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Cherith Brook PRSRT STD

Practicing God ‘s Mercy & Gospel Resistance Advent 2009

3308 E. 12th St.

Cherith Brook
Kansas City, MO 64127
(816) 241-8047 Catholic Worker

A Night on the Streets

by Devin Magee

Although I had been volunteering We moved on towards Monroe Ave,

at Cherith Brook since last summer, I could heading towards a man’s house who was a
not begin to comprehend what being home- regular at the “Shower House,” as Cherith
less was all about. I had always wondered Brook is called on the streets. We ended up
where the people went after they got their behind a Somali Coffee House where many
shower and hot meal in the mornings. I was cab drivers come to relax when they are off So Elijah did according to the word of the
offered a chance to experience homeless- the clock. There were a couple of younger Lord; he went and lived by the Cherith
ness when Cherith Brook celebrated the men out back talking, and the group ap- Brook...and the ravens brought him bread…
Festival of Shelters. It was a chance for a proached them. We began finding out about I Kings 17
small group of people to try and understand them, and discovered that they were refu-
what the homeless of Kansas City do every gees that had come over from Somalia in about how he jumps people for fun and
day. I jumped at the opportunity, but did not the early 90s when they were young. They for no reason. As he was yelling this,
realize how much this would Eric headed back towards the man to talk
change my view of life. to him. He said his name was
Chopper. It was not hard to tell
I showed up at Cherith
Weekly Schedule Who are we?
that this man was under the
Brook at 6pm on Sunday, influence of drugs, but Eric was
October 4th. We first heard able to get him to put the gun in
testimonials and stories from his pocket. At that point we had
SHOWERS M, T, TH, F 8am-Noon Community—Cherith Brook is a residential Christian four different types of home- been walking for almost two
PRAYERS M, W, F 6:30am community committed to sharing table fellowship with less persons. We heard from hours, and when he found the
strangers, and all our resources with one another. We a lady who had been an un- group was thirsty he started
have found our inspiration from the early church, the documented immigrant, fol- bringing us water and continu-
1st FRIDAY CLARIFICATION FR 7-8:30pm lowing her husband who
Church of the Savior, and the Catholic Worker. ally refilling the glass for us.
FRIDAY NIGHT SHARING OR attained a work visa, and all After talking with him for
Mercy—Our daily lives are structured around practicing the trials she had to struggle
SMALL PROJECTS FR 2-5pm about 30 minutes, Eric asked to
the works of mercy as found in Jesus’ teachings. We through to make it here. We see Chopper’s gun. He asked if
2nd SUNDAY SARCRAMENT SUN 6:30 pm are committed to regularly feeding the hungry, clothing heard from a refugee, and he could lay his hand on it, but
WOMEN’S DAY Last WED of each month the naked, giving drink to the thirsty, welcoming the discussed how difficult it Chopper refused. So he rested
stranger, visiting the prisoner and the sick in the name was for some women to get Glenna, Josh, Laura, Frank, Eric, Nick, Micah, Chris, Tim, & Devin
his hand in the air above the
HAIRCUTS 2nd SAT of each month away from abusive relation-
of Jesus. gun and began to pray over it,
GROUP WORKDAY 2nd SAT of each month ships. All of these people asking that Chopper never use it or feel
Peacemaking—As followers of Jesus, we understand our through certain circumstances had ended up were all Muslim. Eric asked them how Kan- that he needed to for any reason. It was
lives to be centered in God’s Shalom. Cherith Brook in the same place and relied on Cherith sas City had changed since they had moved
here. They responded by saying that there amazing to watch because most people
strives to be a “school” for peacemaking in all its di- Brook and its volunteers to help them.
had always been drugs and prostitution, but would not have wanted to have the gun
mensions: political, communal, and personal, working We then split into groups to head out for the number of homeless in the area had out, loaded, while you prayed over it.
constantly to undo poverty, racism and militarism. the night. There were a total of six in my greatly increased. There was an Apple Market across the
group, including one man named Terrie street with a neighborhood directly be-
who was actually homeless. We walked From there we went off the main drag to
These three orbs can be summed up as the struggle to down Indiana Ave where we ran into a see a man that frequents the Shower House. hind it. It was now around 9 or 10pm.
The neighborhood was dark with only a
connect with the God of life. We pray that Cherith group of teenagers on their front porch talk- Suddenly man came running out of his
Brook is a space where all of us—the broken—can ing. Eric Garbison started talking to them house. He was asking what we were doing couple working street lights. We saw a
man walking towards us and recognized
come to learn and relearn the ways of Jesus; a place to about what it was like living in a neighbor- on his street. |Then there was a click I real- him as Martin who frequents the Shower

