Cherith Brook Lent 2010

Cherith Brook
Practicing God’s Mercy & Gospel Resistance

Catholic Worker
so important to me. If a sacrament is encountering God’s grace in earthly actions and things, then the story of Jesus highlights the sacrament of physical touch. The Gospels tell us that “moved with compassion Jesus touched…” Jesus touched the blind, the lame and the sick. Jesus touched the leper, the “sinner”, women—each considered socially and religiously unclean in his day. Parents brought their children to Jesus, hoping he would touch them. When the disciples tried to shoo them away, Jesus called them back saying, “Let these little children come to me, Don't block them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to them.” Jesus touched his enemies, healing the ear of the man who had come to arrest him. All of this serves to highlight the power in human touch. “Fellow humanity is a sacrament of our encounter with God” wrote Timothy Gorringe. This sacrament necessitates a refusal to let go of someone’s humanity, and a refusal to lose sight of our own. Not all touch is welcome though. Many of our street guests and friends have been handled in angry, aggressive and abusive ways. Some experience touch as a great discomfort, a physical pain in their fractured emotions. I have heard folks with schizophrenia describe a pat on the shoulder as

By the Finger of God
by Eric Garbison
I won’t soon forget the screams of pain and cries for help as the red liquid melted down her face. Last fall a friend of mine was pepper sprayed. I was running late for our community meal, when I caught a glimpse of her out of the corner of my eye. “Red” was leaning up against a building with her hands covering her face. Her screaming pierced through the rolled-up windows and booming radio. I quickly pulled over. The experience was surreal. The immense amount of physical suffering it caused her stands out. Pepper spray is simply that—a spray derived from the oils of cayenne, chilies and habanera. I tried to calm her as she flailed around from the temporary blindness and burning. She spit out her dentures as she gasped for air (it temporarily paralyzes the larynx causing the person to feel they are choking). I tried to hold her hand and speak to her in a calming voice. I really didn’t know what else to do. Also etched in my memory is the response of the paramedics. The few minutes we waited seemed an eternity. And I was relieved to see them pull up. But my anxiety was met with their indifference. They were in no hurry to relieve Red's pain. “Stop that spitting,” one paramedic yelled. “I won’t help you unless you stop spitting.” Between sobs, Red could only answer that she was trying, but her mouth was burning. Impatient, the paramedic grabbed Red’s forehead harshly, pulling her hair as she tried to get the bottle of eye rinse closer. “You’re hurting me!” Red sobbed. This struggle went on several times—spitting, yelling, hair pulling, sobbing. Eventually her street toughness kicked in and Red swore violently at the paramedic. Flailing her arms, she ordered the paramedic to stop. The torturous spray didn’t mask the mistreatment. In some basic way, I guess, the paramedic was helping. She was trying to rinse Red's eyes of the fiery spray without getting it on herself; She was “doing her job.” But it was clear that she didn’t care. Her touch was as injurious as the intense burning of the spray; a hurt to Red's person. Eventually it was not welcomed. This is a lesson we have learned repeatedly from street folk: some of the greatest suffering is not the cold and hunger, but the loss of dignity, especially when doled out by those who are supposed to help. That same night we were in the middle of our study of the saints in our lives (each of us has been inspired by the faith of ordinary people striving in holiness). Nick was showing a video on Mother Teresa. In spartan rooms, filled with cots, the Missionaries of Charity were tending the needs of the starving and dying of Calcutta. In one moving scene a young boy, whose contorted palsied body and face etched with starvation, was crying out. In a moment one of the sisters was there. Tenderly she massaged his chest. Then she ran her hands gently around his head and through his hair. At an instance his face relaxed, his body calmed and a sudden smile fixed itself across his sunken cheeks. No doubt the boy needed medical attention. But he was receiving something equally life giving— a loving touch. By the same token, the holiness of human contacts becomes real to me when I recall my own experiences of deep loneliness. A simple embrace can remind me of my belonging. A kind touch on the shoulder or clasping of hands might be all it takes to journey toward restoration when I have experienced isolation from community or family. In another way, the holiness of human contact becomes evident when I consider times I have stubbornly withdrawn it. At moments of frustration, disappointment or anger, I guard myself from the contact with others. A hug or handshake is stubbornly withheld. My body posture is closed. It is telling how, in these moments, emotional sores make us feel physically bruised and to offer a tangible gesture of welcome takes such effort. These frailties and failings of mine are why our practice of foot washing has become

