Seattle Catholic Worker

A radical Christian community in the Catholic Worker tradition

Summer issue of The Inbreaking (our “Sexuality Issue”) out now!

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Beloved extended community,

Please enjoy our Summer, 2015 issue of The Inbreaking, our “Sexuality Issue”!  You can view and download the PDF here.

Here’s a quote from the front page, explaining our reasons for devoting an entire issue to the issue of sexuality:

Welcome to the Summer 2015 issue of The Inbreaking.  In this issue, all of the content will focus on sexuality–in our lives, in our theologies, in the Christian church, and in our culture and society.  We have been inspired in this by the second iteration of the Seattle Catholic Worker (1974-2006), who in March 1976 published “The Yin and Yang of Human Sexuality: Reflections Towards a Whole Theology.”  The contents of that publication were controversial, even within Catholic Worker circles, pushing for more radical inclusion of oppressed sexual minorities.  Nearly 40 years later, many things have changed for the better, but Christian sexual politics are still far from the open, equitable, loving unity that Christ invites us into.  We hope to speak into today’s broken world with the same Spirit that our forerunners channeled in 1976.  

We invite you all to hear this with openness and love, and to see this as our effort towards a collective and fuller realization of the inbreaking of God’s reign.

This edition’s content includes:

-“‘Love One Another, Just As I Have Loved You’: Grappling with the Church’s Marginalization of Queer and Trans People”, by Peter Gallagher

-“My Lesbianism”, by Jan Adams (reprinted from “The Yin and Yang of Human Sexuality”, 1976)

-“Pharisee, Saducee”, by Brian Christopher

-“A Journey Toward Christian Sex-Positivity”, by Eli Burnham

-Excerpt from “Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power” by Audre Lorde (reprinted from Sister Outsider)

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Enjoy! As ever, if you’d like a copy, we’ll happily send you one–just shoot us your address!  We also invite any feedback, challenges, or affirmations in response to this issue.  Our hope is that this can foster respectful dialogue and sharing, as well as a deeper capacity to work together to make God’s reign a reality for everybody!

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Next Kumbayawesome Saturday 7/11 at the house! Celebrating Dinah, Peter, Roxanne, and Annie!

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Friends, we hope you’ll join us for an evening of food, fellowship, art, and creative expression in our magical and (mercifully temperate) backyard! This is our first gathering of the summer, and we are excited for the opportunity to fellowship with our extended community in glorious Seattle summer! It will be held Saturday July 11th at 6:00 PM at the SCW house (12914 74th Ave S, Seattle, 98178).

We’ll also, as per usual, be celebrating Peter (7/11) and Dinah’s (7/22) birthday, in addition this year to Roxanne’s (7/16) and our dog Annie’s first birthday (7/25)!

We’ll also have copies of our summer issue of “The Inbreaking” on hand!

All our welcome (including kids!), and please bring a dish or beverage to share if you are able, and a song or poem or rant or prayer to share as well!

Also, in an attempt to make this event as inclusive as possible (given that our house is out in Skyway) we’ll be trying to arrange rides from the Rainier Valley–so, if you or someone you know might need a ride, please let us know.

Hope to see you there! 🙂

Spring 2015 issue of “The Inbreaking” out now!

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Friends, enjoy the Spring 2015 issue of “The Inbreaking”!  You can take a look at the PDF here.

This edition’s content includes:

-“Love is the Most Powerful Force in the World: Remembering Fr. Bix” by Peter Gallagher

-Remembrances of Fr. Bix, by Megan Capes, Wes Howard-Brook, Melissa Yager, and Seth Martin

-“How Can We Say ‘God Loves You’ to the Oppressed?” by Jay Thompson

-“A Few Things I’ve Learned From Sheep” by Tony Scramble

-“Diving and Dining: A Month in the Dumpster” by Dinah Danby

-Pictures from the MLK march, a direct action at Bangor Naval Base, and the Pacific Life Community gathering

As ever, we are happy to send you a print copy by mail, just send us your address.  Also, since we’re now at Vol. 2 (!!!), we invite those of you who subscribe to consider making an annual donation to help us cover the costs of printing the paper.  The rest of the money will go directly to our ministry.  The suggested annual donation is $10.

