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Post Office Set To Close Sept. 10: Help Us Protest and Plan A Free Community Post Office here at the Center

Even though Turley was left off the list of 3700 post offices being closed that was published in the Tulsa World, the post office has confirmed that Turley's post office will be closed on Sept. 10. We are trying to find out if we can get a "village post office" for our area, perhaps in our community center. The Tulsa World is set to run a news story on the closing of Turley and others that were left off the massive list provided by the post office recently. It should be published on Sat. Aug. 6.

We believe:
It is not right to close the post office in our area where we have the poor and the elderly without the means to get four miles away to the other post service; do it where this is possible;
It is not right where the residents affected are not the ones with computers and internet service as an alternative which is the reason the postal service says volume is down; do it where computers are prevalent,
It is not right because where volume is down here it is because the hours of service have been being cut over the years making it difficult to people to use the existing location, and there has been no public signage or promotion of the office and where it is to attract newcomers. One of the first acts we did when we set up our community center was protest the neglect of the post office which was located next door to where we were because the American flag at the post office was torn and tattered; it was replaced, but was a sign of neglect;
It is not right because the people in this area do not have access or means to an alternative like fedex or ups offices as they do in other parts of the Tulsa area; do it where there are alternatives.

Let your federal official representatives know how you feel about this. Contact information through their websites Rep. John Sullivan, Senator Tom Coburn and Senator Jim Inhofe and ask them to do the right thing and keep the post office open where it is needed the most, which is what government resources are meant to do, filling in the gaps.

Stay tuned for news of organizing and protesting meetings and exploring options.


Greenhouse of the Possible: Summer of Renewal on Far Northside

Hi all.

Put some extra bottles of water in your car as you drive our area and hand them out to those walking and without, or drop them off to those waiting at bus stops, or bring them to us as we do so.

While I was away working for a few weeks out of state, we at A Third Place Community Foundation had here the Great Orchard Planting for the Northside on June 26, and the continued emergence of the community gardens going along with the orchard to feed those in the 74126 and 74130 zips, and to build community connections while we do so. See other posts for the links to the TV and newspaper coverage of the big day. Thanks to all the hard working residents from our group and area, and to volunteers who came as far away as Oklahoma City, and to Up With Trees and PSO Oklahoma and Turley United Methodist Church for their assistance, and to project leader Dr. Bonnie Ashing and Cecilia Wessinger who coordinated.

Our New Big News: We were awarded the $25,000 grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank project to take the Welcome Table KitchenGardenPark, 6005 N. Johnstown, to the next level. We look forward to continuing to put money back into our zip codes, as well as creating a place for growing healthy lives and neighborhoods. We have had our first partner family at the garden park, and we also have them at our garden sites at Cherokee School too, and more will be coming, as well as producing vegetables already for our food pantry at the community center. We are eagerly awaiting the actual receipt of the funds so we can put it all into the park project, bridging city of Tulsa and Turley neighborhoods.

Community Health Projects and Summer Events: We are partnering with the University of Oklahoma on a wellness program this summer, a health attitudes survey (along with free $10 gift cards for residents who take the survey) as a prelude to our revolutionary project to begin neighborhood lay health advocates/mentors/master patients called real community health workers. We will unveil it at our booth on Saturday July 16 from 11 am to 2 pm at the Northside YWCA Summer Carnival with the Tulsa Health Department, right around the corner just about from us, in the old Wiley Post School, 54th and N. Madison. Come enjoy the many booths, the free food, and health screenings, and music and more. We will also have survey event days on Wednesday, July 20, 11 am to 1 pm at Cherokee School Cafeteria, 6001 N. Peoria, as part of our Summer Cafe program with Tulsa Schools, and also conducting the surveys as we will have a Big Health Event at our The Welcome Table Community Center, 5920 N. Owasso Ave., on Saturday August 13 from 9 am to 1 pm, and other sites and places may be announced soon. We will have the full list at the booth at the Summer carnival on July 16....This Tuesday afternoon, July 12, we will also host again this year a visit by the OU Medical School summer interns who will be learning about community health from the grassroots and helping us with projects. We hope to have two more events with them during the summer...There are lots more health projects we partner with, even as we work on our own through the healthy food park and our own center projects, so come by to find out about them.

Summer Cafe at Cherokee School: We are still raising funds to keep the daily summer food program going at Cherokee School, which we have sponsored along with Tulsa Schools, Monday through Friday, 11:30 to 12:30 for all under 18 years old; by paying our own staff to run the program here we are able to keep it going all summer long, June 8 to Aug. 5. We feed an average of 30 to 50 children and youth a day. Donations can be made online at the button above. You don't have to have a paypal account to use the donate button. Thanks for all the support....Speaking of schools, we will be partnering this year with Greeley School as well as deepening our involvement with McLain School, and hope to help as needed where we can with Gilcrease and Penn and Monroe. Even while continuing to work with school officials, neighborhood residents, and those interested in finding a healthy community use for the grounds and building at Cherokee and the old Morse school site, and supporting our children no matter where they wind up for school, be it home, online, public, private, etc.