So Elijah did according to the word of the Lord; he went and lived by the Cherith Brook...and the ravens brought him bread… I Kings 17 to preside over wounded needles pricking their lives in these difficult skin. When homelessmoments. ness puts them in con“We must do stant public scrutiny some experience such small things with great gestures as an invasion love.” Mother Teresa of the privacy they fight said, “ Its not how much to retain. Others have we do, but how much been so violated by sexlove we put into doing it. ual exploitation and saAnd its not how much dism they don’t know who to trust. we give, but how much But human intilove we put into giving. macy cannot be abanTo God there is nothing doned out of fear of besmall. The moment we ing misunderstood. We give it to God it becomes are all called to this infinite.” Rubbing somepriesthood, to serve this one’s back, caressing sacrament of God’s presence. "If it is by the fintheir hair, holding someger of God that I caste one’s hand just that extra out demons," Jesus said minute or two, looking after healing a demon straight into their eyes— possessed mute, “then these are small things, the kingdom of God has but when shared, the come to you." Jesus eternity of God’s love transforms human touch into a sign of the breakbreaks into the now. ing in of God’s reign. And we are all potential vehicles of that reign. We must trust that God’s Spirit empowers us Henri & Eric Garbison

Cherith Brook Lent 2010

Reflections About Hope & Trust
by Steve Sherridan
Together with Both of these sions of God as he all creation we can hope mysterious gifts of the prayed and wept and more, love more, cry Holy Spirit are alive in healed and loved people more, trust more, sing all of us and in all creawho were poor, sick and more, be healed more. outcasts. tion. What does the mysJesus said to pray withJesus gave the tery of hope look like for out ceasing, to pray alpoor more than just healme as I walk and pray ways, to love always, to ing and food. Jesus gave and laugh and cry be the first to ask for through my day? them his loving presence. forgiveness and to reI believe and Jesus gave them hope. member hope to beChrist is lieve more with us. and trust We and all that Christ creation walks closer journey than each of this life of our heartjoy and beat and the death and infinite pain in heart-beat of God’s God in all Cherith Brook community members on retreat. time. We creation. Jesus gave them trust. and all creation will be In reflection in Every hour of every day I given God’s glorious and prayer I am surrounded am called to love, to mysterious resurrection. by joyous visions and hope, to trust, and to Today, now, tomorrow, I pain filled visions. This walk and to pray with want to live in God’s brings me to a deeper friends who come to take hope more and to trust hope and trust in our showers at Cherith God more. infinite loving Christ Brook. To realize my who also breathed, spirit is broken also. walked and sowed vi-

Welcome ew Arrivals!

House needs
Sandwich Meat (no bologna) Sandwich Bags Mayonnaise Sliced Cheese

Our new cat DJ takes a nap.

Building a chicken coop has been a spring project!

Peanut Butter & Jelly Bananas & Oranges Coffee, Sugar, Creamer Vinegar (gallon size for cleaning) Baking Soda Dish Soap Toilet Paper Milk, Eggs, Butter Black Beans Salt & Pepper Shakers Folding Tables (standard rectangular size) Clear Plastic Restaurant Cups Water Pitchers Industrial Refrigerator
When possible, please call us at least a day ahead of time to schedule the best time to make your delivery of donations. Thanks!

We should have eggs soon!

A Song About Peace
by Josh Armfield

Shower needs
Tennis Shoes (men’s & women’s) Jeans & Belts (esp. men’s sizes 32-36) Summer Shirts & Shorts Men’s Underwear (esp. size 32-38)
Music is enjoyed around the campfire on retreat.

