the year by purchasing the abandoned church building that had been a central fixture for years in this community but had been foreclosed and empty for years, a symbol of so many vacant and abandoned and rundown structures here. We were able to buy it thanks to equity we had from a few months before, with your help, buying the city block of abandoned homes where we have put in our still emerging and blossoming KitchenGardenPark and Orchard on North Johnstown Ave. Along with a grant from the Zarrow Foundation, we were able to buy this old building and start reusing it even before renovating it. Thanks to a grant from the Flint Family Foundation we have been able to settle in to the building better and keep up our outreach and services and grow them.

Right away though we had the great winter blizzard that shut down the community for weeks and kept us from moving in for about a week, and which opened up more problems with the roof to go along with the major vandalism attack that had hit the building for the first time in its long 90 year history. But as soon as we were able to move in, we held a Community Art Event where area residents were able to help us clean and paint art and brighten up the building on the outside. During this same time though we lost our community health clinic from OU which had closed their others in north Tulsa the previous year. It would herald a year of increased abandonment in this area where so much community wise had closed.

We held community organizing events with OU on several issues facing our community, and worked more on the community health worker proposal that would help take primary care out of the clinic and into the neighborhoods themselves in revolutionary new ways of growing health that lasts. We are looking forward to more service learning projects with OU Social Work as 2012 begins and will be reporting on it.

In the Spring we got word that our post office, which we had had for as long as there had been a community here more than 100 years, was scheduled to be closed. After organizing petitiions, after working to actually get the story out in the public, the post office was still closed. We are hoping to find some place in the community now, though, that would like to work with us to host a possible Village Post Office to replace what we lost. This area where people have the least resources to be able to get to other alternatives to the post office is the place where they close; it is a symbol of the way values of the powerful reinforce convenience for the privileged over comfort for the afflicted.

At the same time we also got the report that the former Turley School, now Cherokee School, was scheduled to be closed; we worked on getting information out to residents, and coming up with alternatives, but the school was closed, and the communities suffer from not having a major place like school where community and residents can intersect. And we are likely to see more schools closing, possibly with charter schools placed as possible alternatives in Greeley but not Cherokee, which is better than having it closed too like Cherokee was, but we still have the major building in the heart of the community at Cherokee being vacant. We are working with OU and others to try to dream up possible new community friendly uses. Our children go to an increasingly different number of schools so far away from our community these days that this continues to be a difficulty in making the connections for community here where there are so few avenues available to do that.

Speaking of Cherokee, we have lighted up the archway and Christmas tree at Cherokee School even though it is closed so it will not be darkened this holiday season. And we have lighted up the community center building so our area will have a few public and commercial buildings with decorations showing spirit and a source of light in this time of darkness, when almost no other buildings for miles along North Peoria have any decorations for the public and our community again this year; part of the problem that comes when people who own the businesses or run the places don't live here. I know that most people in Tulsa will never see these few little holiday decorations and night lights, but I believe, in the spirit of Charlie Brown's Christmas Tree, that they signify more meaning about the reason of the season than all the glitz in other areas of the city and suburbs. We are going to do the same at the Welcome To Turley signs as we head toward the beginning of Christmas. It is part of our mission to make the community look better even before we spend on ourselves. And we are working with the Cherokee School reunion committee; and we are part of a major community food policy grant proposal that if it is received we might be able to lobby for some of its use in our area.

During the summer even after the school closing, and all the grief it caused, we managed to get the school to stay open throughout the summer so we could hold the Summer Cafe daily free lunch program for all under eighteen years old, and we stayed open longer than any other site and served more because of it. Our summer was hit hard by two natural events though, the long record setting drought and heat wave and the wildfires. We were able though because we had bought the center building to be able to open it up as the first response shelter for all the evacuues; just as we had used it as a tornado shelter in the Spring storms. Out of that experience came our renewed Turley leadership planning group that is concentrating on disaster response and deep issues. One of our residents was killed at night because of the lack of street lights and that we have no sidewalks along our major street, also a state highway, that people have to use to get to and from walking to the store or other businesses; including those in wheelchairs who have to use the highway lanes. This group is planning ways to build up the infrastructure needs of our area and are working again on plans to incorporate our own citizens and a city of Turley, or at least to find out if people will go for it. Our summer was also marked by a week of service where we hosted a church group from Wildflower Church in Austin, Texas who helped us during all this keep up our spirits and make plateau changers in some of our community sites. And at the end of the summer we were partners with OU on community health research that we hope will help us to grow more connections and the health worker plan; we are now helping with research on healthy food with the Indian Health Care Resource Center.