Christ is Born! hood that was full of crime and discussed ized that this man had just pulled the action
struggle together for God’s call of love, mercy, peace
their situations. lever back on a handgun. He was yelling (continued on pg 5)
and justice.
PAGE 2 The War Against the Poor by Nick Pickrell House Notes by Sarah Cool PAGE 11

House Needs
There are many who live in the outside the ghettos. The poor can’t afford to run for As we enter this time of Advent, ers, coffee, conversation, or a meal four
Northeast who experience hundreds of The buses don’t run out to where the jobs political office. this time of patient waiting for the birth ofmornings a week. They share their joys
lose-lose situations that our laws, poli- are. The poor can’t afford to lobby. Christ, I have become more aware that the and concerns with us. They feel like our
cies, and cultural practices help create The poor can’t find work. The poor can’t afford to be shareholders. better we get to know our friends, the family now. Our Thursday night commu- Sandwich Meat (no bologna)
and maintain. I recently read a letter that The poor live at the mercy of others. smaller the gap seems between us and nity meals have grown to hosting as many
Mother Teresa wrote urging both The poor lose their homes when property Then the poor are told to pull themselves up them. The more we patiently listen to and as 60 or more some weeks! We had our Sandwich Bags
George Bush Sr. and Saddam Hussein taxes rise. by their bootstraps. understand their joys and concerns, the largest garden yet this summer with so
to consider their poor and the ill effects The poor move deeper into the ghettos. more we see that they are really just like usmuch produce that we almost couldn’t
The poor in our neighborhood end up being
war would have on them if violence The poor search for homes. treated like unwanted animals. Thankfully, when you boil it all down. And what dif- keep up with it. We’ve had a steady stream Sliced Cheese
were to ensue. She talked of all the poor The poor sneak into abandoned homes to Christ told the poor they would be first in the ferences there are actually make getting to of guests stay with us, volunteers coming
having no place to go, all the displaced get out of the cold. kingdom of heaven. That is a reason to know them all the more exciting and inter- to learn about our way of life here and to Peanut Butter & Jelly
persons being rendered poor, and all the hope. esting. help out with the Bananas & Oranges
soldier’s families being torn apart by The poor are told they can’t sleep in parks. Therefore, could- never ending list of
violence. The poor are told they can’t sleep in The rich are told to give to the poor. chores and work Coffee, Sugar, Creamer
n’t we translate this
This simple letter gave me pause. My abandoned houses. The rich are also poor.
concept to any two projects, family and Vinegar (gallon size for cleaning)
mind then turned to those I call sister, The poor are told they can’t sleep in the groups of people? friends stopping in
brother, and friend. I thought of all of woods. Poor because of riches. Not just to us and for quick visits and Baking Soda
Poor because of greed. some for longer
the people in our neighborhood caught The poor are told they can’t socialize on our friends who visit Dish Soap
in an endless cycle of catch 22’s and sidewalks. Poor because of loneliness. us for showers and stays. We’ve added a
how we, the privileged class, have The poor are told they can’t ask for money. Poor because of strategic relationships. meals? How about seventh full-time Toilet Paper
played a part in it. After a year of ac- Poor because of aggressive competition. us and people of community member,
Josh Armfield, Milk, Eggs, Butter
companying our guests as they go to Poor because of isolation. another race or
court, rehab, ER, or to city hall it has Poor because of rugged individualism. creed? Or us and the which takes our total Black Beans
become clear to me that there is much Poor because of performance evaluation. undocumented im- to 10 including our
children. Josh is in Salt & Pepper Shakers
work to be done to break the yoke that Poor because of busyness. migrant? Or even us
enslaves the poor of our city. Poor because of fear. and the Taliban or his last of eight years Folding Tables
Poor because of hoarding. Al Qaeda? that he committed to
Below are a few simple reflections on the Army, choosing (standard rectangular size)
the hardships our friends and guests Poor because of materialism. I would predict, based on our at this time to take the status of Inactive Clear Plastic Restaurant Cups