Capo 2 C Am F C Peace, Peace in our homes and in our streets. C Am F C Peace in our schools and in the way we teach . C Am F C Peace in the food we grow and we eat. C F C Peace, we pray for Peace. C Em F C Peace will make us whole again. C Em F C Peace will bring us together as friends. C Am F C With Peace there’s no need to judge or defend. C F C Peace, we pray for peace.

Women’s Panties (esp. 4-7) Bras Shampoo & Conditioner (large bottles) Deodorant &Razors Tube Socks Shoes & Foot Powder Toothpaste & Brushes Tampons & Pads Ibuprofen & Tylenol Laundry Soap (he) Bus Passes & Stamps Haircutting Scissors

Love…Love we live by love Joy…Joy we sing for Joy Forgive…Forgive because he forgave… Forgiveness will make us whole again… Forgive because he forgave. Josh, Izabelle & Diana entertain us on MLK Day.

Cherith Brook Lent 2010

Freedom from nukes – possible! with community action
by Jane Stoever, PeaceWorks Kansas City
We take our sorrow for the world’s suffering and, in community, work to secure a world free from nukes. A joyful journey! Yes, we know Kansas Citians build and procure parts for nuclear weapons, such as tritium containers and fusing. This work proceeds at Bannister and Troost in the Kansas City Plant, operated by Honeywell for the National Nuclear Security Administration. Yes, the facility is riddled with contaminants and needs to be closed and cleaned up. No, we don’t want a new plant to replace the current plant. We repeatedly voiced our objections to the City Council, but it voted 111 on Feb. 4 to approve the development plan for a new plant at Botts Road and Missouri Highway 150. With that vote, the city pledged up to $10 million for highway innovations for the plant and local enterprises. A city commission will hold the title to the land for the new NNSA plant, and funding for construction (estimated at $705 million) and infrastructure improvements ($45 million) will proceed through sale of bonds by Oppenheimer & Co. Most construction and operation costs will never appear on a congressional budget. The new KC Plant will be the first of three sites for dramatically expanding the U.S. nuclear arsenal. The other two sites, which produce explosive radioactive materials, are Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico (plutonium pit production) and Oak Ridge, Tenn. (uranium enrichment). Ironically, these expansions are getting the green light while the UN prepares to review the Nuclear NonProliferation Treaty this May. Many of us working for a nuke-free, livable, green world take heart from pacifist Dorothy Day, cofounder of the Catholic Worker movement in 1933. In December 1945, the Associated Press said it was hoped but not known that the bombing of Hiroshima killed 318,000 Japanese. In the January 1946 issue of The Catholic Worker, Day strenuously objected, “It is to be hoped they are vaporized, our Japanese brothers – scattered, men, women and babies, to the four winds, over the seven seas. Perhaps we will breathe their dust into our nostrils, feel them in the fog of New York on our faces, feel them in the rain on the hills of Easton (Pa.). … Our Lord Himself has already pronounced judgment on the atomic bomb. When James and John wished to call down fire from heaven on their enemies, Jesus said, ‘You know not of what spirit you are. The Son of Man came not to destroy souls but to save.’ He said also, ‘What you do unto the least of these my brethren, you do unto me.’” Thank you, Dorothy. Thank you, Cherith Brook and all your friends. You point the way to peace. We invite everyone to attend our planning sessions for national gatherings in KC this summer to seek a nuke-free world and close the KC Plant. For more information call 913-206-4088.

Brother Louis Rodeman from Holy Family Catholic Worker protests at the plant.

