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treaty concern the reduction of nuclear ca-

pable launch facilities by half. Tis reduction


in nuclear capabilities would seem to be a step
in the direction of eliminating the threat of
nuclear war but other actions taken by those
in power would suggest that these weapons
are here to stay.
Just the day before, on the second stop of
our Trifecta Resista we gathered outside the
Banister Federal Complex, the home to the
old Kansas City Plant. We were there to bear
witness to the toxic mess being left by this
factory that produced 85% of the non-nuclear
materials for the United States nuclear bomb
arsenal. Te National Nuclear Security Admin-
istration has relocated the Kansas City Plant
to a new location leaving behind contami-
nation of chlorinated solvents, petroleum
hydrocarbons, PCBs, and beryllium. Te cost
of the new plant is estimated at $673 million.
For a country with a president who claims to
desire a world without nuclear weapons that
is a lot of money spent on the improvement
of our nuclear weapons infrastructure, a lot of
money that could buy a whole lot of salt.
Te other stop of our Trifecta was a visit to
Ft. Levenworth, KS. It is there that Chelsea
Manning and Greg Boertje-Obed are impris-
oned. Anyone who has ever been in jail or
prison will tell you that even salt is a treat
when it comes to the food served there. Tese
are two people who, as Jesus commanded,
refused to lose their saltiness, even at great
As we stood vigil outside of Whiteman Air
Force Base on the fnal day of this years Tri-
fecta Resista my mind kept returning to one
thing, salt. Nearly 70% of Afghan children
face iodine defciency. With iodine defciency
comes functional and developmental abnor-
malities. Te solution is simple, iodized salt.
And the cost? Only 5 cents per child per year.
Tats compared to the 2.1 million it costs to
keep one US soldier in Afghanistan for one
year. Tis was the message of the talk given
the night before by long time peace activist
Kathy Kelly. She could have just as easily com-
pared the cost of iodized salt to the 16.9 mil-
lion dollars it costs to build a new MQ-9
Reaper drone or the 2,500-3,500 dollars
it costs per hour to fy one. Just to be
clear, the money spent on one fight hour
could cover the cost of a years supply of
iodized salt for ffty to seventy thousand
Afghan children. Later that morning
Kelly was arrested with one other as
she entered Whiteman in protest of US
drone warfare controlled from that base.
Salt. I thought about it more and
more. Jesus told us to perform the works
of mercy, feed the hungry, clothe the
naked, care for the sick etc. As Catholic
Workers, we try to make those works
the center of our every day lives. I guess
there are some we take for granted, like giving
salt to the saltless. Iodine isnt something
that people in wealthier nations think about
very often but according to a UNICEF report
on the lack of Iodine in Afghanistan, Iodine
defciency is common in women, resulting in
low birth weight, deafness, and cretinism in
new-borns - lack of iodine is believed to con-
tribute to a reduced IQ level of up to 15 points
in some parts of Afghanistan.
Tat morning at Whiteman my musings on
salt lead me beyond the plight of Afghan chil-
dren. It reminded me of the Strategic Arms
Limitation Talks and the subsequent resulting
treaties. Tey are most referred to by their
acronyms, SALT 1 and SALT 2. Tese 1970s
era treaties were the frst bilateral agreements
between the United States and Soviet Union
on the issue of nuclear arms control and the
predecessors to the New START treaty in
efect today. Te terms of the New START
cost. Both have been imprisoned for revealing
the lies we have been told about the way our
military works.
I knew that Jesus talked of being the salt
of the earth and that he commanded us to
have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with
one another but didnt realize until I looked
it up that salt is mentioned 35 times in the
Hebrew Scriptures and 6 more in the Chris-
tian. Salt was a symbol of the covenant with
YHWH. It is a ftting parallel that our reliance
on military prowess rather than on God is
manifest in money spent on weapons rather
than human needs such as iodized salt.
Paul, writing to the Colossians from
prison, mentions salt. He says, pray for
us, too, that God may open a door to us
for the word, to speak of the mystery of
Christ, for which I am in prison, that I
may make it clear, as I must speak Let
your speech always be gracious, seasoned
with salt.
When acts of war are orchestrated in
your hometown but perpetrated half a
world away the phrase think globally and
act locally carries a whole new meaning.
As the use of drones proliferates more
and more bases are being converted to
drone piloting centers. Tankfully, it
seems that with every base that starts
piloting drones there comes resistance.