endure on a daily basis, as well as some Then the rich are told to pull themselves up “experiment” here at Cherith Brook that Ready Reserve. In that status he no longer
of the ways the privileged class experi- by their bootstraps. this phenomenon would hold true regard- has any regular military responsibilities, Water Pitchers
ence the “deep poverty” Mother Teresa -------- less of the two groups. Now, figuring out a although he could be deployed if needed.
speaks of often in her writings. way to make this theory a reality in the Having already done one tour in Iraq we
Hand Held Mixer
Jesus says something astounding in his
-------- Sermon on the Plain—that the kingdom larger world seems much harder than what pray that all war will cease immediately, Industrial Refrigerator
The poor receive our leftovers—our clothes, of God belongs to the poor. Not only we’ve done here. Or is it? This and are confident that if Josh is called back
our food, our work, our shelter. that, but repeatedly Jesus calls the rich “experiment” hasn’t been easy. God had to to duty he will use it as an opportunity to
When possible, please call us at least a
into a life of giving and service to the connect the right group of supporters with practice nonviolent resistance.
The poor are concentrated in the ghettos. day ahead of time to schedule the best
poor in our midst. As Cherith Brook the right group of folks who could live this
The ghettos are dilapidated. As always, we all continue to try to be time to make your delivery of donations.
CW struggles to break free from the life. God had to provide the right location
The poor are treated as sub-human. faithful to the mandates of Matthew 25. Thank you!
pursuit of wealth, the scramble for secu- with the right mission. Then God had to
Ade Bethune
coordinate all of the people and resources We feed the hungry, give drink to the
The poor do manual labor for work. rity and our obsession with individual- thirsty, invite the stranger to share in
ism, something new bursts forth. When to create what has sprung up here, and it
The poor get arrested.
The poor work and sometimes don’t receive
we learn to share more radically, serve has taken time and patience. And then God what we have, clothe the naked, take
money. The poor can’t afford to pay fines.
more humbly and love more completely had to send God’s children to be fed by the care of the sick, and visit the prisoner.
The poor panhandle and sometimes receive The poor serve jail time. Brook called Cherith, as we read in 1 Sure, we actually DO lots more than
money. The poor get felonies. we are always taken aback by how much just those things, but those are the
we end up receiving. A simple thanks, a Kings: 17. This didn’t happen overnight,
The poor become unemployed when but over more than three years. basics. From these, we spring forward
The poor with felonies can’t receive shower curtain, a box of oranges, food into many other areas of interest and
economies crash.
food stamps.
salvaged from a dumpster, moonflower A friend recently reminded me that real concern and need, all the while feeling
seeds, a couple of dollars for our water change, things that really make a differ- God’s hand directing it all. And know-
The poor experience daily violence. The poor with felonies can’t get work.
bill, a hug. When we begin taking con- ence, takes time and patience. We see that ing that each new friendship we make
The poor are robbed. The poor with felonies can’t get housing.
crete steps to break through the eco- every day in our friends, and for some, all here at Cherith Brook draws us closer
The poor are beaten. The poor with felonies spend more time
nomic and social barriers that exist in they have is time. For us who live here, to God and to closing the gap between
The poor are raped. in jail.
our society, we will surprisingly dis- we’re becoming more and more comfort- us and them. Our prayer is that our
The poor are exploited. cover the chains of oppression being able with giving things time and being
The poor are killed or displaced in times world at large finds a way to do the
The poor are criminalized. broken. Not only that, but we will also patient. And, oh how it’s paid off! Izabelle Cool-Abbey, Diana Garbison and
of war.
same, and that you too will find a way
find ourselves calling our “enemies” We have an abundance of friends, some- to close the gaps wherever you are, Taryn Summers prepared fresh salsa with
The jobs move away from the ghettos. The poor die due to inability to pay for friends and discovering the beauty and tomatillos from our abundant garden!
times 40 or so, coming by for showers over time and with patience.
The poor don’t have cars to get to work health care. brokenness within all of us.

