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September 2012 Major Calendar Events: Resurrecting Community Life on the Northside

Please share with others these upcoming events and reflections...

Make A Difference in our Far North Community and in Your Life, Connect with us, Donate To Our Mission,

Hi all. Many opportunities coming up in the next weeks to help us as we seek to renew community, empower our residents on the northside, and grow healthy lives and neighborhoods; if we do these things, our other issues that more often make news headlines---school issues, crime issues---they will take care of themselves. It is about growing organic life. If we have school test scores much lower than they should be (though they are rising slowly), or if we have domestic violence, drugs, gangs, juvenile crime (though those are much lower than people stereotype), the way to focus on them is to focus on the soil in which they are planted: that is community life, neighborhood spirit, and justice for those most neglected, abandoned, wounded, left out. Let September be a month when we turn our attention and time and resources to making sure we have healthy soil in which to grow our communities.

Recently, some people visiting our area described our Turley and far northside area as "a dying community." If you look at the statistics, and the stereotypes, it is hard to counter that description. But if you look at the stories and the spirit of the people living in, moving into, resisting, and if you look at just this small glimpse of what is happening here in just one piece of the picture, it would better be described as a "resurrection community." Bless or curse, choose life or death, which vision of life calls out to you?

Tuesday, Sept. 4, 9 am to 2 pm, North Tulsa Farmers Market at TCC Northeast Campus, apache and harvard. And every Tuesday and Friday morning, 9:30 am to Noon, our Food Pantry, clothing room, community center. Also we are blessed to host the Legal Aid Society most Tuesdays and Fridays with us also during these hours. Free legal advice on a multitude of issues. Spread the word.

Wednesday, Sept. 5: At McLain High School 1:30 pm grant announcement of a $100,000 award for the school from AT&T. Lots happening in the next few months at McLain; see below. It is a privilege to serve on the School Foundation Board; we pray for the new principal Darrius Kirk and all there this year as they face many challenges of growth and change, serving more students.

Thursday, Sept. 6, GROW TURLEY deep planning meeting, 3:30 pm, at the community center, 5920 N. Owasso Ave. Focusing on disaster response, incorporation into a city research, abandoned buildings and connecting leaders to coordinate planning for this area.

Friday, Sept. 7 Day of Caring at our community center and community gardenpark and orchard, as we host people from Nordam, Hillcrest Medical Center, and Legal Aid Society of Eastern Oklahoma volunteering to make a difference with us. Come volunteer to work on our center and grounds, getting ready for our big fundraiser auction, and improving the gardenpark, 6005 N. Johnstown Ave. Come and see what's going on; come help us host; come serve alongside these helpers; thanks to the United Way. It all begins at dawn and goes to dusk; come for as long or as short a time as you can, and spread the word.

Saturday, Sept. 8, Community fundraising breakfast 8 to 10 am Odd Fellows Lodge, 6227 N. Quincy; 7 am on GardenDay at our gardenpark. Last day also to register for the Cherokee School reunion on Sept. 22; see below.

Tuesday, Sept. 11, 6 pm at the Community Center, the first Turley Area Disaster Response Network Orientation Session and free dinner; come be a part of building our network of neighborhood leaders, begin mapping our resources, and helping prepare and spread the communications information our residents need for a multitude of potential disasters, natural or otherwise. Be a leader in your immediate area.

Wednesday, Sept. 12 I will be meeting in the evening at OU Tulsa Graduate Social Work class to help orient them to our service area and help them get started on this semester's service-learning projects. If you have connections with other universities and classes in all kinds of departments that might be interested in working with us to serve our area and educate new leaders, contact me.

Friday, Sept. 14, 1 pm the real estate auction of the old feed store and old fire dept building and adjacent lots on North Peoria; an opportunity to turn abandoned blight back into places of community transformation or economic development; these are historic buildings in our area that have been neglected for years; we painted over graffiti and mowed the weeds and hope to see them put to good use.