From Syracuse, NY and Las Vegas, NV to
Des Moines, IA and Knob Noster, MO people
are fnding that they, like Paul, must speak.
Tere are many that have even been arrested
delivering copies of international law to and
blocking the entrances of military bases as
they attempt to (though they may not use the
exact language) make it clear that the word
of God (that is Love) does not permit the likes
of drones. Tey are dedicated to non-violence
but their message is certainly seasoned with
salt.
If we lose our saltiness, if we allow our-
selves to just blend in with the mass of people
and be complacent in war making we will,
as the gospel says, only be thrown out and
trampled underfoot. I pray for the sake of
the children of Afghanistan and for the entire
world that we may all learn to be salty.
by Teo Kayser
Ordinary Time 2014
Have Salt In Yourselves
Cherith Brook
P
r a c t i c i n g G o d s M e r c y & G o s p e l R e s i s t a n
c e
C A T H O L I C W O R K E R
S o E l i j a h d i d a c c o r d i n g t o t h e wo r d o f t h e L o r d ; h e we n t a nd l i v e d b y t h e Ch e r i t h Br o o k a nd t h e r a v e n s b r o u g ht h i m b r e a d I Ki ngs 17
Georgia Walker, Tamara Severns & Kathy Kelly at Whiteman AFB.
Georgia & Kathy presented bread to the arresting ofcers
2 Cherith Brook Catholic Worker Ordinary Time 2014
By the Rivers of Babylon By Robert P. Hoch
Book Review by Josh Armfeld
It seems quite common for the church
nowadays to be, well, comfortable. We cater
to seeker sensitivity. We have nice build-
ings and big parking lots and fancy technology
and we are so thankful that we live in a land
founded on Christian principles, a land where
we are free to be Christian. We pray for those
in other lands that are sufering under religious
persecution, poverty and war, and we often
fnancially support humanitarian aid organi-
zations or mission teams that work in places
of sufering, but our own congregations are
far from the stench of poverty. Many would
consider this a blessing, a sign of Gods favor.
Although, this may depend on how one would
interpret scripture. If we consider how much
the church in our comfortable western world
has declined in recent years (many are saying
we have entered an age of post-Christen-
dom), while the church is growing rapidly in
places where it is violently persecuted, we may
wonder whether comfort and seeker sensitiv-
ity are really qualities of the gospel.
Te second century church father Tertullian
said that, Te blood of the martyrs is the seed
of the church. Tis was very much true for the
early church. Somehow, in the midst of perse-
cution and sufering, the church seems to be
the strongest. A community experiencing per-
secution is forced to create a new reality for it-
self, for the sake of its identity and its survival.
It creates alternative politics and alternative
economics. Te presence of physical sufering
fuels a longing for this new reality to come
into existence, a reality free from sufering, the
kingdom of God. Often it seems to be in the
unlikely places of sufering and persecution,
where in all likelihood the church should not
exist, that God seems to work wonders. Isnt
this what Jesus is trying to explain to us with
all of his the kingdom of God is like parables?
Robert Hoch, associate professor of homilet-
ics and worship at the University of Dubuque
Teological Seminary, recently wrote a book
called By the Rivers of Babylon: Blueprint for
a Church in Exile. In this book Hoch explains
the signifcance of exile in the vocation of the
church. Hoch is especially interested with the
physical aspect of exile in his research, high-
lighting the fact that most of scripture as writ-
ten from a context of exile, as slaves in Egypt,
as captives in Babylon, as prisoners of Rome.
Hoch is concerned that the church nowadays all
too often spiritualizes the idea of exile and is
no longer in the business of creating alterna-
tive realities in the world. With a look into the
texts of the prophet Jeremiah, Hoch reminds
us that Israel was sent into exile by God. (Jer-
emiah 29:1-7) With this understanding of the
text Hoch says, Te church gains a profound
and subtle narrative for its interpretation and
embodiment of its vocation in the world. If it
is Gods exile and only penultimately Babylons,
then the exile we experience now is not merely
exile but promise, not merely displacement but
the intimation of promised return, not merely
loss of coherence but the drama of our own
humanization. If we miss the historically exilic
narrative of scripture then we also lose sense
of the churchs own exilic context today. Hoch
says, Te uncritical spiritualization of exile
contributes to the shape of the church, to the
sense that the church is more of a chaplaincy
than a mission, a club of likenesses rather than
an unlikely community forged by Gods recon-
ciling love.