Talking Over the Back Fence
by Susan Lagergren, Cherith Brook Volunteer
My journey to Cherith Brook began in the summer of 2007 due to downsizing at the company where I had worked. Some employees were offered positions in other cities but a number of us were offered early retirement due to our time and service with the company. I was over elated! One evening I was talking with my neighbor over the back fence and she asked what I would be doing with my time. I had thought selfishly about possibly taking tap lessons on a whim, or maybe I could go on a trip somewhere I had always wanted to go but never felt I had time (or the money and still don’t!). Maybe I will just be pampered and get a massage once a week and learn yoga. I could even go out and train my dogs every day! My mind went on with limitless possibilities as my husband said “You will be so bored you will want to get a job after six months.” I assured him that would not be the case. As I shared with my neighbor, the Lord had so blessed me all of my life with a good job and a family that has been well provided for. I said Jesus has given me so much, maybe it is time to give back to Him. I had met Jesus on my terms for years, now it would be on His terms! Christ took me very seriously and grabbed hold of the reins! The year of 2008, I spent most of my time doing family duties with a sick father. Then my husband had a stroke. But the Lord was leading me to where He wanted me to be throughout that year. I would like to think He was networking for me. I was able to meet several integral people that year that had contacts to reach out to both the mentally ill and the homeless for Christ. And along came Larry. My homeless friend, Larry, has a corner in my neighborhood so I started giving bags of essentials and goodies to him or any other homeless person I met. Brent, my friend, taught me what to put in the bags and how to shop for them. When I ran across Larry one morning and I asked how he was doing he said “Great! I had a shower this morning!” This really took me by surprise! Where was there a place anyone could go for a shower? But what a great place to find out about! Larry stated it was down behind a barbershop named “Friendly’s” at 12th and Benton. The hunt was on! The only barbershop I could find was called Friedly’s at that location so I gave him a call. “Yea, the shower place is right behind me.” Off Brent and I went on a mission to find this place and visit City Union Mission to see if there was anything else we could put in our bags that would be of value to the people living on the Street. And along came Eric. He explained the concept of Cherith Brook to Brent and me and all the different things they do for their community: sack lunches on Friday evenings, showers and meals in the mornings, community meals. We were both enthralled with this Catholic Worker house of hospitality, the people and their way of living and their sharing in their community. Interest was peaked, so we had to go back. through His world, one of love and peace and hospitality and joy sharing. Jesus has opened not only a door to serve Him but a way to serve His Own. Of all the things in life that I have done, I am finding that it is only with God’s leading that I able to be fulfilled through Him. As we at Cherith Brook nourish our many friends with food, protection from the elements for a short time, and provide showers and clean clothing they are nourishing us with their love and friendship. And any friendship based in Jesus is also based in His Love. It truly brings me joy to be able to share with all who enter Cherith Brook’s door. I only pray that each time I see each person, I see them with Jesus’ eyes and His love.

~~ Why do I come back time and again? ~~
Why do I come back time and again? I have gotten to know and care about my new friends, the Cherith Brook residents and their Guests, I cling to the hope that we can make a difference for Christ and His children in our trek