Hidden Routes by Chris Brennan Homiak An Extraordinary Gift Shower Needs

The Magi were some of the the fluorescent shirt? I remember seeing up or burned. I saw gardeners and roof- Tennis Shoes
first to discover that encountering Christ all those happy bicyclists when I visited ers, dealers and wanderers. I heard car-
invites detours. Sent by King Herod, China: dressed for work, balancing their dinals and Red-winged Blackbirds. I (men’s & women’s)
they were supposed to return back to children so effortlessly. . .I thought smelled damp leaves and fresh-cut Jeans & Belts
him to report on the Christ-child’s again about trying the bus. grass. I raced squirrels and chased them
whereabouts. But, “In a dream, they Fortunately, I had friends at Cherith up trees with my bell. I waved to porch- (esp. men’s sizes 32-36)
were warned not to report back to Brook who used bikes as their main sitters at the group homes and apartment
Herod. So they worked out another complexes.
form of transportation, and they helped
route, left the territory without being me learn the ways of urban commuting. My new job is too far away to bike; I Men’s Underwear
seen, and returned to their own coun- I discovered the hidden routes of Kansashave to drive. I am eager to find some-
try." (The Message) They chose the (esp. size 32-38)
City – the ways around hills and traffic,
thing closer, but for now, it is what it is.
hidden route of Christ rather than the which were different depending on if I Although I try to bring some of my bi- Women’s Panties
efficient and destructive way of Empire. was headed to or from work. I added cycle awareness and tempo to my com- (esp. 4-7)
Cherith Brook has challenged me to bells, lights and fenders to my old bicy-
mute, I know that it’s not the same. I
rethink several discovered Bras
of my everyday that when I
choices about went by bike,
Shampoo & Conditioner
efficient food I was more (large bottles)
and transporta- energized
tion. My eyes when I ar- September 18, 2009 Razors
have been rived, more Spray-On Deodorant
opened to the full of peace
connections and aware- Hello Sarah: Tube Socks
between my ness. I had Enclosed are a pair of tennis shoes I bought out of Foot Powder
everyday de- missed the
the canteen here a fortnight or so ago. I’ve worn a Shoes
pendence on oil latest on
and the wars in NPR, but I size 8 for many years. They are a size 8, but they
the Middle had absorbed
Toothpaste & Brushes
are too small, too tight on my feet. I wore them for
East. The con- a different Tampons
venience of kind of news a few hours over a couple of days, thinking they
cheap, im- about the would loosen up a bit, but that didn’t happen. I
ported food as rhythms and Ibuprofen & Tylenol
have since gotten another pair of the same in 8
well as quick, realities of
flexible, and beauty and 1/2 and they’re perfect. I guess they’re just cut Laundry Soap (he)
personal auto- suffering in small. Anyway, the canteen here has a “no- Stamps
Jerome Harris, Josh Armfield & Nick Pickrell ride their
mobile trans- the world.
portation de- bikes with trailers attached to pick up donated items. return” policy, so I couldn’t take them back and Bus Passes
pend on cheap they’ve just been sitting under my bunk. After
oil, and in turn make me complicit with cle. I learned how to take my lane, so I wonder if the Magi’s dream-directed
detour was born out of their deep con- reading that newsletter, I knew exactly what to
violence used to secure that oil. I also that cars gave me more than a few
started to realize how driving discon- inches when they passed. nection to the stars and the sand. They do with them. Friday is the designated day to
nects me from neighbors and nature were clearly aware of changes in the
Georgia O’ Keefe once said, “Nobody night sky; traveling slowly by foot or by mail stuff out, or I would have sent them sooner.
which I might encounter along my jour- sees a flower, really -- it is so small, we
ney. So, I decided to try biking to work. camel, they must have also been awake They still may not go out until Monday or
haven't time -- and to see takes time, to the daily groans of the people. Surely
My first time, I arrived very out of like to have a friend takes time.” This Tuesday. I’m thinking you should have gotten
they knew in their bones that the land
breath and on the verge of losing my inconvenient way of commuting awak- was longing for liberation. What if the my letter yesterday. I’m waiting to be called to
breakfast. I had missed a turn, and ened me to new friendships. Although I
ended up in heavy traffic. It took about was whisking by the flowers, I could
warning in the dream was delivered not the Property Room so I can get this off. I’ll be in
by an angel in shining robes, but by the
three times as long as driving, seemed at track trees changing in the fall. I felt the birds and beggars, the gardeners and touch.
least three times as stressful, and left me cool breezes of the early morning and widows along the way? How then Take care! Ronald
sweaty. Was it really worth it? Did I the gift of the afternoon sun. I noticed should we travel? What will be our next
stink? What about the helmet hair, and houses that had recently been boarded Potosi Correctional Center
detour? Shawn hams it up in the clothing closet.
Mineral Point, MO
catholic Workers & Protest-ants by Eric Garbison PAGE 9