Hoch shares about communities and church-
es, which he visited for the writing of this book,
which have intentionally placed themselves in
modern day situations of exile. He says that
each of the communities share two distinguish-
ing characteristics: they are each innovative
in worship and striking in the act of witness.
Hoch says that these expressions of church
test not only the boundaries of the principali-
ties and powers but, crucially, the boundaries
we have come to inhabit as normative for the
life of the local church. Tese communities,
ofer tantalizing glimpses into one part of what
of is being called the missional church, a broad
ment in scope and diversity. Because these
communities arise out of specifc contexts of
exile, they represent particular expressions
of the missional church. Tese communities
live and thrive on the sidewalks, reservations,
and underpasses of North American society by
inscribing cultures of deportation with the wit-
ness of Gods sending and gathering activity.
Te communties Hoch visted included: No
More Deaths, a group that ofers hospitality
and care for undocumented migrants who are
trekking across the Arizona deserts; Frontera
De Cristo, a mission of the Presbyterian Church
(USA) and the Presbytery of Chihuahua, Mexico
that focuses on a joint efort to nurture church
development, health and family ministry, a
community center, just trade, and migrant
resources; Cherith Brook Catholic Worker, an
intentional Christian community that ofers
hospitality to the homeless and poor of North-
east Kansas City; And Nez Perce Presbyterian
camp, a Christian retreat camp for Nez Perce
Native people but also Native people from all
over the U.S.
Hoch claims that the heart of this book is
not so much to criticize the church but to seek
to imagine a church in the borderlands, a
church that forges [its] worship and witness
amid actual exilic realities. In each chapter,
Hoch tells stories of the people that he meets
that live their lives in exile each day, i.e.
the undocumented immigrant, the migrant
worker, the homeless and working poor, the
felon, the refugee, the abused, etc. And along
with these modern stories of exile, Hoch shares
with us the Biblical stories of exile, one of
those being the story of Ruth and Naomi.
Te book of Ruth is a story of economic
migration, the story of Naomis family feeing
famine in Judah in search of a new life in the
land of Moab. Unfortunately the story doesnt
go so well with Naomi and her familys search
for economic stability in Moab. Naomi is
forced to return to Judah after the death of her
husband and sons. However, Naomi does not
return alone, but with Ruth who is a Moabite
and who is also her daughter-in-law. Tese two
women are bound together in their common
struggle for survival. However, Ruth is an un-
welcome guest in the land of Judah, and when
Naomi returns to Judah, she is scorned by
the Jewish community for assimilating into
Moabite culture and bringing home any enemy
of Judah. However, Ruth and Naomi overcome
considerable odds to form a new family again in
Judah.
What is signifcant about this story is
Naomis and Ruths dependence on one another
for survival. With this story Hoch emphasizes
the churches call to solidarity with marginal-
ized people. When the church recognizes its
call to bring heaven to earth, and to proclaim
good news to the poor, we remember that we
too are very much marginalized by the prin-
cipalities and powers of this dark world. Paul
says in Ephesians 6:12 that we fnd ourselves
daily wrestling not against fesh and blood,
3 Ordinary Time 2014 Cherith Brook Catholic Worker
but against the rulers, against the authorities,
against the cosmic powers over this present
darkness. And this is because we imagine a
world free of sufering and injustice, free of war
and oppression. We imagine a world without
borders. Tis is why solidarity with the poor is
so crucial for the church. Just as Naomi and
Ruth are bound together in their struggle for
survival, we are bound to the struggle of the
poor. How can we make heaven a reality in this
world if we do not listen to the cries of the poor?
In Hochs own words, What if the website were
less important to the church than the way it
interacted with its social and political soil?
In communities which Hoch visited, the
struggle of the poor had become the struggle
of the community. In the example of Cherith
Brook, a homeless guest may be invited to live in
a guest room or Christ room in the commu-
nity. In this invitation the community agrees to-
gether to commit to journeying with their guest
from the brokenness of homelessness to dignity
and wholeness again, whether that means
fghting joblessness or fghting mental illness,
etc. Sometimes, the journey is more successful
than others. Sometimes the guest gets a job and
an apartment and is able to live independently.
Other times the guest may end up on the streets
again. But the struggle becomes a common one
as lives become tangled together in solidarity.
For Cherith Brook, the goal is not to be success-
ful, but to be faithful, to commit to the journey
both spiritually and physically and to trust that
God will make a way.