Cherith Brook Lent 2010

WHAT THE CATHOLIC WORKER BELIEVES: PERSONALISM
by Nick Pickrell EASY ESSAY Feeding the Poor at a Sacrifice
In the first centuries of Christianity the hungry were fed at a personal sacrifice, the naked were clothed at a personal sacrifice, the homeless were sheltered at a personal sacrifice. And because the poor were fed, clothed and sheltered at a personal sacrifice, the pagans used to say about the Christians “See how they love each other.” In our own day the poor are no longer fed, clothed and sheltered at a personal sacrifice, but at the expense of the taxpayers. And because the poor are no longer fed, clothed and sheltered the pagans say about the Christians “See how they pass the buck.” There is a line from one of Peter Maurin’s Easy Essays that explains the title of this article well. “The Catholic Worker believes in the personal obligation of looking after the needs our brother.” I couldn’t have said it better; however, understanding what this means for our lives is a more difficult task. If we take a look at the Final Judgment passage found in Matthew 25, we read those recognizable words, “I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” In this passage, it is revealed to us that we are indeed our brother’s keeper—and that there are certain ramifications if we neglect this command. If we look at each individual phrase, we notice something else as well. Every single statement in Matthew 25 pertains to services that require the gift of time. We cannot feed someone who is hungry without taking the time to either cook or buy the food that will fill our hungry brother’s and sister’s stomachs. It is also important to note that there are no middlemen listed in this passage. The verse doesn’t read, “I was hungry and you gave to the United Way.” I mean the United Way no harm, but am raising the point that too often we see practicing the works of mercy through the lens of the dollar. We freely give from our pocketbooks but let other priorities prevent us from giving the gift of time talked about in Matthew. and care. These tasks, just like any other, can be stripped of personalism and then be found wearing the robe of bureaucracy. There is a man who panhandles in our neighborhood named Bob. He sleeps most nights in a tent nearby. On one particular evening the temperature was predicted to dip well below zero degrees, so we opened our home to him for the night. We Lines form and people have to continue to line up for each service they need. Because of all these lines there are rules and policies in place in order to keep things running smoothly. The downside to all of this is that it can be very easy to never know anyone whom you are serving— which serves to perpetuate the dehumanization of our friends who experience life on the streets. These people, our gentle personalism Peter Maurin talks about. This teaching comes in unexpected ways, and if we are not attuned to it, these moments will pass us by. Our friend Crystal is someone we visit with regularly when we are spending time on the streets of the Northeast. We usually hand out sack lunches and chat a bit, but this time a volunteer of ours offered Crystal a tube of chap stick after noticing her cracked lips. Crystal’s face lit up with delight after receiving this unexpected gift. There are also a number of our friends from the streets who come to Cherith Brook faithfully every morning to sit and relax, but last week the whole room exploded with song and laughter when Luis played La Bamba on the guitar. All of these stories—Bob and the shelter, Crystal and the chap stick, Luis and La Bamba—have something in common. All of these stories involve the unexpected. Crystal never asked for the chap stick, Bob didn’t ask to stay at our place and Luis wasn’t told to play La Bamba. All of these acts of kindness burst forth because a person loved another person so much that they were compelled to contribute to their well-being. Another word for this is thoughtfulness. It is no different than a child drawing something and giving it to their parents; no different than a husband attending a concert he may not enjoy because he knows his wife loves the band; no different than a family who stays day and night by a loved one’s bedside when he or she is ill. All of these things involve love, time, family and sacrifice. There is another interesting common thread to all of these stories. All of these displays of personalism involved a person doing something more— something different— than the usual. Even though we offer people a shower, a meal and some clothes, it is the “little things” that show our love for our guests. These small acts of thoughtfulness tear down the social, economic, and racial barriers that have been erected in our land, and give birth to things like family and comradery.

~~ It is never the shelter, never the program that restores humanity. ~~
It is never the shelter, never the program that restores humanity. It is the individual caring for the individual that restores all of our humanity and creates community. When we practice personalism we no longer treat people as objects to be proselytized. We no longer make people our own “fixer upper” projects. We no longer ask, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” as Cain did. Instead, we open our homes to one another, sing songs for one another, and give out tubes of chap stick. We say, “Peace to you, brother. Peace to you, sister,” as we throw our arms around our friends who are the poor among us. And by doing so, maybe we will again hear people say of the Christian, “See how they love each other.”

~~ Living at the Catholic Worker doesn’t necessarily mean that we have it figured out either. ~~
Living at the Catholic Worker doesn’t necessarily mean that we have this figured out either. Although we try to offer hospitality daily through a shower, some clothes, or a simple meal; this task can be done without any love

ick rides his bike to pick up weekly grocery donations. listened to him play guitar and tell stories. Then he began to speak about how he would rather sleep outside than at a local homeless shelter. The reason, he said, is that he doesn’t feel safe or trusted there. “There’s too much red tape.” The homeless shelter Bob was referring to is a rather large establishment—a one-stop shop kind of place. They do a beautiful thing by offering temporary shelter to hundreds of people every night. However, because of the mass amount of people needing care, lines form. brothers and sisters, end up being treated like a herd of cattle. The shelter, however, is not the only place susceptible to this dehumanizing, impersonal way. Even at Cherith Brook we battle our own inclinations to treat this life of hospitality and community like a job—clocking in at nine and clocking out at five. This happens despite us committing to remain small so we can truly know our brothers and sisters. Thankfully, our guests who come in for showers each day teach us the way to practice the

