Tuesday, November 24, 2009
I’m told that all people involved in urban ministries are supposed to have exciting stories to tell about their exploits in the ‘hood. Well, here is one for our collection.
Today, I came home from work to find that our house had been robbed. Someone kicked in our basement window, trashing the whole area and then coming upstairs to rob us.
Also, I entered the house while the intruder was still here.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
(This is an article from Guardian News.)
A United Nations special investigator who was blocked from visiting the US by the Bush administration has accused the American government of pouring billions of dollars into rescuing banks and big business while treating as "invisible" a deepening homeless crisis.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Posted by Jack
Some of you who live near us may have heard about the man who was struck and killed by a train just a few blocks from our house. (The story can be read, with an accompanying video, here.)
What the news story did not tell you is this: Lorenzo was a homeless man who often slept outside a garage near the site of the accident. He had many injuries, some of which were associated with his military service in Vietnam. He had lost sight in one eye and his hearing was poor.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Please note: This is a sister-post, meaning it is meant to be read in conjunction with a previous blog posting. This is an extension of my earlier reflection entitled “Courting Mulberry Street.”
As you may have read in my previous comments, I have a healthy suspicion of “success.” When goals and projected outcomes are on the table, especially in terms of concrete data, I recognize the need for extreme caution and careful meditation. As such, we have shunned the compilation of any sort of 1 year, 5 year, or 10 year projected plan.
Friends and lovers,
What follows is a "re-post" of some thoughts which appeared on the blog earlier this year, in a post entitled "The Best Laid Plans..."
I am posting these thoughts again, in a shortened form, for 2 reasons.
First, I think it is important that our friends and neighbors understand this aspect of our community development. Second, I have come to realize that some more needs to be said. The other side of this coin can be found in the sister-post entitled "A Little Less Conversation."
Monday, August 31, 2009
Hoooray!!!!! It's time for us to celebrate. Our banks are making billions of dollars again!
In what major news outlets are calling a record windfall, banks who received taxpayer bailout money just months ago have reported a huge increase in profits. Citigroup reported a second quarter profit of $4.3 billion. Bank of America reported a profit of $2.4 billion. Goldman Sachs raked in $3.44 billion, and JP Morgan-Chase went home with a comfortable $2.7 billion.
While many would consider this a victory, banking on the idea that a prosperous Wall Street will translate to a prosperous populace, the truth of the matter is far different.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Sunday, August 2, 2009
This piece first appeared as an article in Consp!re: Issue 2.
We sat in the bar, smoke circling our heads as we quietly sipped our drinks. It is a tradition of ours, at least once a week, to walk about our battered neighborhood as improbable ambassadors, greeting all we meet with smiles. We seek out the seediest, shadiest, sleaziest bars in town and, in the simple act of pulling up a stool, we plant a flag for Jesus.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Hello friends and lovers,
I, on behalf of all of us here in the house, would like to apologize for our stunning lack of blog-updating lately. We've been "busy": both in the real sense that we genuinely have much to do, and in the false sense that have convinced ourselves that we are more important than we really are.
I personally intend to create time each week to post more consistently... so, if you read what we write here, you can expect more content soon.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Several weeks ago, as a part of our efforts to reach out to the Body of Christ in the area, Tim Miller and I attended a Sunday morning service at a church in downtown Springfield.
We love this church and the members of the Body represented there.
To call this church affluent is an understatement.
Monday, May 25, 2009
509.08 BEGGING PROHIBITED.
(a) No person, either directly or indirectly, shall beg, or solicit alms or ask subsistence by charity in and upon the streets or public places of the City, or enter a dwelling, yard or enclosure without the permission of the owner or occupant thereof to beg, solicit alms or ask subsistence by charity.
(Ord. 1970. Passed 9-15-24.)
(b) Whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.
This is an ordinance still on the books here in Springfield, OH.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
We believe in God, the Father Almighty,
the Maker of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
He descended into hell.
The third day He arose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven,
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from thence he shall come to judge the living and the dead.
We believe in the Holy Spirit;
the holy catholic church;
the communion of saints;
the forgiveness of sins;
the resurrection of the body;
and the life everlasting.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
EDIT on 9/12/2009: Okay, we admit it... we have not officially launched this neat idea. We tried to, sort of, but in the midst of all the tangled and strenuous efforts we've been making to the house, this project has been postponed a bit. Give us some time and patience, and we will rock this idea like nobody's business!
Note: We are not THE Underground Seminary, but we are AN underground seminary.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
“Quincy says people can’t change.”
The 14-year-old boy was looking at me from the passenger seat of my car.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Sunday, March 8, 2009
As some of you may know, from time to time I write alongside an eclectic little group of writers known as Burnside Writers Collective.
Through my interactions with this motley crew, I met a talented friend named Susan Isaacs. Susan is a writer and performer with credits in TV, film, stage, and radio. She is also a noted comedian.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Three stories from the past 2 weeks.
The police officer was visiting our classroom full of young children as a part of their "Safety Week" activities. She had brought along her canine partner in order to demonstrate how they search for drugs and illicit materials. As she passed out some coloring books to the children, she began to ask them questions about their experiences with the police.
"What is a police officer's job?" she asked.
A young boy in the back raised his hand.
"Police officers take daddies to jail."
Friday, February 13, 2009
Friday, February 6, 2009
One of the most common questions I get here at the house goes something like this: “What are your plans?”
Everywhere I go, there is someone with a deep interest in what we are doing in Springfield, and they often frame their interest in a question about our plans.
Several folks were even pushing me to write a 6 month plan, a 1 year plan, and a 5 year plan for the growth and development of our community.
I don’t fault people for this. I genuinely appreciate their interest in us, and I admire their efforts to make us articulate just what it is we are trying to do.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
I didn’t say this to many people, but here at the house, we were down to our last dollar. For the past few months, our bank account has had a slow leak. Our money was steadily dwindling away and any income we received was inconsistent and unpredictable. I recently came to the conclusion that this coming bill cycle would drain every last penny and leave us with nothing.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
I stood outside on Mulberry Street staring into the sky in amazement. Hundreds and hundreds of circling crows filled the sky. The trees across the street were full of the black birds as well, and their loud squawks and squeals demanded my attention. It was like a scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Unarmed truth, unconditional love, and the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood.
May we never forget that another world is possible...
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Many youth groups and some church bodies discuss from time to time the idea of revolution or revival. It is a common idea when churches seem stale or exhausted. In youth groups, the pastor will discuss (usually very excitedly) about how every kid needs to bring their friends.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
As many of you know, we have a community closet here at Mulberry House. (If you didn’t know that, shame on you! Didn’t you watch the cheesy video tour?)
In fact, many of you are so familiar with the concept that you have graciously offered to donate your stuff to us… lots of your stuff.
I (Jack) have been doing some serious thinking lately (unemployment lends itself well to serious thinking), and I arrived at the conclusion that we need some clarifications in this area.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Saturday, January 3, 2009
Where there is hatred, let us sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is discord, union;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
Grant that we may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. AMEN
Friday, January 2, 2009
After leaving the house unattended for one day, we returned to find some serious carnage! Take a look...
That pile of wreckage represents the small shed we once had in our back yard. A tree was growing directly behind the shed, between the building and the fence. The force of the flying shed was enough to snap the tree off at the ground. See the tree back there?
We are going to talk to our insurance agent and see if something can be done. We really aren't sure what to expect though.
Eventually, we will need a place to store our lawnmower and outdoor tools, so if anyone can help us out with a small building, let us know!
Be careful out there, and watch for flying tool sheds.