Saturday, Sept. 15, 10 am. at the Center. Our Big Community Benefit Auction and Fun-Fest. Help us raise funds for our projects and our partners. Charity auctioneer Jay Litchfield will be coordinating. We have many wonderful items donated from law firms, homes, businesses; looking for more. Lots of items small to large. Everything goes so we can begin renovating the biggest part of our building space for community kitchen and other use. Children's activities and community information booths, refreshments.

Also on Saturday Sept. 15 we will have a crew at the gardenpark building our new tool and storage shed. And that day I will be speaking at Suburban Acres library on our sustainability and food justice work as part of the Library's year long Food for Thought focus.

Also on Saturday, Sept. 15 we will be making our big announcement about the next online voting event to help us win our kitchenshelter rain water collection greenhouse. Get your networks primed to turn out and vote for us again as you did when we won the orchard from the national fruit tree planting association.

Tuesday, Sept. 18, the Disaster Response Orientation Session at 6 pm at the Fire Dept building; again we provide free dinner for those who couldn't make the first session or wish to attend and connect and go deeper and help our resource mapping.

Friday, Sept. 21, McLain High School Homecoming Game and Event. Come support our local high school.

Saturday, Sept. 22, Cherokee School every four years Reunion, this one may be the last one in the school building at 6001 N. Peoria, from 9 am to 4 pm. (I am setting up a meeting between now and then, I hope, to talk further with TPS officials about a possible lease use of the school for our growing food justice center and as a site for community meals and events; if your non-profit or business is interested in partnering with us to turn this newly abandoned but wonderfully equipped building into community use again, contact me).

Sunday, Sept. 23, McLain all grades reunion picnic at Shelter 2 at Mohawk Park, an informal bring your own everything from 1 to 4 pm; a chance to build bridges and connect with old friends and meet new ones.

Tuesday, Sept. 25, 6 pm Disaster Response Orientation Session at O'Brien Park, free dinner, followed by the monthly 7 pm Turley Community Association TownHall; hear local officials report on activities in the community, your chance to ask questions.

Coming Up Not To Miss in October: We will again be a part of helping plan and put on the Fourth Annual Taste of North Tulsa event on Thursday, Oct. 11, 5:30 pm at McLain High School. Great local food, stressing healthy eating, with community fair, and great music. Free.

And Saturday, Oct. 13 our Far North Community Renewal Conference, featuring a tour of our two mile service area, questions and response, free lunch, keynote presentations by Ann Patton, author of Dan's War on Poverty about Father Dan Allen, founder of Neighbor for Neighbor, and by Terry McGee, community business leader and activist on the northside, followed by small group planning sessions focusing on the major issues facing our community, helping to move us forward as a community renewal organization and joining with others to become a movement for this far northside region, from 46th St. North to 76th St. North.

On the Welcome Table missional community side of things, August was splendid and fun. While I was on vacation and study leave, but enjoying worship with the group from time to time, we focused on worshipful support of the Leadership of Women Religious Conference, the "radical nuns" seeking justice for the poor and the oppressed; we visited and worshipped with St. Aidan's Episcopal Church here in north Tulsa, we worshipped with All Souls Church, and our new Board member and resident of Turley, Rev. Eliza Galaher, recently moved here from Austin, Texas, led worship and conversation at the community center...For September, we will be focusing again on a theme for the month: this time "The Spirit of the Bible and The Vision for the Church." Each Sunday I will take a pivotal story from the Bible and teach on its missional meaning and we will discuss a facet of our radical vision for what church is and can be. We gather at the community center, or the garden park, at 9:30 am and go with study and communion and common meal until the noontime hour, or so. We invite people to come be a part even of this one day only aspect of our missional community even if you are unable to be with us for our many communal gatherings throughout the week. On Sunday morning Sept. 30 I will be travelling to Stillwater to preach on "Inward/Outward: The Synching and The Salting of the Soul" and invite you to our missional road trip.