Cherith Brook Lent 2010

Cherith Brook Lent 2010

MELLOW YELLOW
by Josh Armfield
won’t see us drinking bottled water around here. “Grey Water” is just one example of how we are trying to be conscious of our impact on the world. More importantly at Cherith Brook we try hard to remember that we are stewards of God’s green earth. We try to remember that the choices that we make here on 12th street not only affect the land that we live on, but they also affect the world, especially concerning water. During Peter Maurin’s life he constantly called for a ‘return to the land’. life that comes to flourish within it constitutes the first kind of community.” We must see that we are responsible for what we put into our water cycle and this water cycle reaches all over the world. We must begin to re-learn what it means to live off the land. We cannot solve the problems of pollution by simply “going green”, which has become just another means of marketing to a consumer economy. The waste that pollutes our streams is not going to go away just by recycling or by buying organic produce. Instead it is a much deeper solution which demands a change in lifestyle. We must see that the economic system that is in place is as destructive a pollutant as anything. Wendell Berry criticizes the industrialization of food and water by saying, “We have made a social ideal of minimal involvement in the growing and cooking of food. This is one of the dearest ‘liberations’ of our affluence. Nevertheless, the more dependent we become on the industries of eating and drinking, the more waste we are going to produce. The mess that surrounds us, then, must be understood not just as a problem in itself but as a symptom of a greater and graver problem: the centralization of our economy, the gathering of the productive property and power into fewer and fewer hands, and the consequent destruction, everywhere, of the local economies of household, neighborhood, and community.” are a part of it. In doing this we also create meaningful work that needs to be done on the land, giving people purpose. Our actions and our intentions here reach around the world. So at Cherith Brook we try to practice a ‘return to the land’ in the way that we choose to live, understanding that we are responsible for the waste that we create. After all, the ravens didn’t bring Elijah food wrapped in plastic from the supermarket. It is for these reasons we flush our toilets with “Grey Water”, we harvest the rain water that falls on our roofs into barrels for garden and cleaning use, we grow food on our lawn rather than mow it, we compost, we ride bicycles, we hang our clothes up to dry, we don’t have air conditioning, we use real plates and napkins not disposable, and so on. Nonetheless, we continue to trust that God is providing for our needs. “Then God saw everything that God had made, and indeed it was very good.” ~Genesis 1:31

FLOW: For the Love of Water is a documentary by Irena Salina about the growing privatization of the world's dwindling fresh water supply with a focus on politics, pollution, human rights, and the emergence of a domineering world water cartel. Here at Cherith Brook I rarely flush the toilet and I’ve grown accustomed to telling myself, “If it’s yellow, let it mellow”. But don’t worry, it’s not as bad as it sounds. For as long as I have lived here we have practiced a technique called “Grey Water”. Instead of flushing the toilet, we collect the water that we use when taking a shower in a bucket and use that to flush the toilet. This is just one way that we have learned to cut back on our water use. We do this not just to save money on our water bill, but more so because we are aware that our actions in our own home affect communities on the other side of the world. As waste pours into the world’s streams and rivers, Industrialization has caused many communities around the globe to no longer have access to clean drinking water. Thus water has become a profitable resource, and corporations are beginning to take control of water sources, bottle the water up, and make millions. (According to CBS news, water is now a $400 billion dollar industry; the third largest behind electricity and oil.) So not only has industrialization reduced the clean water supply, but those still existing clean water sources are being privatized so that clean water is no longer available to the public except for a price. In Bolivia, South America’s poorest country, a third of the people do not have access to clean drinking water. In 2000, the water supply in Bolivia became privatized and peasants, mostly Quechua Indians, found that the water they had owned for centuries was no longer theirs. Because they were not able to afford the price of clean water, most were forced to drink water from sources that were known to be contaminated. Meanwhile, the average American uses 150 gallons of water per day. Needless to say, you