For Hoch the journey from exile to homeland
is a crucial symbol for the church. In places of
exile, we often cannot see the way out. Ex-
iles are wanderers in a land that is not their
own. But for the exiled church, we are not only
wanderers. We are pilgrims with a promise and
we are journeying towards a new creation. It is
because of the promise of resurrection that we
know that we will return home. Hoch believes
that the church must reconsider its terms of
success. We should not consider so much the
growth of membership in our churches, but
instead the growing of our faith. Hoch says,
Te church fnds its home not by purifying its
membership rolls or its dogmas, but by radicaliz-
ing its faith. In and through practices of return,
the church appears to be scattered by powers
even as it is awakened through the activity of
the Spirit to the new creation taking shape. We
know that as we journey faithfully toward this
new creation, God will bring us to the promised
land. God makes the way possible and brings us
through deserts and seas and hostile places to
the new creation that is promised to us by God
in Christ and the resurrection.
continued...
Babylon
Did you know that several happy hives of honeybees hide
along Cherith Brooks back fence? Tese little commu-
nities have been working away for the past few years,
increasing the productiv-
ity of the garden, sharing
honey, and (occasionally)
gifting visitors with a sting.
As Ive shadowed Eric and
gotten to know the hives a
bit this year, I thought Id
share 10 things Ive learned
about bee-ing around the
bees.
1) Breathe calmly. Youve
heard that bees can smell
fear? If youre breathing
heavily, they can smell
more of it. Try to take slow,
even breaths if you see a
bee near you. Send them
love.
2) Move slowly. Pretend
like youre in almost-solid-
ifed Jell-o. Tis is another
way to seem less threaten-
ing. Remember, if a bee
stings you, its guts come out and it dies. Bees dont want
to sting people, but they will if you seem like a threat to
the hive. Along the same lines, try to avoid crossing or
standing in front of hive entrances.
3) Dress lightly. If youre going to be near the hives, dont
dress like a bear. Bees have learned over hundreds of
years that bears like to destroy hives, and they respond
accordingly.
4) Smoke gently. Beekeepers have found smoke to be the
most efective tool for calming or confusing bees. It not
only makes it harder for bees to smell you; it also sends
them a signal to go drink honey (maybe they think their
tree is on fre?).
5) Listen attentively. Particularly if its hot (and they are
trying to cool the hive) or theyve been smoked, bees
Honeybee Hivezzz
by Chris Homiak
have quite an impressive, holy hum. Listen for it! Also,
if you want to become a beekeeper, fnd someone with
experience and shadow her, listening carefully.
6) Sweat profusely. Bee-
keeping happens when
its warm and fowers are
blooming. Unless youre
super brave or non-allergic,
youll want to cover up from
head to toe. Tis means
sweating a lot.
7) Look closely. Quite a bit
of beekeeping is like playing
Wheres Waldo, scanning
and squinting for small
details amidst a complex,
moving mass of bees. Bee-
keepers open the hives to
check out the health of the
queen and the hive, which
can be determined by whats
inside the honeycombs in
various frames.
8) Experiment carefully.
Pests, disease, and swarms
often call for creative inter-
vention if youre trying to
do organic beekeeping and want a honey harvest.
9) Harvest proportionally. Bees need honey to make it
through winter, when fowers arent blooming and shar-
ing nectar. You can only take the extra honey from the
supers on top of the hive body boxes.
10) Taste regularly. Teres nothing more delicious than
warm local honey! Substitute for sugar as often as pos-
sible, knowing that your allergies and local bee economy
thanks you.
Tese ten tips are just the highlights of the hive when it
comes to the amazing complexity of bees. Let us know
if youre interested in learning more about the bees, or
helping with the hives; its always nice to have an extra
hand.
Tey say time fies when youre having fun. My month at
Cherith Brook proved this to be true. Being welcomed with
open arms and ice cream made a very easy transition when I
got to Kansas City. I was not entirely sure what I was getting
myself into, but loved it more than I could have imagined.
In the short time that I was there I was privileged to meet
so many amazing people who walked through the doors of
Cherith Brook. From the morning Shower House conversa-
tions over cofee to the musical Tursday nights outside, there
never seemed to be a dull moment. I was touched by how
many people seemed as happy to have me there as I was. Even
in the four weeks that went by in a fash, I left feeling even
surer of some of the future paths I would like to embark on in
my life. I look forward to taking some of what I learned and
applying it throughout my life. I am so grateful for the experi-
ences and all the people I was able to meet while I was there,
and hope that someday the paths will cross again.
