A Community Building Building Community

Every weekday sometime around 11:30 am I find my way over to Lakeview Presbyterian Church’s third space where I enjoy a better than home cooked meal prepared by First Slice and spend an hour or so in fellowship with friends. Up until April 22nd we had been temporarily meeting in the sanctuary, waiting for the completion and opening of third space which is the name for the old Parish House just west of the Church on the corner of Broadway and Addison in Chicago.

Pastor Joy Douglas Strome shares in the above video their community’s dreams for third space and explains how they arrived at the name as well as the secret, or maybe not so secret to community builders, to creating community in a 21st century modern city. If you are interested in building a community today, I believe this video will provide a good blueprint.

The house built in 1911 provided educational programs to a rapidly growing Lakeview Community. In 1870 2,000 residents, mainly celery farmers populated the area. By 1887 the population reached 45,000 residents, leading to the eventual incorporation into Chicago in 1889. (Wikipedia)

Over the years the space was used for teaching English to immigrant populations, providing sanctuary for Central American refugees, providing alternative education for at-risk youth, serving a hot lunch to neighborhood senior citizens are strong evidence of a church history that proclaims the gospel in actualized missions that serve both neighborhood and city.” (Church Website)

Thanks Pastor Joy and Lakeview Presbyterian Church Community for your continuing to make community thrive in a time when many of us believe real, honest-to-goodness community is something of the past. You’re proving us wrong.

Posted by Dan O’Donnell, a layman who has covenanted with the Chicago Community of Passionist Partners. In addition to the standard covenant, Dan promises to work at connecting all partners known and unknown, to a conscious following the the way of Jesus, the way of the cross which Dan believes transforms all failure, democratizing the human journe

Just Embrace

 

I never know who I’m going to meet or run into at my local Starbucks. One surprise came when the barista suggested one morning that I try something different, like the dark roast. “OK” I replied and so began a two plus years getting to know Sher.

Sher Sheets I discovered lives right down the street from me in a large old frame home where she and her fellow companions live in an intentional community. When I was invited to join the Passionists’ of Holy Cross Province’s committee on community, I knew, I had to somehow share Sher and her community in our deliberations and so today’s interview and post.

Eight years ago after having taken a course in “The New Monastics” in the seminary Sher says she knew her calling. She wanted to live a simple life among the poor. Many of us have dreams while attending school. I don’t think many of us follow those dreams like Sher.

Today Sher tells what the Just Embrace Community stands for, how that stand becomes reality and her and the community’s hopes for the future.

Posted by Dan O’Donnell, a layman who has covenanted with the Chicago Community of Passionist Partners. In addition to the standard covenant, Dan promises to work at connecting all partners known and unknown, to a conscious following the the way of Jesus, the way of the cross which Dan believes transforms all failure, democratizing the human journey

 

Remembering Our Baptismal Call on the Anniversary of Dr. MLK’s Death

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King on the 50th anniversary of his death, Tony Magliano of Pax Christi shares Dr. King’s warning: “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.” in the following post. He goes on to point out that this is exactly where the U.S. and many other nations are, citing facts to support his claim. Luckily he doesn’t leave us with that sad news, but shares another King quote: “The time is always right to do what is right.”

Swords into Plowshares

“I believe in a future where the value of your work is not determined by the size of your paycheck, but by the amount of happiness you spread and the amount of meaning you give.”

This quote comes from Rutger Bregman’s April 2017 TED Talk, Poverty isn’t a lack of character; it’s a lack of cash. Poor people, he tells notoriously make poor choices especially in the areas of health and money. He continues by citing a study by Eldar Shafir of Princeton University and his colleagues who observed sugarcane farmers in India and showed: “…that people behave differently when they perceive a thing to be scarce. And what that thing is doesn’t much matter — whether it’s not enough time, money or food.”

He then presents what I believe is a plausible solution to poverty in the United States today by proposing a guaranteed monthly income for everyone. That would change the context in which the poor live and as the above study suggests open the door for the poor to make better decisions. He actually shows this was done in Dauphin Canada and it worked. He also points out that it would only cost “175 billion, a quarter of the US military spending or one percent of GDP”.

Finally, such a move Bregman suggests would also open the door to the 87 percent of workers today who don’t like their present jobs, giving them a choice and helping them realize the quote beginning this post.

Dan O’Donnell

Dan O’Donnell, a layman has covenanted with the Chicago Community. In addition to the standard covenant, Dan promises to work at connecting all partners known and unknown, to a conscious following the the way of Jesus, the way of the cross which Dan believes transforms all failure, democratizing the human journey

Making Peace

Zack Beauchamp in hisYouTube video, Three big reasons war is going away, admits that there are many reasons but then gives us just three as to why we are living in the most peaceful time in history*:

  1. The Democratic Peace
  2. Nuclear Deterrence
  3. Sovereignty

I suspect Mr. Beauchamp is onto something here, but I think there is another, and I would add, much more significant reason. I think we are living in the most peaceful time in history of the world because of people like Mahatma Gandhi, (1869 – 1948), Nelson Mandela (1918 – 2013) and Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 – 1968) who taught us how to respond to violence, marginalization and oppression with love and service. Also, people like Ethel Percy Andrus, Jane Addams, Dorothy Day and a whole host of others who may not have had the experience of marginalization or oppression, chose a life of love and service as well. Thanks to people like these and oh yes, Jesus (c 0 – 33). They taught us not only by their words, but more especially by their actions, how to make peace.

P.S. Happy Feast Day to all my Passionists friends around the world and all those celebrating the joyful memorial of the Passion of Jesus tomorrow, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.

Dan O'Donnell
Dan O’Donnell

Dan O’Donnell, a layman has covenanted with the Chicago Community. In addition to the standard covenant, Dan promises to work at connecting all partners known and unknown, to a conscious following the the way of Jesus, the way of the cross which Dan believes transforms all failure, democratizing the human journey

*Mr. Beauchamp is not the only one who thinks this. The Human Security Report “…an independent research centre affiliated with Simon Fraser University (SFU) in Vancouver, Canada.” gives a similar assessment.