~~ Much of our problems today have to do with the fact that most Westerners are no longer connected to the land. ~~
Much of our problems today have to do with the fact that most Westerners are no longer connected to the land. The pollution of our watershed does not cross most people’s minds because, nowadays, water comes from a faucet. Poet and Naturalist, Gary Snyder says, “The water cycle includes our springs and wells, our Sierra snow pack, our irrigation canals, our car wash, and the spring salmon run. It’s the spring peeper in the pond and the acorn woodpecker chattering in a snag. The watershed is beyond the dichotomies of orderly/disorderly, for its forms are free, but somehow inevitable. The

~~ Living off the land means understanding the economy that already exists in the home. ~~
Living off the land means understanding the economy that already exists in the home. It means depending on one another, the land, and God rather than on outside markets. It means caring for the land because we need it and we

We harvest rain water from our roofs for garden and cleaning use.

Cherith Brook Lent 2010

HOUSE OTES
by Jodi Garbison
Praise God! We have started a new year together! Part of our yearly practice is to consider and renew our covenant to God and to each other as we strive to live out our discipleship here at Cherith Brook. We covenant together, not just for the challenge to see if we can “make it”, but because we truly believe that what we are signing on for is good. For the last three months we have been discerning our covenant together for this next year. We have reflected on the previous year together, spent time in prayer, gone on retreat and had many discussions. Through this discernment process we realized that very little of our weekly schedule is devoted to time together. One among us summed it up this way: “We are really good at spending time with ‘aunts’, ‘uncles’, ‘second cousins’ and whoever comes to the door, but we struggle to spend time with the immediate family”. If every meal feels like a family reunion, especially one that we host, we rarely have the opportunity to connect with one another on a more personal level. We are potentially missing the chance to share burdens and to get to know each other better. Because of this and because we want to create the opportunity for intimacy and deeper dependency on one another, we are paring back on some of the many things that make us feel splintered and cause us to work alone. We are trying to create space so our commitment to communal living and nurturing each other is as important as offering hospitality to Christ who comes in the guise of a stranger. It is hard to pare back. It is hard to say ‘no’ to something that has been integral to the community thus far. However, a ‘yes’ to too much is in essence a ‘no’ to meeting the needs of the 10 of us who have committed to this particular place for this specific time. We are excited to see how this works. We hope this covenant proves to be more than a test of endurance but rather a guide to a year rich in intimacy and growth. We pray it will be full of glimpses of God’s beloved community because we receive mercy and extend grace more deeply. Like the Lenten journey, we hope it to be more than just “forty days of penance” but life transforming. Below you will find a copy of the covenant we are committing to this year. Pray for us as we try to live faithfully. Thank you for the ways you have been faithful to us through various ways of support – friendship, prayer, donations and volunteering!

Vision of Hope
by Brian Hoover
You came to see me in my darkest hour; You appeared as a bright light and spoke with power. I had lost faith and worried the whole day; Because of a few simple words the judge had to say. I was alone and scared of what they might do; I prayed the whole time and needed to hear from you. I hoped to be freed and released from this time; But for reasons unknown this day wasn’t mine. So I lay on my bunk back in my room; I really needed to pray and it had to be soon. I asked, “Dear Lord, What could have gone wrong? I faced it like you said and tried to be strong.” So as I knelt and began to pray; You spoke my name and I didn’t know what to say. Then you appeared in a bright light; I reached for my Bible and held it tight. You said, “My dear son, why do you worry so? I was there with you; I never let go.” I’ve given you freedom; just look within and see. Love, faith, hope. Yes it all comes from me. So as the tears began to cease, I lay awake hours later with a new sense of peace. So now as I pray each and every day, I look for the light and I’ll know what to say. Brian’s mother, Belinda Clevenger, submitted this after the death of Brian’s wife, Diana. She thanks Cherith Brook for their love & support.