Thank you and God bless!

SCW

 

How Can We Say “God Loves You” to the Oppressed?

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The following is another sneak peek from the Spring 2015 issue of The Inbreaking–a fantastic article from our good friend Jay Thompson, exploring what it means to proclaim God’s love in a world riddled with oppression, and suggesting steps Catholics might consider taking towards a more faithful solidarity.

How Can We Say “God Loves You” to the Oppressed?

by Jay Thompson

Thanks to Shelby Handler and Peter Gallagher for their reflections and comments on an earlier draft of this article.

This winter, at the closing of the Chanukkah gathering of a Seattle Radical Shabbat group in a little craftsman house in the Central District, an attendee brought out a list of names.

The names were of unarmed people of color killed by the police in America, and it was long: it stretched back more than a decade and made its way around our circle of thirty more than three times. Seattleite John T. Williams, a hearing-impaired Nuu-chah-nulth woodcarver shot to death only four seconds after being ordered by an officer behind him to drop his carving knife, was on the list. Tamir Rice and Michael Brown were on the list. One attendee, her voice full of tears, asked us to remember that each name we heard was more than a name: it was someone’s child, best friend, lover, parent, companion—someone whose loss to state violence left a tear in the fabric of many anonymous lives.

The Radical Shabbat group, a gathering of lefty Jewish folks, is “working to practice and reclaim our Jewish ritual in a space that holds our values,” including the value of work against oppression. This list of victims ended an evening of conversation and reflection on the lessons of the Chanukkah story, making literal and human the tensions of the story of the Maccabees’ rebellion against Greek domination. How can we work against the violence of an oppressive state?

At the close of this excruciating litany, the attendees said the mourners’ kaddish for these victims of state violence. I listened but couldn’t join in: I was the only Catholic in the room and, though I grew up with Jewish folks in my extended family, I’d never learned these words. I went home with a hard knot of grief in my throat and my head tangled with questions. The Shabbat space showed its participants the trust of letting us sit in our grief and rage: not forcing a happy or positive meaning onto this list, but to feel, even if only for a moment, the terrible individual cost of our society’s criminalization of people of color. Later, I looked the words of the kaddish up: “B’rikh hu,” goes one passage, “l’eila min kol bir’khata v’shirata, / toosh’b’chatah v’nechematah, da’ameeran b’al’mah.” “Blessed is he / beyond any song and blessing, / any praise and consolation that are uttered in the world.”

“Beyond any song and blessing”: the God remembered in ritual, petitioned and honored in prayer, revered (so I as a Catholic believe) in the incarnation of Jesus, and seen in the animating power of the Holy Spirit, can seem unbearably distant sometimes when we’re confronted by state violence. In the world to come, we’re told that “the Lord GOD will wipe away the tears from all faces” (Isaiah 25:8). But in this life, the oppressed endure grief, agony, violence, spiritual degradation, and dehumanization, alleviated by no revolutionary miracle.

How can we (I write as a white middle-class able-bodied male citizen, enjoying just about every privilege American society has to offer) say “God loves you” to the oppressed? The daily life of an oppressed person is an experience—to quote Father Gustavo Gutierrez, Peruvian priest and founder of liberation theology—“of exclusion and nonlove, of being forgotten, of having no social rights.” What does it mean to tell an oppressed person that God loves them? I’m honored to have shared the space of mourning with the participants of Radical Shabbat, but I claim no special knowledge on the history and spirituality of Jewish anti-oppressive politics; I face this question as a Catholic. If the great truth of God’s love isn’t going to seem like an empty and meaningless piety in the face of the grinding reality of oppression, what actions must accompany it?