Even in the heat wave, we were able to win our community orchard and organize a major volunteer effort to plant forty fruit trees during the hottest day of the year. Seeing the growth of the garden and orchard has been a major accomplishment of the year; our fall harvest helped feed our neighbors and bring them together and we have so much more to do as we move forward expanding and turning it into an outdoors third place. We also helped spur on the county's commitment to removing many of our abandoned and rundown houses; this is an ongoing concern and project and we still have so many dangerous commercial and residential buildings that are left to waste. This year we also got the Federal Home Loan Bank grant that has helped us to turn the old abandoned homes into our GardenPark; it is a great example of putting all three legs of the stool into collaboration to make a huge difference in an underserved area; we used government through OU students who helped us prepare and envision it; private business through Freedom Bank and the home loan grant program; and ourselves as a nonprofit and help from grant writers at the government US Dept of Agriculture Tallgrass Resource and Conservation District to all work together to bring it about.

This Fall we have been picking up the pieces from the losses, helping Greeley School transform for the new students and staff and faculty, helping to renew the advisory board at O'Brien Park, and helping out with the continued growth of the McLain Foundation and the big event of the Taste of North Tulsa promoting healthy food and lives; and yet, in the midst of it have had to suffer our own personal losses due to the unexpected deaths of two of our own board members, Gwen Goff and Linda Taylor, and our major partner in food justice Steve Eberle. These emotional losses tempt us to turn toward our own selves and needs though we know to honor their legacies we need to continue their work making the world right outside our doors a better, safer place. Our new board members, Deb Carroll who has taken on the renewal of our food pantry justice and sustainability center, and Elaine McDondle of Sarah's Residential Living Center by McLain High School, and Demalda Newsome of the North Tulsa Farmers Market, all are giving us renewed hope and spirit as we begin to enter a new year. There is still a good buzz of wonder and hope from our sponsored community Halloween Festival that drew 300 people; and from our smaller but significant Thanksgiving turkey dinner giveaways and our Thanksgiving community meal.

By the way we just received today our 125 vouchers to distribute to 125 families in our area to be able to take big boxes of food at our Major Food Giveaway on Friday, Jan. 13 from the Mobile Food Van of the Community Food Bank. And we don't just give out food; but we teach about healthy food, give out recipes, connect people with community gardens, and with all of our community events throughout the week, and recovery groups on the weekend.

We end up the year with our Christmas Community Party on Tuesday Dec. 20 from 6 to 8 pm. Come sing with us, have refreshments with us, play games with us, get face painted, watch Christmas videos, and get to know each other better as we dream and make those dreams real in ways that continue to amaze all of us.

I wish I had been able to tell all this to the Leadership Tulsa guests today. I would have told them better what a remarkable gift it is to be able to live here with those who are struggling but still find ways to give of their strengths and spirit, of the new dreams many have, how just staying here and alive and dreaming is a sign that another world is possible; last night several of us in the community watched the movie Joyeux Noel about how peace broke out and friendships were made and worlds changed on the battlefields of France during World War One on Christmas Eve; they paid a price for creating, for a moment, that different world, but it was one that changed their lives forever, and can still today for us. I should have mentioned more to the group about the growing possibilities and community involvement with the Vann Green Park Industrial Area here, along with our unique setting of hill and bottomland so close to downtown. And I should have said more about how issues of racial justice, reconciliation, ethnic diversity, both still challenge us, and are a blessing to us here as we find ways to deepen our lives together across barriers; living next to one another, serving together with one another, linking and empowering the poor regardless of ethnicity, is all an opportunity we get to have that others may want to do but have to go out of their way to do. More on that as we move toward our participation again with the Martin Luther King Jr. celebrations.

But more of all of that in the new year. It will be for us a Year of Celebrations, when we take time to mark and thank and renew all the partnerships and people that have helped us get to where we are, whom made 2011 a little bit easier and a little bit more bearable for us, as we seek to make it so for our neighbors. A Year When We Go Deeper. Stay tuned.