Yes, we are a “Catholic

Worker.” We say it with less hesitation
Catholic Workers today are diverse living at a personal sacrifice, refusing to
do harm, welcoming the unwelcome with
To My Sisters of Violence
these days, and a sense of pride. But
with no centralized leadership or con-
justice, communities of sharing, deepen-
Join Our
sented structure. We do, however,
why the moniker “catholic” since none share family resemblances, the most ing bonds between Creator and creature by Alta Newlun
of us claims Rome? And why in land and labor, sacramental living and
Extended Community
common of which is our houses of hos-
“Worker,” when we work little for pay pitality. These are residential houses in a way of life centered in faith in Jesus,
and volunteer a lot? An explanation is Lord and Human One. I watch from afar, because I know I can’t help pray with us,
local communities that strive to wel-
due and I’ve been asked to give it a try. come needy strangers in ways that Over the next few newsletters we hope the ones who will not help themselves. cook meals,
celebrate their dignity as God’s chil- to elaborate on some of these values sort donations,
dren, and as our sisters and brothers. A I will let you know that I noticed your pain,
through story, explanation and scrip-
hot shower and a full stomach is cause ture—we hope to share the resonance we I watch over you with concern, for your safety in life. host showers,
enough for “success,” though we often feel with them, and why it ought to mat- cut hair, launder clothing,
wish for happier endings. ter to you.
I wish I could give you strength so you can make changes
electrical work, carpentry,
In a culture of militarism and vio- you need to make in order to go on.
lence, the movement remains a small assemble sack dinners,
voice bellowing for unqualified peace. What the Catholic Worker But I know I can’t, only YOU can,
redo kitchen cabinets,
Jesus’ teachings, life and Lordship Believes by Peter Maurin but I sit aside and wait.
mandate for a nonviolent life. So we mail newsletter,
disciple those who come to us through I’ll say a prayer for you,
1. The Catholic Worker believes clean house,
thoughtful study, discussion, debate and always remember to take care of yourself.
and our front porch singing to live un- in the gentle personalism fencing, garden,
conformed to militarism, racism and of traditional Catholicism. I have great care for my sisters of violence. tuck pointing,
greed and to be transformed by the
renewing power of love that refuses all
harm doing. Daily we are reminded
2. The Catholic Worker believes
in the personal obligation In Memory Of trim work,
& more...
that all of this begins with ourselves. of looking after
Peter Maurin at the While most communities are urban, We pray for the souls of our friends who lost their lives on the
the needs of our brother.
NY Catholic Worker. there are many farms devoted to culti-
vation, to proportionate use of land and 3. The Catholic Worker believes streets of Kansas City during this past year. We keep their
Labels are problematic in the gospel
vision. Let me set one thing straight:
the preservation of its beauty, the dig- in the daily practice family members and friends in our thoughts. We remember our
nity of manual labor and the need for
our discipleship is at the heart of the life-giving food. This also includes a
of the Works of Mercy.
friends with the love, care and concern we showed to them while
matter; we are followers of Jesus. And return to laboring and crafting with 4. The Catholic Worker believes
we resonate with a diverse group of one’s hands. Many of the urban com- they were on this earth.
in Houses of Hospitality
communities who pattern their lives munities have tried to incorporate this
after the Sermon on the Mount; who “Green Revolution” by tilling their
for the immediate relief “Racoon” David Welliver~~~ February 2009
see the cross as something Jesus in- lawns, squatting abandoned lots, plant- of those who are in need.
tended us to carry; who evangelize ing on their roofs and raising city Wayne Walker~~~ April 2009
with enemy-love a world stuck in a 5. The Catholic Worker believes
cycle of violence; who recognize that in the establishment Brad Harkin~~~ October 2009
our first resurrection has already oc- It is true that the Catholic Worker has
Roman Catholic roots. Praise God! Yet of Farming Communes
curred; who affirm the church as a liv- Frank and Nate at Community Meal
ing organism, scattered among the no baptismal verification is required, as where each one works
poor, walls unnecessary and no endow- many houses today are ecumenical. (continued from previous page….)
according to his ability
Some, like ourselves, are predomi-
ments; and who sweat today for a fu-
and gets according to his need.
I know this lifestyle is not common and it is not easy. Honestly, I We want to give many thanks to the following:
ture filled with hope of Christ, present nantly Protestant. So we refer to our- think the lifestyle of Cherith Brook is quite foolish, but aren’t we as
to us when we live into God’s love. selves as the “catholic Worker,” small 6. The Catholic Worker believes Christians called to be fools for Christ? I think that we are com- C & S Printing
“c”—universal body of Christ. We also pelled by the love of Christ to live foolish and crazy lives for the
The Catholic Worker Movement in creating a new society
hope to put the “protest” back into sake of knowing God and obeying his commands. for their help in getting our newsletters mailed
represents one such group. It was Protestantism as we struggle against within the shell of the old
founded on May 1, 1933, when the first the world system, not simply with com- I don’t want to reach death and realize that I have not truly lived. I
with the philosophy of the new, want to be fully alive and to be at peace within. I want to know my-
newspaper was sold on Time Square in plaint but by living out another world-
New York at a penny a copy. While which is not a new philosophy self and be the person that God has uniquely created me to be. I Cosentino’s Downtown Market
view. It is to this movement that we
Peter Maurin offered intellectual inspi- have come home. but a very old philosophy, think that Cherith Brook Community is a good place to be to live a
ration, Dorothy Day’s faith and pres- focused and ordered life, to be active in the world, to care for God’s for their faithful donations of food
ence nurtured and sustained it, and her To put our way of life in my own a philosophy so old creation, to live justly, to love my neighbors, to be the church, to be
writings spread its message. words would go something like this: that it looks like new. together as God’s people and to proclaim the Day of the Lord.