Also being launched in September will be our Praying the Hours with The Welcome Table. Look on both and for more information coming, and for when you can join us either virtually on those sites, via Skype group, or with us in face-to-face contemplative centering prayer sessions to grow and deepen our inward lives to sustain us and shape us as we live our outward lives in mission in the ways listed above, and in the myriad of ways in our worklives, our families, and our times with friends that we "meet God and serve God wherever we go, especially to be with the abandoned places and people of the Consumer Market Empire. We are already developing this time to go deep together on our facebook; follow me at revronrobinson there; using resources from Thomas Merton, Rainer Marie Rilke, Joan Chittister and others.

blessings, thanks for all you do and hope you will find ways to do more of it in community with us, and more soon, Ron Robinson


The GiveBack Place, Events, and People

Anniversary of Fires and Grow Turley Meeting, Thurs. Aug. 2, 3:30 pm

Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of the wildfires that swept through from 56th St. North to 61st St. North just east of N. Peoria Ave. and burned and damaged several homes, caused some 200 homes to be evacuated, and was close to burning down more of our area but for the great response of the local volunteer Fire Dept. and area responders, local residents helping for hours, and a local business contributing equipment and labor to make an important fire break. Our Community Center was the first place for evacuations and Red Cross Center. Ever since then we have met the first Thursday of the month to work on a disaster response network of community residents and leaders, as well as exploring our other infrastructure and community needs. We will be getting an update and planning our first round of disaster response network community orientation meetings when we gather tomorrow Thurs. Aug. 2 at 3:30 pm at our Welcome Table Community Center, 5920 N. Owasso Ave, for the next Grow Turley meeting.

Mobile Van Food Giveaway Event, Tomorrow Thurs. Aug. 2 10 am to Noon

But first tomorrow we have an opportunity for people to come help us give out more than 3 tons of food to some 125 households during our Mobile Van Food Giveaway at Cherokee School parking lot, 6001 N. Peoria It is going to be another scorching hot excessive heat emergency day so we hope to get enough volunteers to help so all can take breaks and not work for long as we sack and bag the food to give away, and as we then start loading the cars and other ways people will be getting their food beginning at 11 am. We will have plenty of cold water and fruit for volunteers and the families. Other volunteers are needed to help with traffic and hand out fliers and take the vouchers for the food we have been handing out for the past two months through our pantry. Our pantry is open every Tuesday and Friday mornings from 9:30 am to Noon; volunteers are needed to help during those hours; some in the pantry, some in the clothing room, some in the library and computer center.

Cooling Station for Far Northside and Turley at O'Brien Park Recreation Center

During these excessive hot days, let people know that the Recreation Center is a good place to go to stay cool, to use their facilities, materials in the crafts and game room, etc. They are open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 8 am to 8 pm and Wednesday and Friday from 8 am to 6 pm. Located at 6147 N. Birmingham Ave.

New Legal Resource Center Assistance and Spiritual Listening at our Community Center

We are very pleased to announce a partnership with the Legal Aid Society of Eastern Oklahoma, which has been providing some advisors to meet with our area residents during the hours of our Food Pantry on Tuesday and Friday mornings 9:30 am to Noon, and have provided a good brochure center of resources for people on a variety of family and civil and personal legal issues. They may not be available at the Center every Tuesday or Friday so call to check first. Help us spread the word to all who could use this important resource close to home. We have also been thrilled that many days during the Food Pantry being open we are blessed with the peaceful presence of the Rev. Debra Garfinkel, a spiritual director, who helps us greet and serve and listen to and with our neighbors.

Community Benefit Dinner for Our Projects and Our Partners Sat. Aug. 18, 5-7 pm

Please come enjoy a "Super Spud Spectacular" benefit dinner and help raise funds for us and our partners on the northside. We will have a baked potato buffet dinner at the Lodge building, 6227 N. Quincy Ave., on Sat. Aug. 18 from 5-7 pm. $5 all you care to eat and children ten and under for free. Bring friends. A good chance to share your projects and dreams for our community; help us bring neighbors together in our multi-ethnic community by eating together.