And if you are still here with me at this point, let me ask you to help us enter 2012 on an amazing, surprising, gifted note. We need your End of the Year tax deductible contribution. You can make it easily and safely online at, or can mail a check to A Third Place Community Foundation at The Welcome Table Center, 5920 N. Owasso Ave., Turley. OK 74126. Everyone of the things I have written about above will still be projects, are still in need of support; including things I didn't mention like how we are a warming station now as we were a cooling station this summer, how we are still building up our free internet center for those here without, how we need more money for our food pantry purchases, for our gardenpark, for new signs to let the world know what we have going on, for the transformation of our remaining building into a community room, for new shelves for the clothing room, for bathroom renovations, for some part time staff to keep the center open and growing a few more hours a day, and for a new website presence. These are all the "uncool" things that make possible the transformational things mentioned above.

So, thank you for all you have done, even the important work of spreading the word about us; and as we tell one another here, we are all, regardless of our circumstances, blessed in special ways, with something we each can give. We love to be able to offer to one another here the opportunities to give of our selves in so many ways; we love to be able to extend that opportunity to you too as we end out this incredible year.



December Coming Events: All Welcome

 @ The Welcome Table Community Center

A project of the local A Third Place Community Foundation

 Resources & Info/Library&Bookstore/Computer Center FoodPantry/Clothing/Chapel/GardenPark&Orchard

 5920 N. Owasso Ave. and 6005 N. Johnstown Ave. 918-794-4637 for more information

1.     Food Pantry  Open Every Tuesday and Thursday, 3 to 6 pm at the community center

2.     Turley Area TownHall Public Meeting: What to Do with Cherokee School and Turley’s Future?; updates on Vann GreenPark; and more, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 7 pm O’Brien

3.     Turley Planning Group Meeting: working on Disaster Response Network, Incorporation, Cherokee School Use, Post Office Renewal, and more. Thursday Dec. 1, 3:30 pm.

4.     O’Brien Park Advisory Board public meeting, Thursday, Dec. 1, 5:30 pm, O’Brien

5.     Advent Vespers Worship Thursdays in December, 6:30 pm, The Welcome Table Center

6.     Christmas Decorating Party for Community Center and Turley, Sunday Dec. 4, 1 pm

7.     Movie Night, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 6:30 pm at the Center, “Joyeaux Noel”

8.     Community Christmas Party and Carolling, Tuesday, Dec. 20, 7 pm, at the Center

9.     Turley Area Alliance Against Crime: Personal, Home, and Neighborhood Safety meetings  Thursday Dec. 29, 6:30 pm at the center

10.             New Year’s Eve Watch Party, Sat. Dec. 31, 9 pm, The Welcome Table Center

11.            Recovery 12 step Saturdays, 5 pm Jerks Anonymous, 7:30 pm, Alcoholics Anonymous,  community center

12.            Turley Water Board Public Meeting, LAST WORKING DAY OF MONTH 8:30 AM AT THE WATER DEPT. 6108 N. Peoria Ave.

13.            Turley Fire Dept. Meetings  THURSDAYS 7 PM, Fire Station, 6408 N. Peoria.

14.          The Welcome Table Missional Community, Sundays beginning 9:30 am, conversation on progressive Christianity and justice for the poor, community service, communion, common meal, other worship and prayer classes coming up; see Rev. Ron Robinson. 

 “Growing Healthy Lives and Neighborhoods in the 74126 and 74130”


Turley Community Thanksgiving Meal Party

Come at Noon Thursday to the Community Center for a Thanksgiving Community Potluck. Bring anything, from a bag of chips to juice or ice, or a single apple, we don't care, come and share and eat together in community. Games, TV, computers, library. Meet new friends, see old friends, help us feed our neighbors. RSVP if you can to 918-794-4637 but be sure to come.


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


A Dozen Ways We Are Changing Our Community

You are invited to come and be with us at these special opportunities to serve our neighbors....see posts below for our regular events and projects each week. Lifting up lives and neighborhoods in the 74126 and 74130 and nearby.

1. Free Turkey dinners to 20 families, beginning Tuesday Nov. 15 at our Food Pantry open Tuesdays and Thursdays 3 to 6 pm.

2. Watching Restrepo movie about the Afghan war and discussion on how we can serve veterans who have served us. Tuesday Nov. 15 6:30 pm free supper included.