Melanie Kowalski
4 Cherith Brook Catholic Worker Ordinary Time 2014
My husband and I had the opportunity
this past April to visit Cherith Brook for a
few days and experience what they do on a
day-to-day basis for their community. It just
so happened our visit coinsided with Holy
week and Cherith Brook had foot washing
on their schedule for that Maundy Tursday.
As my husband describes it, While the
world may describe this as odd, I didnt fnd
it that way at all. I had never participated
in a footwashing, but thats because the op-
portunity never presented itself. Although
Im familiar with the biblical account and
Jesus reason for serving the apostles and to
show them by example how they should be
treating each other, actually participating
in one had a profound impact on me. My
Foot Washing
ego and pride were big obstacles, but I really delved deep into
following Jesus on a sincere level, beyond the superfcialness that
characterized my belief-system in years past.
I know for myself when I actually walk out a teaching from Je-
sus, serving as He did, it changes me. On this trip I did bring my
camera and after getting permission from all the particpants, I
documented the event. Te foot washing began with one person
washing the feet (or hands) of the person to their right. Ten the
person who was washed would pass it on until the whole group
was fnished.
Jesus gave us this example in John 13:1-17. Jesus gives us the
commandment to wash others feet. While Ive always under-
stood this to mean we are to humbly serve one another, actually
participating in a foot washing brought this principle home to
me in a way Id never experienced before.
Photos by Marianne Sisovsky
Absolutely unmixed attention is prayer. If we
fnd this to be the case, then Cherith Brook is
attempting to blend this attention into a daily
living schematic that in turn lets us recognize
the good stuf and bad stuf around us.
Many of us know the story of the rich young
ruler who approaches Jesus and asks about
inheriting the kingdom of God, and when
Jesus responds by telling him to sell all he has
and give to the poor the young man becomes
upset. I often wonder, though, what exactly
might have become of this young man had he
followed the advice of Jesus. Tis story is often
a challenge to us when we think of the things
we have and just how hard it would be to give
them up. Based on my experience I can say that
this young man might have found a happiness
reserved for those who fnd contentment and
gratitude in all things rather than a thing.
Do we really notice and sit in wonder of
that which is simple and cannot be taken from
us? Our breath, our words, our thoughts, our
actions: these cant be sold and dont have any
money behind them, but perhaps if we attribute
values to them we can hope to fnd an infnite
blessing of unmeasured grace. Te kind of grace
that reaches us without circumstantial prosper-
ity, the kind of grace that we are promised by
the sacrifce of Jesus, the kind of grace that
is so powerful that God looks to fulfll it by
action.
In this, I am fnding an endless need to
extend grace to our guests here, as well as re-
ceive the grace that comes from their lives in
their worship during their darkest hours and
in their most fruitful joy. Simply by paying
attention, we grant ourselves so much time
to ofer and receive grace within ourselves
and outside ourselves to others. At Cherith
Brook, I am granted an absolutely beautiful
opportunity to practice this attention as well
as see it demonstrated in the people who live
here so that we might, as a community, build
ourselves upon a grace that extends in all
directions around and above us.
My name is Caleb and I am headed into me
senior year at UMKC. For the duration of
Summer, I decided to reside at Cherith Brook
and learn about communal living and outreach.
Troughout my internship here, my thoughts
have been turning to a particular sort of living;
one where we dont fnd religion and experience
to be two separate entities but rather a place
where we realize that these entities deserve to
coexist. Finding praise and glory in a chicken
clucking, a scraped knee, a grateful smile, an
angry day, a clean shower: we take a step away
from our expectations of Gods radiance and
rather see that we are granted prosperity both
in our darkest and fnest.
Tis is the profound movement towards
a way to live that I have experienced while at
Cherith Brook. I can tell you personally that
this is a place of joy not like an ice cream cone
but rather like the smile of a warm-hearted
elder. I sincerely believe that this is because
of the integration of Jesus teachings into a
way of living. Simone Weil, a french activist
and philosopher, has a great quote which says
Attentive Grace
by Caleb Madison
by Marianne & Jeremiah Sisovsky
5 Ordinary Time 2014 Cherith Brook Catholic Worker
6 Cherith Brook Catholic Worker Ordinary Time 2014
House Notes
Refreshment
One of the gifts of Gods Spirit is refresh-
ment. Interns are a recent expression of
this. Their labor and love have been coupled
with good companionship.