Far Northside/Turley Small Area Planning: We will be hosting a meeting of local and area officials on Thursday, Aug. 4 to keep building connections and next steps for producing a consensus plan for our unique urban/smalltown/rural stretch along North Peoria especially, where now there are inexcusable abandoned dangerous buildings right across from our schools, and blight areas that discourage any efforts to attract groups, residents, businesses to our area. We will be exploring again incorporation of unincorporated areas, but it is just one of the tools we will be employing as we create a new community out of the ruins left behind....In many ways, I say, we are growing from the grassroots a city without a government (yet) as we are de facto involved in early stages of bringing people together to work on our own health department (including our hosting the recovery 12 step group), parks/food/environment/ department, public safety department (last Thursday of each month at 6 pm for the neighborhood safety group btw), Events department, education dept. and chamber of commerce.

The Misc.: Among the still to be announced events, We will be holding soon our summer planning event to schedule many celebrations and events to come for the rest of the year; we always need donations of food for the pantry; we will also be scheduling and holding our big fundraising auction of donated items to us, especially so we can begin when it gets a bit cooler transforming our big building into the Community Room here at the center, where currently we are storing the items. We continue to care for the gardening projects out in the neighborhoods, watering work takes its toll in this heat, and the clothing room is now at full capacity, and we have our computer center back to half its capacity (always looking for donations of new or used computers)....One of our big new donations has come all the way from California as a supporter has shipped us boxes of children's books and health books so we can set up special library areas for children and to support our health projects.

Message: Often I am asked how we do what we do, given that there are no salaries still yet: I respond using phrases like "better to do something poorly than not at all when you are doing life and death matters" "fly by the seat of the pants" "catch as catch can" "relying on grace". Right now on the sign out front of the center it says: "In Brokenness, Here We Are". That means not only are we in a broken area, abandoned by those who want to be places where the cool people are, where there are conveniences and comfort, but it also means we come to you as broken people, as a broken group, still seeking to model a different way of being, with values that run counter or cross to those perpetuated on the television and in the news every day. We are not a faith-based community 501c3, and we have people on our board from a variety of churches and theologies, and our church group pays rent to the foundation, and lord knows our small worship group seems to get smaller and poorer the more we do, and so this is all not just some sneaky evangelical way to bring in people to some organization; but still, faith, hope, and love run through all we do and dedicate ourselves to, and perfection is anathema to faith, hope, and love; shame is anathema to faith, hope, and love; apathy and self-indulgence are anathema to faith, hope, and love...

I close with a quote from Mary Lou Kownacki's book, A Monk in the Inner City, from her opening section on Abandoned Places: "Our goals are modest: to plant daffodils, to rebuild abandoned homes, to paint porches, to read to children, to pray together, to grow vegetables, to become a neighborhood, a community. Nothing spectacular, just a snippet of "the kingdom of God, come on earth as it is in heaven.' "Come, children, let us scatter flower seeds in the neighborhood of no lawns or birds, Let us turn one small street into a greenhouse of the possible."

For those interested in the small group spiritual community side of things here, This Sunday July 10 in worship (come at 10 am each Sunday for the service before the service) we will have a spirited summer hymn sing; on July 17 we will have Question Box Sunday, part 2; on Sunday July 24 I will be in Houston area preaching and on Sunday July 31 I will be preaching at 11 am at Hope Church, 8432 S. Sheridan, on "Where in the World is the Church?" From July 25-29 I will at Western Hills Lodge near Wagoner leading worship on Monday evening and a workshop each afternoon on "Missional Progressives Reimagining The World (and Church)." In August we will have StoryCorps Sundays, bring your favorite meaningful stories out of your lives. And of course communion and common meals anytime we meet which are open to all. more at

Our renewal work is open to all at any time too; if you want to do something with us at anytime, on your own schedule, just let me know. Ron Robinson, executive director, a third place community foundation.


We Receive $25,000 Federal Home Loan Bank Grant for our KitchenGardenOrchardPark in Turley/NorthTulsa

We just received word that we have been awarded a $25,000 grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank community reinvestment program for our work on the miracle among the ruins The Welcome Table KitchenGarden Park where we recently planted 40 fruit trees for an orchard for our area, located at 6005 N. Johnstown Ave. near suburban hills edition in tulsa and near the historic downtown of Turley. We already have several community garden beds underway at the park, and our first family gardeners growing their healthy food there.

Thanks to Freedom Bank in Turley for their cosponsorship of the grant with us, and to the Tallgrass Resource and Conservation District of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture for helping us to submit the grant. As soon as we receive the funds we will be doing more park preparation and cleanup on this site where abandoned houses and trash piled up for years on one of our busy thoroughfares. Thanks also to Rita Scott of buy local, buy fresh and Sustainable Oklahoma, and to Rep. Seneca Scott for help in partnering with us.

To volunteer at the park, to have your own garden bed, call 918-691-3223 or the Welcome Table Community Center at 918-794-4637, or email to

Spread the good news about this good news which is just the beginning of much more to come.