3. Special Thanksgiving Meal Worship Service, beginning Sunday 9:30 am Nov. 20 until 1 pm, come anytime you can for as long as you can, but the earlier the better; The Welcome Table Church sponsoring; where worship is more like a party than a program. Followed at 1 pm by the movie and then discussion on Of Gods and Men, french with english subtitles, sponsored by the missional progressives group, about French monks living in a monastery who serve their Muslim neighbors and decide to stay at risk of their own lives during battles between corrupt government forces and terrorists. Then Thanksgiving Potluck and Games on Thursday, Nov. 24, noon. RSVP for both events if you can but don't let that stop you from coming.

4. Raising $400 to provide a classroom of children at Greeley School with Christmas presents; Whirlpool will provide half of the school kids with presents; we are working with others to provide gifts to all. Join with our holiday service effort.

5. Raising $500 to sponsor the Parent Student GearUp Event, Nov. 17 at McLain High School, trying to help close the educational justice gap for our children on Tulsa's northside; this program works with parents and students to prepare them for the testing programs and to get them ready, emotionally and academically, for entering higher education.

6. Repurposing Cherokee School. We began this partnership with the OU Graduate Design Studio with a community workshop on Nov. 5. We are continuing it this month at the community center getting residents ideas and attitudes about the future of our area and dreaming possibilities and partnerships for reopening Cherokee with a community focus. We will conclude the community input at the Turley Area Community Association meeting Tuesday, Nov. 29 at 7 pm at O'Brien Park Recreation Center.

7. We are partnering with O'Brien in honor and memory of our recently deceased Board Member Linda Taylor to sponsor a community Fall Celebration event at the Park Center, 6147 N. Birmingham Ave., Saturday, Nov. 19, from 2 to 5 pm. Games, refreshments, and more. Free.

8. Feeding The Neighborhood. Besides our twice weekly food pantry, which also hands out recipes and samples of meals that can be made with pantry items, we will be distributing 125 boxes of food on Friday, Jan. 13, from 11 am to Noon, thanks to our partnership with the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. Come to the pantry and sign up for the Mobile Van visit.

9. Welcoming the Leadership Tulsa participants to the Turley Far Northside area, Wednesday, Dec. 14. Come help us host this group of community leaders as they learn about our transforming community renewal work on a grassroots level.

10. The KitchenGardenPark and Orchard at 6005 N. Johnstown Ave. Due to the season we have stopped our regular gatherings, but we are still working to prepare more of the site for the next growing season. If interested in a garden, or helping with events and more, contact Bonnie Ashing through the Center or at

11. We are updating two of our ongoing projects inside the community center: our Community Clothing GiveAway being better organized and focused and expanding into a Community Tools and Services Lending Library, and our Computer Center. Come help and check it out in the weeks ahead as we launch them in the new year. And start to renovate our future much larger Community Room.

12. Stay tuned for news about upcoming Christmas celebrations, and New Years Eve events, music concerts, Volunteer GiveBack Days, and our Community Connections programs in Turley with the University of Oklahoma.

We have a lot going on but we can't do it without you. And we can't continue to do amazing things that we haven't even imagined yet until you help us imagine them. Thanks in advance.  


Coming Events in the Turley Area in November: All Welcome and Needed: Food Pantry Open, Veterans, Cherokee School Meeting, Incorporation, Disaster Response, Crime and Safety, and More See Below

TURLEY/Far North Tulsa COMING EVENTS For All This Month
@ The Welcome Table, a project of A Third Place Community Foundation
Community Center/Library/FoodPantry/ClothingGiveaway/Chapel/GardenPark
5920 N. Owasso Ave. and 6005 N. Johnstown Ave. 918-794-4637  