Theo Kayser and Nicole Linsmeier re-
turned after their visit a year ago. Expe-
rienced Catholic Workers relocating from
LA to the Midwest, they are perceptive of
the aims and means to which we aspire.
They stepped into our routine quickly and
gracefully. Theyve toiled at husbandry and
gardening, cleaning and organizing. We
are grateful for their loving and attentive
presence in showers. Pray for their time of
discerning the future with us.
Melanie Kowalski and Caleb Madison are
college students who
felt called to explore a
life of hospitality and
prayer in community.
Theyve been open to
new experiences and
our irregular summer
schedule. Take noth-
ing with you on your
journey and receive
the hospitality of your
hosts, Jesus told his
disciples. Foregoing
summer employment,
Caleb and Melanie re-
sponded to this simple
command. While ex-
ploring the abundance
of Gods reign, theyve
left their mark on us.
We went on a Holy
Play at Mt. St. Scho-
lastica in Atchison, KS. It was a
time to play and a time to claim its impor-
tance. Distinguishing play from rest and
entertainment brought fruitful reflection.
How Nonviolence Works
For the first seven years we boasted that,
in spite of occasional conflicts, there were
no fist-fights at the shower house. Because
of our commitment to nonviolence, this gave
us great pride.
We can no longer claim this. It began one
morning when two of our guests ran out
the front door and ended up tangled in the
street. It took several of us to unravel the
mess. On another occasion Jodi and Al-
lison were cuffed by a female guest as they
kept her from hitting someone else. During
another row an vengeful guest pulled a ma-
chete out of his pant leg. The anger was de-
escalated and no one was hurt. (though Im
by Eric Garbison
not sure how he avoided castrating himself?
Its statistically true that those carrying
weapons are, more often than not, the ones
injured or killed.) This all disappoints us as
we try to embody gospel alternatives.
Yet, we are still proud! We do not prac-
tice nonviolence because it works. We never
talk about it being effective. We remember
the words of Jesus, If you only love those
who love youwhat more are you doing
than others (Matthew 5:46). We are called
to be about the more. When we arent the
world says, youre no different than us.
Jesus called disciples to practice enemy
love because it is the way, it is the Gospels
alternative in a violent world, witnessing to
who God is.
And can we not also boast that it has
worked? In the past seven years I have been
amazed at how practical it is. I often say,
what do you expect to get when you crowd
a small room with fifty folks who sleep out-
side, are cold, wet, hungry, thirsty, unem-
ployed, mentally ill, depressed, struggling
with addiction, abused, or confused, recently
divorced, alienated from family, fed up, sick
and tired, lonely, stressed, harassed, angry
or some combination of these? Youd expect
short fuses and explosive situations; youd
expect violence. It is nothing short of a
miracle coupled with disciplined lives topped
with more Divine power that in seven years
the Spirit of nonviolence has worked far bet-
ter than an armed security guard. And in al-
most every case, we have been able through
a process of reconciliation.
It is truly impressive how guests and vol-
unteers exhibit calm and patience in these
situations. When the two were rolling about
no one took sides. No one tried to strong-
arm them. Some even risked personal
injury to help, grabbing their arms with
gentle firmness until each man could be at
a safe distance from each other. Sharing
this shouldnt excuse you from volunteering
here. Not only are these are rare occurrences
Christians are called to be on the front lines
imitating Jesus nonviolence. No matter the
outcome, enemy love must be practiced.
Prayers for tenacity, patience and cour-
age are vital; Doxology to the Christ of
peace fundamental. But the way of non-
violence also requires disciplined training;
a praxis that empowers these convictions
with concrete means. And we
have done just this. In January
we were awarded a Peace Grant
from the Synod of Mid-America
of the Presbyterian Church (USA).
With this generous resource
regular volunteers where trained
for two days on Interpersonal
Conflict Resolution. Lead by
Center for Conflict Resolution
(CCR), it was designed to give us
peacemaking tools as we offer
hospitality to our street friends
and guests.