My Need to be at Cherith Brook By Josh Armfield

Now it was approaching midnight
and the air was becoming frigid. I
was only the beginning of October and
that the homeless would be doing this
was cold even in my heavy jacket through the harsh winter months, too.
In recent months I have become want to know myself and embrace the ships and community that Cherith Brook is and hood. We headed back to the Around 4am the entire group was up
increasingly aware of my own vanity, the person that I am, that God has created me able to remain. I understand Cherith Brook Mc Donalds, where we had earlier and ready to move out. We climbed
desire to be someone I’m not, to be suc- to be. As I am faced with certain emo- to be a scholastic community that is con- found food, and picked up card- over the fence again and started mov-
cessful and achieve status and recognition, tions, I want to understand them and know stantly learning and progressing. I have board boxes to sleep on. We also ing towards Cherith Brook. We got
to compete and defeat my neighbor, to be what is causing me to feel this way. I want learned so much from this community and found individually wrapped pack- back and decided to spend the last hour
lazy and exploit the earth and others, to be to pray more often, and meditate more hope to continue to grow and be trans- ages of apple wedges that would or so of the night sleeping on the porch.
safe and secure and accumulate things, to often. I need to be in a community of peo- formed by the love of Christ that is lived make good snacks for the night and After I woke up around 6am, I had time
fill my time with mindless entertainment ple that is on a common journey in search out here. breakfast in the morning. We sat to reflect on everything I had seen and
and avoid silence and solitude and my own of God. Henri Nouwen says in his Gene- I need to be at Cherith Brook because the there, eating our food, trying to de- how it had changed me. I now look at
inner self, to let fear control me and kill see Diary, “…that monks are not necessar-
Spirit calls me to put my faith into action. cide where we would stay for the the homeless with more love and com-
me, and the list goes on and on. People in ily better or holier people than others.I am tired of compartmentalizing my life night. passion, knowing what they have to go
this country seem to be in a race for suc- Instead, they might very well be weaker into sacred and secular activities. I no As we walked back up Independ- through every day. I now realize how
cess, safety, and security, and hope to one and more vulnerable and come to a monas-longer want to talk about sacrifice and ence Avenue to where we came blessed I am and found that I have a
day win the race, but at what expense? tery to find the support of a community to Pah Wah speaks from her experience
compassion in church and then go back to from, a car came speeding past and passion for serving these people. I was
Family, friends, neighbors, ourselves? enable them to be faithful in their search of as a refugee in Thailand.
my home and turn on the television and hurled eggs at us. One hit me in the sitting thinking about what all I had
Cherith Brook Catholic Worker is one of God and to keep responding to his continu-
watch “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”. I leg and then they turned around learned. I was able to sum it up in this
the places where I have found people who ing love.” (continued from front page)
no longer want to complain to my friends quickly and threw another volley at us, phrase: Be the light in the darkness.
are conscious of the de- about how our culture and House for meals. He had just left his hitting Eric this time. After thinking
mands of society and the friend’s house and decided to bring us I have been a Christian for about five
country are messed up and about where we could sleep, we decided years. I’ve always gone to Sunday
certain destruction that the then continue to feed the back with him. There were about 10 we would head to the church Josh at-
American dream has men speaking Spanish. We walked up School and Bible Lessons, but I never
system of exploitation and tends, which was just off Independence. realized that there were two parts to
brought upon the character destruction that a consumer to the porch of the house and I was In the front of the church there was a
of American people and introduced to them. We talked with religion. God also calls us to serve the
economy has created by buy- playground, so we climbed the fence and poorest of people as if they were
intentionally refuse these ing more things. I want to them for over an hour, getting their four people went into the play equip-
demands for the sake of stories and what they had been doing. wealthy. I have now accepted this chal-