1. Food Pantry, Food Justice, and Sustainability Space Open Every Tuesday and Thursday, 3 to 6 pm at the community center
2. Turley Area Leadership Planning Group: working on Disaster Response Network,Incorporation, and Infrastructure planning: Friday Nov. 4, 2 pm, every First Friday at the community center
3. TownHall and Community Connections Meeting with State Rep. Seneca Scott and other officials, Friday, Nov. 4, 5:30 pm, Tulsa Comm College NE Campus, Apache and Harvard
4. McLain High School Homecoming Game and Events Friday, Nov. 4, 4949 N. Peoria Ave.
5. What To Do with Cherokee School building? Community Forum and Workshop with OU Graduate Design Studio, Sat. Nov. 5, Noon to 4 pm at the community center with Free Lunch For Participants.
6. Community Fall Festival, Sat. Nov. 19, O’Brien Park Recreation Center
7. Movie Night, Tuesday, Nov. 15, 6:30 pm at the Center, “Restrepo” documentary on the War in Afghanistan through soldiers’ eyes. Discussion of veterans issues in our area and creating a veterans support room in the Center.
8. Turley Area Alliance Against Crime: Personal, Home, and Neighborhood Safety meetings Thursday Nov. 17, 6:30 pm at the center
9. Turley Area Public Town Hall Meeting and Community Association, Tues Nov. 29, 7 pm O’Brien Park Recreation Center, 6147 N. Birmingham
10. Community Garden Taste and Teach Gatherings Free Every Saturday 9am, the Welcome Table Community Park, 6005 N. Johnstown Ave.
11. Recovery 12 step Saturdays, 5 pm Jerks Anonymous, 7:30 pm, Alcoholics Anonymous, community center
12. Turley Water Board Public Meeting, LAST WORKING DAY OF MONTH 8:30 AM AT THE WATER DEPT. 6108 N. Peoria Ave.
13. Turley Fire Dept. Meetings THURSDAYS 7 PM, Fire Station, 6408 N. Peoria.
14. The Welcome Table Missional Community, Sundays beginning 9:30 am, conversation on progressive Christianity and justice for the poor, community service, communion, common meal, other worship and prayer classes coming up; see Rev. Ron Robinson,
15. Call about Thanksgiving Meal. 918-794-4637.


Important Community Events Coming Up: You are welcome and invited

Come to all of these upcoming events:

1. Tonight Entertaining Angels movie about beginning of Houses of Hospitality, 7:30 pm
2. Tuesday, Oct. 18, 6:30 pm documentary Living Without: youth of jailed parents tell their own stories, followed by discussion, pizza free dinner included.
3. Wednesday, Oct. 19, 3-6 pm, O'Brien Park Center, Memorial Service Reception for Linda Taylor, our board member, the long time park center director, and community organizer.
4. Tues oct 25 5 pm domestic violence and safety talk by sherry clark of Families And Communities Empowered for Safety (FACES), with free dinner;
5. Followed at 7 pm over at O'Brien Park for Turley Community Association Public Townhall meeting
6. Wed. oct 26 4 pm touring cherokee school talking about repurposing for community.
7. Thursday, Oct. 27, 6:30 pm, Turley Area Alliance Against Crime meeting.
8. Friday oct 28 3:30 pm talk to leadership tulsa group touring our gardenpark and community center to learn about our projects;
9. Sat oct 29 6-8 pm our 6th annual big free old fashioned halloween party and haunted house.
10. Thursday, Nov. 3, 2pm, Future of Turley planning, disaster response networking, leadership coordinating
11. Saturday, Nov. 5, Noon Free Lunch For Community and Then Community Input Workshop on Future of Turley area and the Repurposing of Cherokee School, project partner OU Graduate Design Studio.

Mourning the Death of Linda Taylor and Celebrating Her Life Wed. Oct. 19 3-6 pm O'Brien Rec Center

Our community in Turley and north Tulsa, and our state, lost a supporter and activist, and we lost a board member of our community foundation, when Linda Taylor, activities director at O'Brien Park, died last week. Her family services were held this past Saturday in her hometown of Cement, OK. A community memorial service will be held this Wednesday, Oct. 19, from 3 to 6 pm at O'Brien Recreation Center. Please come to the memorial reception during that time and bring your stories and photos of Linda.

Here is the obituary information:
Linda Fay Taylor
(July 10, 1949 - October 11, 2011)

Linda Fay Taylor, 62, Tulsa, Oklahoma, passed from this life Tuesday, October 11, 2011.

Linda was born July 10, 1949, in Chickasha, Oklahoma, to Baxter H. Taylor and Minnie B. (Reynolds) Taylor. After graduating from High School, she attended college and received her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Education. Before joining the Parks and Recreation Profession, Linda was an educator and basketball coach. She came to the Recreation Profession in 1975 as a Recreation Leader at Tulsa County’s O’Brien Park. She quickly advanced to and was still the O’Brien Park Activities Director. She chartered the O‘Brien Advisory and Education Board, the longest running 501C3 support group in the Tulsa County Park System.