Twenty-Three volun-
teers attended and successfully
complete two full days of training
at no financial cost to them. We
work very hard to incorporate
shower guests into volunteer
positions, giving them a sense of
equality and cooperation in the
work. Any given day 25-50% of our
volunteers are from the streets. So insuring
this diversity in the training experience was
essential. The breakdown of this group is
significant: 5 were residential community
members (including an intern); 5 were from
the streets, and contributed their familiari-
ty of homelessness; 13 came from economic
and social privilege.
Our goal was to nurture a process of
listening and active communication for de-
escalating and redirecting shower-house
conflicts. We contributed scenarios for
roll-playing that came directly from daily
experiences.
On a busy morning we rarely have the
luxury of seeing the process through.
CCR helped us identify tools to choose in
an escalating situation, a conflict, even to
create an environment where the anxiety
can be transformed before conflict arises.
Eric, Caleb, Henri, Lonnie, Allison, Melanie, Jodi & Diana
7 Ordinary Time 2014 Cherith Brook Catholic Worker
House
Needs
Sugar
Creamer
Vinegar (gallon size for cleaning)
Baking Soda
Dish Soap
Toilet Paper
Milk
Butter
Dried Beans & Rice
Salt & Pepper/ Shakers
Hot sauce
Bicycles
Candles
Straw bails
Canning lids & Jars
Shower
Needs
Tennis Shoes (mens & womens)
Jeans & Belts
(mens 30-34, womens 4-6, 16-18)
Mens Underwear (size 32-38)
Womens Panties (esp. 4-7)
Tampons
Shampoo & Conditioner
Deodorant
Razors
Tube Socks
Foot Powder
Toothpaste & Brushes
Terafu & cough drops
Laundry Soap (high efciency)
Bus Passes
Stamps
Body Wash
One of the graces of this training was a
deeper unity, a real sense of being with and
for one another.
Alternative Economics
We often fumble around for words that
accurately express our economic practices.
This past year weve explored better ways
to talk about it. When she founded the
Catholic Worker, Dorothy Day borrowed the
traditional monastic language of voluntary
poverty. This feels exaggerated to some,
especially when we watch our friends struggle
with homelessness. Others highlight the real
precarity of our calling as we volunteer our
labor at the house, share income from other
jobs, live below poverty to resist war taxes
and have no retirement package. Many of
us battle with the Protestant spirit among
us that makes this sound, well, like bragging
again.
This has led us to reassess our com-
mitments themselves. Weve made little
headway in these conversations. One thing
is clear; our struggle emerges out of the
silent sickness of the church. Denominations
debate acrimoniously about abortion, sexism,
militarism, heterosexism and the like. But
how often do they call into question their
own economic practices and the structures
that underwrite them? Consider the mainline
church in our area that has just raised $90
million dollars for a new sanctuary. Their
first was too small and the second one too
big. Perhaps this one will be just right? They
had $30 million before the campaign even got
started and raised the remainder in 2 months.
No outrage was heard over the accolades.
Few of us own up to Jesus concrete teach-
ing on wealth in practice. We critique the
poor, Jesus critiqued the comfortable. While
his was not a mandate of poverty for all, the
church is a far cry from his radical economics.
Wherever these conversations take us,
nothing less than a renewed call to take
nothing with you and receive the hospital-
ity of others (Luke 10:10-12) will be needed to
transform us all. Pray for the grace to receive
it.
And all our boasts? Theyre real but not
really about us. For ultimately we must not,
put our confidence in rituals peformed by the
body. But through our bodies and practices
we strive to serve by Gods spirit and boast in
Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:3-4). We thank you
all for your prayers and friendship. No gift is
too small or insignificant in the at the table of
Gods hospitality. Thank you!
HouseNotes
Continued...
I have come to set the earth on fre, and how I wish it were already blazing!
(Luke 12:49)
Tis statement often speaks urgently to my heart. It can be interpret-
ed to mean that Jesus mission included nonviolent resistance to unjust
powers, unjust laws and structures. His breaking of his societys Sabbath
Laws, table fellowship rules, and his casting out the merchants in the
temple are actions in his nonviolent revolution which are meant to set
fre to the earth.
Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Adolpho Perez Esquivel
applied the teaching of Jesus nonviolent resistance to injustices in their
times and places. Esquivel and activists in Latin America used the term
relentless persistence to describe the steadfastness needed in the
struggle.
Another relevant thought is Martin Kings teaching that voluntary or
unearned sufering is redemptive. Te hardships that we may face can
have a positive efect for changing hearts and minds. Gandhi often said
that sufering is needed to touch another persons heart.