serve in a holistic way by ment to sleep. lenge and will continue to serve the
fulfilling the demands of living with the poor. I no Communicating with them was diffi-
the gospel. There are few cult because they all spoke little or no Eric and I stayed outside the equip- homeless of this area.
longer want to commute. I ment and laid out boxes to sleep on. For
other places where a per- no longer want to separate English. They did not have anything in There are places outside our comfort
son would willingly call their house except for three beds for the several hours I was able to sleep com- zones where God is not known or fol-
myself be it by class, race, fortably, but at around 3am the tempera-
himself a bum by the ethnicity, education, or gen- men that lived there and a refrigerator lowed. He calls us to these very places
world’s standards in order which was empty. They did have run- ture had dropped even lower and my to share God’s love for them and lead
der. I want to minister entire body was shaking. I got up from
that he may live more au- through my lifestyle and ac- ning water and they provided some for by example. This is what the people at
thentically as an apostle of us to drink. the boxes I was sleeping on and paced Cherith Brook have dedicated their
Henri Garbison & Josh Armfield enter- tions. I want to serve here at around trying to warm myself up some-
Christ by God’s standards. tain us after Thursday night meals! Cherith Brook because faith After saying goodbye we headed out lives to.
I need a community such how. Everyone else at this point was still
is alive here. I feel a great onto Independence Ave. which has a
as Cherith Brook in order asleep and I started thinking that this
need to take the “Sermon on reputation for drugs and prostitution. It Devin Magee is a high school senior,
to live the holistic and authentic faith that I
We deeply value discipleship here at the Mount” seriously and to answer Jesus’ was now past 11pm and hunger was from Knox Presbyterian Church.
seek. Cherith Brook. Authentic discipleship is call when he told his disciples to sell eve- starting to creep in. Terrie and Josh
I very much want to live a spiritually rare in our culture because we are so iso- rything they had, leave family and friends, tried dumpster diving at a nearby
disciplined and ordered life. I understand lated and distracted. But here discipleship and follow Him. I have grown weary of McDonalds for any wrapped food.
Cherith Brook to function under somewhat happens naturally. I often hear and see the “church”. When church is only a twice a They were able to find a cheeseburger
of a Monastic order where each day is cen- word “solidarity” spoken and written here week thing where we all look and dress the and a sausage biscuit. We had also
tered around prayer, study, work, peace- at Cherith Brook, and I see the value that is same, hardly know one another, and con- passed a Taco Bell on the way, and
making, and works of mercy. In an age of placed upon being present to others. I stantly bicker over traditional vs. contem- walked back to look in their dumpster.
countless distractions and opportunities, I value the fact that Cherith Brook is an int- porary worship, then something is wrong. We started tearing open trash bags
greatly appreciate this simple and focused ergenerational community where each age I want to be a part of a church that actively looking for food. After a few minutes,
way of life. How we spend our time daily group is represented and is learning and lives out its faith and engages its commu- the lady at the drive through window
reveals what we value in life. I want to be growing from those present. I respect and nity, a church that lives together and strug- called us over and handed us a bag of
sure that my daily routine is not only cherish this community because it is full of gles together. I am a Nazarene and under- warm food. It was worth only about $2
showing others what I value, but more humble learners and teachers and not re- stand my faith best through the Wesleyan in change. The other three people in
importantly that it is constantly reminding bellious, adolescent, punk anarchists who Holiness tradition. This is the holiness that our group came back and we had just
me and keeping me accountable to what I want to stick it to the man (although we are I see at Cherith Brook. God is transform- enough food for everyone to have one
value. I want to be conscious of my spiri- anarchists who live into the Kingdom of ing people here inside and out: body, soul item.
tual journey and to continue to grow. I God). It is through the nurturing of relation and spirit. (continued on following page…)
A Day in the Life at “The Worker” PAGE 7