Community Pancake Breakfast To Benefit Turley Volunteer Fire and Rescue Dept, Sat. Aug. 11 8 to 10 am

Come help raise funds for our local fire dept. so they can help offset all their water costs during the drought and fires of the season. Breakfast sponsored by the Turley Odd Fellows Lodge, 6227 N. Quincy Ave.

Mark it Now, part One: Our Foundation FundRaiser Community Benefit Auction and FunFest Sat. Sept. 15 10 am

Come to our Auction at the Community Center, 5920 N. Owasso Ave. and help us raise funds for the Center, Food Pantry, and Kitchen Garden Park and Orchard and many other projects and partners in the community. We have house and office furnishings, appliances, books and tapes and building materials and much more. Thanks to Jay Litchfield of BidLoud for his services during the auction. We will have activities for children and community information. Great bargains and great opportunity to give back and help us keep going and growing in service with our neighbors.

Mark it Now, part Two: Far Northside Community Renewal Conference, Sat. Oct. 13, at our Community Center.

Come be a part of our community building introduction to our neighborhoods and the many issues, and many partners and projects underway to address them. We will have an extensive tour of our service area, 46th to 76th St. North and Highway 75 to Osage County Line, the McLain High School region, followed by question and answer and free lunch and a keynote talk by Ann Patton, activist and author of "Dan's War" about Father Dan Allen and his history of community organizing in our area and founding of Neighbor For Neighbor, and with northside business leader and activist Terry McGee, and small group work sharing plans for the issues we surface during the event. Let me know now if you would like to be a part of our planning group or will be coming, bringing others from your own groups.

Pool Party, GardenPark and Orchard, Schools, and More....

We were thrilled that the community pool party we helped organize with O'Brien Park recently was so well attended and everyone had a great time; our community needs chances to relax and come together and play together. Our 57 people was by far the most who attended the pool events at all of the county parks. We are hoping to do more in order to show the county officials how important and needed our pool is to our area that has suffered so many closings lately from schools and post office....

We enjoyed buying the Welcome Back Lunch for the new The LightHouse Academy Charter School that has gone in where the former Horace Greeley Elementary School was at 63rd and N. Cincinnati Ave. and getting to meet the new faculty and staff and talk about ways to partner with them in the coming year. They will be joining our partnering with Gilcrease Elementary School at 56th and N. Cincinnati Ave. and with our work with the McLain High School Foundation. If you would like to help us be a partner in education, please let me know and we will find ways to connect your passions with the schools.

We continue even in the heat to harvest from our community gardenpark, and have received fresh vegetables also from vendors at the farmers market and from our friends at The Living Kitchen Farm. Come help us garden and harvest every Saturday beginning at 7 am; call Bonnie Ashing at 918 346 3475 to verify or ask how you can help. Bring cardboard if you can. Stop by during the week to help us care for our chickens which are giving us fresh eggs for our pantry....And support our partner North Tulsa Farmers Market which meets indoors during these hot days at Tulsa Community College Northeast Campus, Apache and Harvard, from 9 am to 2 pm. Also go by the house under renovation at 1370 E. 53rd St. N. on Saturdays at 9:30 am to help the good folks with Sarah's Residential Living Center in their mission of renovating abandoned houses into small intimate homes for seniors living together.

Worship with Missional Community

This Sunday we will begin a month of Sunday gatherings in August around the theme of exploring other faith communities, and drawing from their rich traditions. This Sunday Deb Carroll will lead us in exploring the worship by the Women Religious Leadership Network of Roman Catholic nuns and others as they share their worship and mission. It will be our way as progressive Christians and others to show solidarity with their work and struggle. We begin at the Community Center on Sundays at 9:30 am and include conversation and common meal as well as our worship. This month will be a fun church with other churches focus. Don't miss out.

How You Can Help....beyond coming to see, to share, to serve

We can do all of this only because we get the support of people like you, and sometimes thank you from you yourself, who donate to our programs and events through online contributions at, or by sending a check to A Third Place Community Foundation at 5920 N. Owasso Ave. Turley, OK 74126. To experience more about us add me, revronrobinson, on Facebook; and besides the website just mentioned, check out,,, and