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All About Us Links

Welcome OU Tulsa Graduate Social Work students and also the students from Phillips Theological Seminary who will be working with us or studying us this semester, and welcome all as we start several important community development projects this year. A pivotal year for us about to start thanks to received donations for two major projects, one at the gardenpark and one at the community center, plus we are waiting word on a big low income housing initiative we are hoping to take lead on, and we will be increasing our engagement with area schools during this upcoming year. Only with your support of our all volunteer grassroots neighbors helping the neighborhood projects.

Learn more about us and share please with others these links below:

  1. 1. The workshop at General Assembly which includes the slideshow and video on our MIracle Among the Ruins area and projects, along with our history and our approach to missional church.

    Text that went along with the workshop this summer. And A quick look at our area link

    3. More background into our response and where it comes from and how it manifests:

    4. Why we are here and needed revealed in Fall study by OU at A Third Place

    5. the link of links that go into depth on our demographics and our projects and our vision and includes my lecture to the Graduate Social Work Convention at OU in Norman.
    This is a post that accumulates various other basic introduction posts about our area of the 74126 and 74130 and about our renewal efforts and partnerships and plans and visions within it. The starting point for those who would like to work with us; getting to know us. Caveat: the observations and analysis is mine; obviously others in our area have their own experiences and analysis and visions.
    We always like to begin showing our area and immersing in it in order to understand why we do what we do and how we do it as a response to the world around us; the focus is on building up and growing the neighborhoods primarily, and only building up and growing the organization in order to accomplish the first.

    Our latest breakdown of demographic and ethnographic studies and the OU Turley nutrition survey of residents in our two mile radius:

    An overview of the renewal vision: called The Four Directions in our area:

    A post on health responses to the life time expectancy disparity in our zipcode:

    Based on a presentation given at OU Tulsa by members of a team from there after study time at Dartmouth.

    A post on educational justice and community abandonment and the proposal to focus program changes at McLain School and its feeder schools:

    The comprehensive lecture given at OU on our history, our responses, our vision:

    6. Some recent sermons that update our work The Spirituality of Missional Messiness, how to stay centered and hopeful in places of despair. The missional call to move beyond our own concerns of institutional survival; why church is changing. The look at why progressives need to become missional, and the missional church needs progressives.

SOS (summer of service) for your urgent support: The Welcome Table Report: 4 days left to support our Northside Miracle Among the Ruins Faithify projects

The Welcome Table August 2014 Report
What a SOS, Summer of Service, it has been so far here at The Welcome Table on the northside of Tulsa. You can experience it in the links below, and particularly help respond to our SOS this week by supporting with a pledge our two all or nothing Miracle Among The Ruins projects for here, crowdsourcing on Faithify for a Kitchen Greenhouse at our community gardenpark and orchard here in the 74126, more important than ever now that the Gateway Grocery has closed adding more abandonment to our healthy food desert, and also the remodeling of a Community Room for both local groups here and for those visiting and serving with us. We have a donor who will match all new or increased pledges but we need to act soon. Details below.  Also see at the very bottom for what the real miracle is here.
Start by going to the new Slideshow below, then at the links for the Faithify projects you can also see the new video about our work and ministry here. Then see our plans for the building that burned down on our site and how to support the new garden plans by the free food store. Speaking of the corner store, we just finished distributing six tons of food in one hour here this past Friday thanks to some 40 neighbors who showed up to help hand out the food to other neighbors. The next day we gave out more during one of our regular food community days. We also had meals at the Center or the Park on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Just in one weekend we fed 160 families, representing some 750 individuals. We haven't done it alone; we have been hosting two youth groups both from the Kansas City area, for example, one from a United Methodist church and one from a Unitarian Universalist church; we have had a guest minister staying with us and more planned, and we have a project underway with Eagle Scouts, and we have partnered twice this summer with the Cherry Street Farmers Market and Restore Hope Ministries to bring fresh vegetables to our folks.  
1. View our Miracle Among The Ruins Slideshow; see the statistics on hunger and food insecurity, images of decay, and images of resistance and growing community spirit and strength and support where others walk away and pretend we don’t exist.
2. See our new video and Donate and Share and help us as we only have four days left to raise our total needed of $6,000 to build a GreenHouse Kitchen in our community gardenpark and orchard where the row of abandoned houses and property damage and illegal dumping once stood out in our community, where we now have community events and help people eat healthy food, but where we need a Greenhouse Kitchen in order to grow food year round and help people learn to cook it; they won’t learn to grow it if they don’t know how, on limited budgets and with little kitchen equipment, how to cook healthy. That is only 60 people donating an average $100 to make this happen; 60 people from around the world; if you can donate more than $100 please do so because many people will only be able to pledge less than that. You can pledge often. Your pledges will not come out of your bank account unless we raise the full amount.
3. Community Room. This includes our new video too. Donate and Share and help us as we only have four days left to raise $7,500 to remodel, renovate and put into year round use our biggest south building of our abandoned church building we bought and put into use for the community center and free food store. We need to make it accessible and usable not only for our neighborhoods but also for those who come in to learn and serve with us, whether they are local students we work with or groups from around the country and world. That is only 75 people giving an average $100; see above.
Surely, we can reach up to 135 people, or fewer if as we hope people will give to both our needed projects, who will give an average of $100; but it will take all of your help to help us reach those people. So little goes such a long way in impoverished areas like ours. That is the way, though, that amazing things happen. It is why we call what we do Miracle Among the Ruins. Even though we are all volunteer, with all the ups and downs of life here, all the setbacks, still we have a good track record and history of transforming the spirit of despair to hope, from isolated lives to community engagement.
4. Here is the final major project this summer: we were hoping enough people would vote for us that we would make the finals for one of the grants in order to clear out the rubble of our burned building by the community center, and to build a wheelchair accessible community garden and social space with deck right there by our free cornerstore food pantry to connect with the 1000 people we help feed monthly; another blight to beauty and “third place” space. We didn’t make the cut, but we are still committed to doing the project, even if it takes longer to do it. Your special donation, or connections of construction people willing to donate some work for us would make this miracle and dream come true too. You can donate Or sending a check to A Third Place at 5920 N. Owasso Ave. Turley, OK 74126.