Linda directed day camps, taught fitness classes, started gardens, lifeguarded, arranged special events, organized basketball tournaments and even set up boxing rings. She worked with State Representative Senaca Scott through her activities and State Rep Jabar Shumate was one of Linda’s “kids” growing up at the recreation center. Linda served on the boards of the Tulsa chapters of Business and Professional Women and the American Association of University Women. She was always a steady advocate for equal funding for women’s sports in schools throughout her life. She was a season ticket holder for the WNBA Tulsa Shock team before she knew for sure the Shock would be coming to Tulsa.

Linda served as Activities Director at O’Brien Park for 34 years. She served as President and Historian for ORPS – Oklahoma Recreation and Parks Society. Linda was aware of the need for a clean environment and was “green” before it was popular to be green. She received the CLP (Certified Leisure Professional) certification in 1984. Her desire to protect the environment is still in the hearts of her friends and co-workers. She has recently received the Distinguished Professional Award. She supported various Animal Rescue Locations. Linda has donated her hair at least twice to Locks for Love. There is so much more to say about Linda and her family and friends will always remember her love and dedication to the various clubs, societies, and activities she became involved with.

Linda was preceded in death by her father Baxter Taylor and niece Deborah Taylor.

She is survived by her mother Minnie Robertson and husband J.V.; sister Shirley Stokholm and husband Paul; brother Vernon Taylor; nieces Tricia Taylor and Kirsten Stokholm; nephew Brian Stokholm; great niece Abriana Evans and husband Jonathan; great-nephews Zachary Stokholm, Mason Taylor-Schmidt, and Seth Evans; her care-giver friends Patty Dixon, Angela Swift, Debbie Pleu, Clair Bowles, Keeley Mancuso, Cindy Phillips, Samia Hindi, Pam McWherter, Connie Day, Tina Lynn, Phylis “Cooky” Dawson, Margaret Wilson and Sue Price; many other relatives and a host of friends.

Funeral services for Linda will be Saturday, October 15, 2011, at 2:00 P.M. at the First Baptist Church in Cement, Oklahoma. Rev. Charles Echols will officiate. Visitation for Linda will be Friday, October 14, 2011, from 12 noon until 8:00 P.M. at the Funeral Home. A Memorial Service is set for Wednesday, October 19, 2011 from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at O’Brien Park, 6149 N. Lewis Avenue, Tulsa. Condolences may be sent to the family at Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Mobley-Dodson Funeral Service of Sand Springs, Oklahoma.

In lieu of flowers, the family request that donation be made to: Third Place Community Foundation, 5920 North Owasso Avenue, Tulsa, Oklahoma, 74126, where she was a Board member for the Turley and North Tulsa community; or the animal rescue of choice.


Breaking News: Protest Rally Sat. Sept. 24 to Bring Back Turley Post Office. Come to Warehouse Market show support

Late breaking news: Come to a protest rally and petition drive at the Warehouse Market in Turley tomorrow, Saturday Sept 24 and support the local postal workers who are supporting our community.

Event Will Highlight Hardships Imposed on Citizens, Businesses, Local Economy

WHEN: Saturday, September 24, 2011, Noon – 6:00 PM

WHAT: Tulsa’s local postal workers will distribute information and launch a petition drive to inform citizens and the media about the Postal Service’s plan to close the West Tulsa and Turley Branches

WHERE: Warehouse Market, Turley
Corner of Southwest Blvd. & S 33rd W Ave, West Tulsa

WHO: Mark Coyle, Retired Letter Carrier, and local postal workers.

MORE: Closing the Turley & West Tulsa Branches, which are part of a nationwide plan to eliminate post offices in hundreds of communities like ours, would deprive citizens of easy access to crucial services and hurt local businesses. Closing these stations would create a hardship – especially for senior citizens, those with handicaps, and our neighbors who rely on public transportation. Postal workers are informing local citizens about the proposed closure – and what they can do to stop it.

***These rallies are being held in conjunction with the “Save Our Service” Rally which will be held on Tuesday, September 27, 2011 outside John Sullivan’s office. Petitions signed on Saturday will be presented to Congressman Sullivan. Representatives from all three postal unions will be there.


Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday Next Week: Spaghetti Dinner, Turley Meeting, New Health Survey & Free Supper & Movie

Three Straight Days of Big Events in Turley next week.

Begin on Monday, Sept. 26 from 5 to 8 pm with the Spaghetti Dinner to benefit the recent fire victims, to be held at the Turley Odd Fellows Lodge, 6227 N. Quincy, $5 per person. Great deal, great cause.

Then on Tuesday, Sept. 27, at 7 pm at O'Brien Park Recreation Center, the monthly public town hall meeting for Turley area residents. come meet local officials, hear about activities and plans coming up, bring your concerns and celebrations and commitment to helping your community improve our quality of life.

Then on Wednesday, Sept. 28, come to the community center, 5920 N. Owasso Ave., behind the tag agency, from 3:30 to 5 pm and help us partner with the Tulsa County Health Dept. on a new health survey for our area; this is a new and different one from the one we did with OU recently; come take the 15 minute survey and stay for a free supper at the center, and also at 6:30 pm stay for our monthly movie; this month it is "October Sky" based on the memoir called Rocket Boys, about the struggles of poor kids in a poor community fighting against stereotypes to follow their dream and change the story of their life, thanks in large part to the dedication of a good public school teacher who believed in them and pushed them to greater expectations. Part of our September focus on Education.

Also remember we have every Saturday morning community garden Teach and Taste and Help at The Welcome Table KitchenGardenPark and orchard, 6005 N. Johnstown Ave., and also on Wednesday evenings beginning at 6 pm. Come see the emerging park and catch the vision of growing and sharing healthy food in our zipcode which has a fourteen year lower life expectancy than in midtown tulsa just a few miles away.

For other events in community coming up see the post below at


Exciting Events in Turley Community Coming Up For All

TURLEY AREA COMING EVENTS For All---Please Share With Others...
@ Community Center/Library/FoodPantry/ClothingGiveaway/Chapel, 5920 N. Owasso Ave. or other neighborhood places 918-794-4637 or 918-691-3223 or 918-430-1150 for more information.

Community News: Thanks for all who came to celebrate or to support Turley Day on Sat. Sept. 17. Let us know if you want to work on a team to sponsor the event next year; it only happens if we get people to agree to work on it.

1. Benefit Spaghetti Dinner for Fire Victims, Turley Odd Fellows Lodge, 6227 N. Quincy Ave., All Welcome, Monday, Sept. 26, 5 pm, $5 meal. Come help raise needed funds to go for those affected by the August fires.
2. Turley Area Community Association, Tuesdays, Sept. 27 and Oct. 25, 7 pm O’Brien Park Recreation Center, 6147 N. Birmingham. Meet local officials, hear what is going on and how you can help.
3. Come to the Community Center from 3:30 to 5 pm on Wednesday Sept. 28 and help our area have a voice in the new county health department being built in our area at 56th and Cincinnati. If you take about 15 minutes to help the health department with a survey of residents, we will provide you with an after school meal or dinner, and then you are invited to stay and watch the acclaimed movie October Sky about boys from a poor town in West Virginia who defy the odds and stereotypes and follow their dreams of launching rockets. Movie starts at 6:30 pm.
4. Turley Area Alliance Against Crime: Personal, Home, and Neighborhood Safety meetings last Thursdays Sept. 29, 6:30 pm at the center.
5. Turley Area Disaster Response Planning, and Community Leadership Coordination, working on small area plan and on incorporation, Thurs., Oct. 6, 2 pm, at the Center. We have been informed that now the Red Cross will be able to use the O'Brien Recreation Center as the community evacuation center in case of future fires or other needs; now we will be working on setting up community resource response and a communication network of how to let people know; we are still trying to work on getting a tornado shelter in our area with a mobile home park without one. This is not a town hall meeting but a working session for community leaders and those who wish to take on work for the community....We are also working on Cherokee School use, revisioning ways to use it for new community uses, working with OU Graduate Design School, and also ways to bring back a post office which recently closed after a century here....We will be working with others to do visioning celebrations and to show possibilities for new economic and community life in abandoned shopping areas in our area.
6. First Fridays Townhall with Rep. Seneca Scott, Catholic Charities, Apache and Harvard, Oct. 7, 5:30 pm, Community Coalitions Connection.
7. Plan It Now. Mark it on your Calendar. Don't Miss It and let your neighbors know about the Free Community Dinner, Third Annual Taste of North Tulsa, Better Choices and Healthy Living, Thu. Oct. 13, 6 p.m., community organizations fair, health screenings, at our community's McLain High School and Junior High School, 4949 N. Peoria Ave. Great Jazz Band, local restaurants featured. Some of the best food will be cooked by area restaurants and available for free.
8. Movie Night, Tuesday, Oct. 18, 6:30 pm at the Center, we will be showing an important for our area Documentary “Living Without: youth of incarcerated parents tell their own stories” followed by discussion. We hope to partner with area organizations who are focusing on helping our children and youth whose parents are incarcerated.
9. Families and Communities Empowered For Safety Presentation and Conversation with Sherry Clark, founder of F.A.C.E.S. Free Supper Program, 5 pm Tuesday, Oct. 25, at the Center. This will be a chance to help our community prevent and respond better to one of our most prevalant problems, Domestic Violence, and will also be focused on other issues of safety as well. Come to the supper presentation at the Center and then go to O'Brien Park for the monthly community meeting.
10. Community Free Halloween Party, Sat. Oct. 29, 6 to 8 pm, at The Center.