Father Gutierrez, who for fifty years has done his theological and political work in the slums of Lima, Peru, “between the sufferings and the hopes of the people with whom I live,” has a simple primary recommendation. Gutierrez writes that “Christian theology must be grounded in the reality of human suffering and exclusion if it is to be at the service of discipleship and transformation.” To follow Jesus’s teachings and to act from the trust of God’s abundant and self-communicating love means understanding that oppression is not fate, but a system created by people, and that the degradation and violence it forces onto the lives of the oppressed is “against the meaning” of the free, gratuitously beautiful gift of life. To me, Gutierrez’s recommendation leads to three conclusions.

First, Catholics must acknowledge that the suffering of the oppressed—the criminalization and state murder of young black men, the abandonment of the poor, the prohibitions against immigration even for those fleeing violence and poverty, the murder of trans people—is not merely a backdrop to their lives or ours, but a call to solidarity. As Christians, we find our fullest humanity in the radical love of our neighbor, and we affirm that we touch “the suffering flesh of Christ” himself when we minister to the most oppressed, when we strive to build their power and center their concerns.

Second, to follow the call of God’s love means following Jesus’s message toward social, not just individual, transformation. In the words of Pope Francis, “God, through Christ, redeems not only the individual person, but also the social relations existing” between all people. I believe that Jesus—by his words, actions, and life—teaches us that another set of human and political relationships is possible, one that refuses the “structural sin” in which those of us with privilege participate. What would this human-centered society, as opposed to a society of the marketplace imperatives and of state oppression, look like? It’s hard to even conceive of, but, in the meantime, it’s a truly radical assertion to center human dignity, autonomy, and freedom in our politics. When, as Pope Francis writes, “the categories of the marketplace” are made into absolutes, “God can only be seen as uncontrollable, unmanageable, even dangerous, since he calls human beings to their full realization and to freedom from all forms of enslavement.” This is a God I am glad to love.

Finally, to truthfully say to the oppressed (and show by action) that “God loves you,” I believe that we Catholics should courageously explore the consequences of what the Church calls its “preferential option for the poor.” Catholic theology defines this option as centering the needs, concerns, questions, and conditions of the poor in our faith life, and examining our society’s policies and institutions in terms of their impact on the poor. A shallow reading of this teaching simply suggests that “we” the church must minister to the needs of “them,” the oppressed. But, carried to its logical conclusion, this teaching can and should challenge Catholics to center the voices of those most affected by oppression when that oppression is being addressed.

What might this look like? Well, here in King County, youth of color are resisting—through education, protest, and direct action—the county’s plan to invest $210 million in a new youth jail; the community most affected by mass incarceration is speaking for itself and saying no. How can Catholics listen to these voices, and build their power over that of self-proclaimed experts and employees of carceral institutions?

Or, for another example: in a church that remains deeply sexist and exclusionary of queer and trans folks, how can those of us who enjoy gender and cis-gender privilege build the power of women and queer and trans communities, internationally and locally? For all his lucid and serious criticism of capitalist ideology, Francis’s opinions on reproductive choice, the role of women in the church, and the humanity of queer folks are largely awful, including his recent offhand comparison of modern “gender theory” to “nuclear arms,” for how both threaten to disrupt “the order of creation.” Liberation-oriented Catholics must clearly and definitively say no to such ideas, and the practices they lead to. Our call is not just to find common cause with oppressed communities, but to strengthen them by addressing systemic injustice and by centering these communities’ politics, cultures, and ways of knowing.

As Catholics concerned with a genuinely human-centered politics, our work must be within our faith communities as well as in the world as a whole. Authentic faith, Pope Francis writes, “is never comfortable or completely personal…. [It] always involves a deep desire to change the world, to transmit values.” And so, remembering the mourner’s kaddish, I grieve for the victims of police violence—and for the hearts of those officers who, for one terrible instant, were the state’s violence, fear, power-numbedness, and hatred personified. In this grief, I strive to act not because I feel morally superior, or because I feel the oppressed to be saints idealized by their suffering, or because I feel those who oppress are inhuman, but because God is good, and in the words “God loves you” I hear a call, impossible to ignore, to fight for the liberation of all people.