This Thursday with a free lunch at noon we will hold an important community organizing meeting to get updates on all the projects underway in our area and how to support them and our neighbors. Here at The Welcome Table, 5920 N. Owasso Ave. From fire dept to local schools to upcoming events at the county park to the Heritage Day lunch in September to getting updates from county and state officials about the needs of our area and several other ongoing blight to beauty areas here come and connect. See our coming events below for more information.
Also we are selling special missional t-shirts here for the Unitarian Universalist Christian Fellowship: Love The Hell Out Of This World, God Is Love, and from a slogan from some of the early supporters of universal salvation we have Death and Glory tshirts with that motto, a skull, and the off centered cross on it. You can see all three and how to order from us by going to

Here is a link to recent talks and sermons I have given about various aspects of our work here: The Spirituality of Missional Messiness, how to stay centered and hopeful in places of despair. The missional call to move beyond our own concerns of institutional survival; why church is changing. The look at why progressives need to become missional, and the missional church needs progressives.
The notes on the workshop I led along with three other ministers who have been here to our ministry on the northside during the General Assembly of the UUA in Providence, RI this summer.

Coming Events, including our upcoming worship gatherings:
Come Join Us…..
Free Meals on Saturdayweather permitting, Welcome Table Community GardenPark and Orchard, 6005 N. Johnstown Ave. Help The Garden and Eat Together. 9 am Breakfast Aug. 9, 16, 23, 30. Call918-346-3475 for Bonnie Ashing, M.D. for more information.  
Food & Community Daysat 10 am to Noon, Wed. Aug. 13Sat. Aug. 16,Wed. Aug. 20Sat. Aug. 23Wed. Aug. 27. Or by appt. once a month visits. Welcome Table Center, 5920 N. Owasso Ave. serving the 74126, 74130, 74073. Call Rev. Ron Robinson, 918-691-3223 for more information.
Neighborhood PlanningThurs. Aug. 7, Noon Free Lunch Meeting at the Welcome Table Center. Find out what issues we are working on to improve the quality of life here in the McLain/Turley area, or bring your ideas.
Puppy PaloozaSat. Aug. 9, 11 am to 3 pm, O’Brien Park, 6147 N. Birmingham. Food. Dog Training. Pet Adoption. Rescue Agencies. Pooch/Human Swim. Agility Control. On-Site Vet. 
Community BreakfastSat. Aug. 9, 7 to 10 am, $5 with Kids 10 and under free, Odd Fellows Lodge, 6227 N. Quincy Ave.
Turley/McLain Area Seniors for those 55 and over and their families in 74126 and 74130: Meet Second Wednesdays (Aug. 1310:30 amBingo and Noon Lunch, Turley United Methodist Church, 6050 N. Johnstown Ave. and On Third Wednesdays (Aug. 20), 12:30 pm Lunch and Field Trip Planning at The Welcome Table Center. 
Legislative Forum/Community IssuesSat. Aug. 16, 10 am Rudisill Library, Pine & Hartford Ave.
Turley Area Community Association meeting and Town Hall, Tues. Aug. 26, 7 pm. The Welcome Table Center.
12 Step Recovery Group, each Saturday 6 pm at the Welcome Table Center.
Turley Fire and Rescue Dept meetings, eachThursday 7 pm 6404 N. Peoria.
Turley Water Dept.meetings, last working day of each month, Aug. 29, 8:30 am6108 N. Peoria Ave.
Welcome Table Communityworship: Sunday Aug. 10, 5 pm at Trinity Episcopal Church for Taize service, 5th and S. Cincinnati Ave. (leave the Welcome Table carpool at 4:30 pm) with meal following; note different time for this week: Saturday, Aug. 16 5 pm at The Welcome Table Center (we are exploring going to a special monthly missional Ancient Worship For Contemporary Times event); Sunday, Aug. 24 5 pm at The Welcome Table Center and meal gatherings: see or call Rev. Ron Robinson at918-691-3223
Growing Healthy Lives and Neighborhoods on the Northside Through Small Acts of Justice Done With Great Love.
A Third Place Foundation 918-691-3223 or 918-794-4637

Looking ahead: Special Turley and NorthSide Heritage Day Lunch at Noon at The Wecome Table Center on Sat. Sept. 20 following a tour and talk on the area past, present, and future that will begin at the Center at 9 am.
Plan Now for a conference here on Spiritual Practices in a Missional Setting, Friday to SundayMay 29-31 at The Welcome Table.

And finally this is still just a brief report of this summer's work here. We have projects small and large cooking in the community so stay tuned, or better yet, come and see. And please share. There are still many people right around us, in the Tulsa area, and across the nation who are still finding out about this amazing work done by people who are just getting to know one another, by people who are just getting out of prison and being trusted again, by people with illness and sickness of many kinds, and yet all moving forward and beginning again in love. 
Blessings, thanks for all you all have done with us, and more coming soon.

Rev. Ron Robinson
The Welcome Table Missional Community,,
A Third Place Community Foundation
5920 N. Owasso Ave. Turley OK 74126
Executive Director
Unitarian Universalist Christian Fellowship
Executive Director
Phillips Theological Seminary
director of ministerial formation for uu students and adjunct faculty in practical theology