Weekly Events:
11. Bluegrass Jam, Every Monday, 5 pm, at the Community Center.
12. Community Garden Taste and Teach Gatherings Every Saturday 8 to 10 am and Every Wednesday, 6 pm to ?, the Welcome Table Community Park, 6005 N. Johnstown Ave. Come celebrate and connect and help us grow healthy food in this healthy food desert, meet new friends, come take on a garden bed for yourself, your family, your church; or come and enjoy the views and the emerging new garden park that has been created by local residents.
13. Recovery 12 step Saturdays, 5 pm Jerks Anonymous, 7:30 pm, Alcoholics Anonymous, community center

14. Turley Water Board Public Meeting, LAST WORKING DAY OF MONTH 8:30 AM AT THE WATER DEPT. 6108 N. Peoria Ave.
15. Turley Fire Dept. Meetings THURSDAYS 7 PM, Fire Station, 6408 N. Peoria.
16. Small Group Worship Circle at the Welcome Table Community Center, Sundays 11 am, bible study, communion and common meal, Rev. Ron Robinson. for more on The Welcome Table church go to


Turley Area History, CleanUp, Garden, Food Drive Day Sat. Sept. 17

Turley Area History & Garden & Clean Up & Food Drive Day
Sat. Sept. 17 8 am – 2 pm
@The Welcome Table Community Center
5920 N. Owasso Ave. behind the tag agency, one block west of Peoria

Free Lunch For Volunteers: Come For As Long As You Can. All Ages Welcome.

Food Drive For Community Pantry….
Litter Pickup from our streets: free bags, gloves, water provided….
Yard Sale. Take what you need, give what you can.
Children’s Activities, Jump….
Free Plant & Seed & More Garden Swap begin from 8-10 at Welcome Table Park, 6005 N. Johnstown; see the new orchard; Taste and Teach weekly gathering; enjoy the views; celebrate and connect; grow healthy food for yourself and for and with others in our healthy food desert; then it will be moved from 10-2 down to the Community Center….
Live Music….10-Noon
History Sharing and Talking About the Future: Noon-2 pm: Bring Stories, Photos, Yearbooks & More. Honor Our Elders.

Brought To You By your local TulsaNorth/Turley TNT northside volunteer grassroots A Third Place Community Foundation: Renewing Community in Abandoned Places, Growing Healthy Lives and Neighborhoods, through small acts of justice done with great love.

Please donate and surprise the world; see the button at the top of the page.

Call 918-691-3223, 794-4637, 430-1150 To Help Plan and Participate

Come to our A Third Place Community Foundation planning meal, Monday, Sept. 12, 6:30 pm at the Center.


New News and Views and Coming Events

Hi all.

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...


@ Welcome Table Community Center, 5920 N. Owasso Ave.

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, 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.


11. Worship Circle, Welcome Table Church, a free universalist christian missional community, write to for times of gatherings at the center or gardens or other places, or follow on facebook at, or at or 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