Reflections of an SOA Journey by Kerri Dickhut

(SOA/WINSEC, School of the Ameri- child at the gate next to hundreds of
cas/Western Hemisphere Institute for others. It almost felt as if it were my
Security Cooperation, located at Fort own child – I did not want to part with
Benning, GA is a US Dept of Defense it.
facility known for training more than As I felt this sorrow, heaviness would
61,000 Latin American soldiers and not pass. The names ceased being
policemen from 1946 until 2001, some called. A more silent mourning took
of whom became notorious for human place. Then the puppetistas and music
rights violations.) began to take over. The giant puppetista
“They are servants of Yahweh, fell – and a great transformation seemed
and they have chosen how we live.” to take hold. I have never quite experi-
This, said by Jon Sobrino, reflected enced such a significant group transfor-
much about the SOA journey. mation as this. People were spontane-
For me, this statement presented a ously rejoicing – and I felt as though I
personal challenge. I asked myself if was looking through new eyes – and
how I choose to live is negatively im- recognized this in other eyes all around!
pacting my brothers and sisters around seemed to resonate deeper when I re- What I felt, and saw in return, was
the world. Brothers and sisters who, as flected more on those who suffered in HOPE. And this was the greatest gift I
Jon Sobrino says, are those we put out ways I may never truly know or under- received from the SOA journey.
of our existence. stand. I began to think of Christ in his
last days of suffering and it felt very Today, I keep reminding myself to not
And to challenge myself (ourselves) real. only say Presente! at SOA, but every-
even further, there is the word Presente! day. Saying this can hopefully remind
Repeating the word Presente! as a medi- Standing at the gates of Fort Ben- myself to be more mindful of how I live
tation; a prayer – each time arriving ning, so full of emotion, in solidarity and to see with a clearer pair of eyes.
closer to why we journeyed to SOA. with so many others surrounding me, Thank you Cherith Brook for providing
Many of the questions I had became words fell short and a deeper truth this opportunity.
clearer with each name read. With each could only speak for the experience.
Presente! I felt closer to them, in soli- Christ’s presence was so alive, and that Kerri Dickhut, volunteer at Cherith
Brook, was able to attend the SOA
darity with them – bringing me back to very spirit is the reason why we arrived Watch Vigil & Direct Action at Ft.
my challenge. I began to feel more con- at this place. Benning, GA last year for our com-
nected with these companeros and com- I placed the cross I had been carrying munity. Community members go
paneras, and the connection of Guillerma Marques’ unborn again this year, Nov 20 to22.

A Prayer for Our Friends & for Ourselves

by Steve Sheridan
May Christ’s blessing of Love & Hope & Healing & Non-Violence surround us today.
May it also surround our families and friends and enemies, every moment of this day and night.
With Christ’s love and hope, and many willing hearts and hands of our prayer-filled volunteers here at Cherith
Brook Catholic Worker Community, may we all serve each other with Christ’s love, hope, food and coffee, hot show-
ers and clean clothing, and in the joyous beginning of friendship and trust and respect.
Please, dear friends, share with us your special needs.
We can work together and care for each other and, with Christ’s patience, begin to understand your special needs.
Please accept all of us here at Cherith Brook, as we also have special needs and have hurting and brokenness in our lives.
Please pray with us and for us, as we promise to keep you all in our prayers as a community, as we gather for
Christ’s blessing, wisdom and hope three times a week.
Thank you for being here and blessing us with your presence and love and hope. Amen