It has been encouraging to hear of the many people praying for us and
for disarmament. One person wrote that he believed nothing escapes
Gods notice. Some people have written that they believe pressure is
growing for disarmament. One example is that of the Marshall Islands
fling suit against the U.S. and the other 8 nuclear powers for violating
the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Recently, Eric Schlosser wrote a book, Command and Control, which
gives many details about nuclear weapons accidents. His book was a
fnalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and he is now writing an article for Te
New Yorker magazine about nuclear weapons for which he is interview-
ing peace activists.
Another refection that comes is that humility is very key in our work
and our lives. Jesus taught that after we have carried out a task, we are
to say, We are ordinary servants. We have only done our duty. We our-
selves are the vessels, and we are not seeking a pardon, even though we
are taking an appeal of our convictions. We hope that people who hear
of our action will continue the task of advocating for disarmament and
transformation of the weapons.
Several pro bono lawyers are doing research for an appeal which may
be fled in August. Te prosecutors then will have time to respond. One
possibility is that the judges will render a decision in October or Novem-
ber. My cellmate, though, believes the process will take longer , and a
ruling could come next year. One possible outcome is that we would be
taken back to Knoxville, Tennessee for resentencing.
An update on the Y-12 new nuclear weapon factory planned for Oak
Ridge is that the Big Box design is said to have become too expensive.
One estimate suggested the cost had risen to more than $19 billion. Te
weapons profteers are now saying that they want to renovate existing
buildings and build smaller module buildings. Te Oak Ridge Environ-
mental Peace Alliance (OREPA) is continuing to oppose the new plans
and press for abiding by the NPT and dismantling the weapons that bring
a curse upon the world, as Phil Berrigan has said. Orepa gives updates on
suggested actions at orepa.org.
Greg is one of the Transform Now Plowshares resisters. Along with Megan Rice
and Michael Walli, Greg broken into the Y-12 Nuclear Security Complex at Oak
Ridge, TN, proving its insecurity. Teir nonviolent symbolic act was to bring
attention to Americas stockpile of nuclear weapons, which they view as both
immoral and illegal. Greg is currently seving 5 years at Ft. Leavenworth. Learn
more at http://transformnowplowshares.wordpress.com/
Refection from
Greg Boertje-Obed
Upcoming
Events
Our
Schedule Who Are We?
Showers M, T, T, 8:30--11am
volunteers 8 amnoon
Prayers M & F 6 am
W 7:15 am
Community Meal T 57 pm
Group Workday Monthly, 2nd Sat 9 am1 pm
Roundtables Monthly, 3rd Fri 7- 8:30 pm
Mens Circle Monthly, 4th Wed 3:30 - 4:30
CommunityCherith Brook is a residential
Christian community committed to sharing
table fellowship with strangers, and all our
resources with one another. We have found our
inspiration from the early church, the Church of
the Savior, and the Catholic Worker.

MercyOur daily lives are structured around
practicing the works of mercy as found in Jesus
teachings. We are committed to regularly feed-
ing the hungry, clothing the naked, giving drink
to the thirsty, welcoming the stranger, visiting
the prisoner and the sick in the name of Jesus.
PeacemakingAs followers of Jesus, we
understand our lives to be centered in Gods
Shalom. Cherith Brook strives to be a school
for peacemaking in all its dimensions: political,
communal, and personal, working constantly to
undo poverty, racism and militarism.
Tese three orbs can be summed up as the struggle
to connect with the God of life. We pray that Cherith
Brook is a space where all of usthe brokencan
come to learn and relearn the ways of Jesus; a place
to struggle together for Gods call of love, mercy,
peace and justice.
August 15 Roundtable: Isreal, Palestine &
Divestment
August 22 DEADication of Nuke Plant
9-11am, at 150 hwy & Botts Rd.
September 12-14 Sugar Creek Retreat; NO
WORK DAY
October Mortgage Pay-of Party, TBA
October 10 Festival of Shelters, send of,
time TBA
October 11 Festival of Shelters, dinner &
refection, time TBA
October 17 Roundtable: Te Jesus
Prayer
November 8 Work Day, 9am - 1pm
November 21 Roundtable: Men & Anger
November 27 CLOSED for Tanksgiving
Cherith Brook Catholic Worker
3308 East 12th Street
Kansas City, MO 64127
(816) 241-8047
cherithbrookkcmo@gmail.com
http://cherithbrookcw.blogspot.com