Diana & Jodi Garbison

Covenant for 2010 ~ Cherith Brook Catholic Worker
Josh Armfield, Sarah Cool, Eric Garbison, Jodi Garbison, Nick Pickrell, Steve Sheridan, Micah Waters
1. We commit to a life of discipleship, following Jesus, cross bearing, acting on our reflections and reflecting on our actions. “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” 2. We commit our daily lives to practicing hospitality: Listening for the knock and looking for the face of Jesus in stranger and friend, while receiving from them God’s welcome of us. “When you did it to the least of these my sisters and brothers, you did it to me.” 3. We commit our daily lives to pursing the nonviolence of God’s Shalom embodied in Jesus’ life, teachings, death and resurrection. We will pursue the peace struggle with ourselves, each other, and our enemies, in our neighborhood, our city, our country and our world. “Love your enemies...Overcome evil with good.” 4. We commit to the journey of forgiveness in all relationships, striving toward reconciliation in ways that recognize the differences in each person. “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.” 5. We commit to common living. “All who believed were together and had all things in common…” • • • • • • • • • • We will play and celebrate together; We will share in the work of the house; We will eat together at agreed upon times. We will worship together. We will practice a weekly prayer rhythm and encourage personal prayer, reflection and solitude. We will live locally, present to our neighborhood and community. We will make decisions by consensus, striving for full agreement. We will practice Sabbath rhythms—creating space for rest, prayer, solitude and reflection. We will hold our finances and resources in common. We will work 20 hours our less outside the community.

6. We commit to prayerful discernment: listening to God and to each other, listening to scripture and trusting in the presence of the Spirit in our lives. 7. We commit to being servants of creation, caring for the earth and her resources, reducing our dependence on technology, rejecting the busyness of modern city life, and returning to the garden of God’s intentions. “And God saw that it was good…very good.” 8. We commit to living at a personal economic sacrifice: trusting daily for God’s provision, sharing freely and living simply. There are many ways of resisting the idolatries of capitalism. Communal living is the way we are called. “Give us this day our daily bread.” 9. In summary, we commit to shaping our lifestyles around Jesus and his manifesto in the Sermon on the Mount, living in expectation of his return.

Cherith Brook Lent 2010

Cherith Brook
Catholic Worker
3308 E. 12th Street Kansas City, MO 64127 (816) 241-8047 cherithbrookkcmo@yahoo.com www.cherithbrookkc.blogspot.com

Our Schedule
SHOWERS PRAYERS COMMU ITY MEAL FRIDAY NIGHT SHARING GARDE WORK SACRAMENTS WOME ’S DAY HAIRCUTS GROUP WORKDAY M, T, TH, F M, W, F TH 1st, 3rd & 5th FRI 2nd & 4th FRI Monthly, 2nd SUN Monthly, Last WED Monthly, 2nd SAT Monthly, 2nd SAT 8am- oon 6:30-7am 5-7pm 2-5 pm 2-5pm 6:30 pm 11:30am-2pm 9-11am 9am-1pm

Who Are We?
Community—Cherith 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. Mercy—Our daily lives are structured around practicing the works of mercy as found in Jesus’ teachings. We are committed to regularly feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, giving drink to the thirsty, welcoming the stranger, visiting the prisoner and the sick in the name of Jesus. Peacemaking—As followers of Jesus, we understand our lives to be centered in God’s 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. These 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 us—the broken—can come to learn and relearn the ways of Jesus; a place to struggle together for God’s call of love, mercy, peace and justice.

Upcoming Events
April 23—26 MW CW Resistance Retreat @ Chicago, IL The Cost of War & Occupation: At Home & Abroad May 7 @ 7pm Clarification Meeting Worship as Warfare, Dr. Rodney Reeves July 12—25 Closed for work projects & vacations Please let us know if you would like to help with projects during this time.