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Jay Thompson is a poet and parent in Seattle, where he teaches creative writing to women incarcerated at King County Jail, organizes with the Coalition of Anti-Racist Whites, and is a parishioner at St. Mary’s Church.

Love is the Most Powerful Force in the World: Remembering Fr. Bix

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The late, great Fr. William “Bix” Bichsel, a Jesuit Priest and peace activist from the Tacoma Catholic Worker, passed away on February 28th, 2015, surrounded by his family, friends, and community. Bix was a dear friend and mentor to the Seattle Catholic Worker. The following is an article written by Peter that will be published in the Spring, 2015 issue of The Inbreaking (which will be out in a couple weeks), speaking to his experience of Bix’s last lucid moments, as well as chronicling his mentorship to our community.  

Love is the Most Powerful Force in the World: Remembering Fr. Bix

by Peter Gallagher

Love is the most powerful force in the world.”—Fr. Bix

I had the privilege of being with Bix for his very last lucid moments on the evening of Wednesday February 25th at Jean’s House of Prayer, one of the many houses that constitutes the Tacoma Catholic Worker community where Bix spent the last 25 years of his life.  We had all received word that morning that Bix’s much-maligned heart was finally due to stop beating within a day or two; he had just been released from the hospital and had received his last rites.  I was headed to the Pacific Life Community gathering in the Bay Area the next morning (which Bix had planned on attending before his health deteriorated) along with Megan and Melissa from the Tacoma Worker, so I made arrangements to stay the night with them in Tacoma that evening, knowing that this would be our last chance to say goodbye to Bix.  That evening ended up being the last time he was fully conscious before he passed away on Saturday.

When I arrived at Jean’s House, Bix’s bed, respirator, and other medical gear were all stationed in the living room, which was adorned as ever with photographs of prophets and peace activists such as Sr. Jackie Hudson, Gandhi, and Dorothy Day, whom Bix would soon be joining. There hung a tattered plaque bearing the words of Jesus in Matthew 25 that were so foundational to Bix’s life, that would be read at his funeral:

Inasmuch as you have done it to the least of these my sisters and brothers, you have done it to me”—Matthew 25:40

There were already a number of people milling about the house, and a constant stream of people coming and going.  It was an ostensibly bustling environment, but I remember a distinct air of pending grief: of everyone feeling forced into coming to terms with death in too short a time.  There were moments of laughter and levity, but there were many, many tearful goodbyes—droves of locals pouring in to pay their respects, as well as old friends from out of town calling to say a final farewell to Bix by phone.

Yet with all that, what struck me as both remarkable and just classic Bix is that he was not only the least grief-stricken person in the room, he seemed to be in reasonably good spirits, as affable as ever. You’d have thought he just stumbled on the good fortune of receiving a lot of kind visitors that particular evening.  When someone asked him how he was feeling, in a very serious and concerned tone, he almost seemed at a loss for anything interesting to report on an emotional plane. “Pretty good, I’d say….you know…it’s been pretty much gravy so far.”  He demonstrated the new method of drinking water he had learned from his nurse that morning (the “chin tuck method”), and happily crunched away on ice—long a favorite pastime of his, I learned—as his last solid “food”.  “I think ice has got to be one of the greatest inventions of all time”, Bix declared thunderously.  I mumbled, to no one in particular, that ice is less of an invention and more of a naturally occurring chemical state, but who asked me?  No one. So we meditated on that for a time.

Suffice it to say that Bix was not mired in sadness or existential anxiety on his death bed; rather, he was of service to others until his last.  He greeted everyone with a sweet care and tenderness, giving his whole, undivided attention to each person’s farewell.  He told Megan, “you are so good with people”; he told me what an inspiration I and the Seattle Catholic Worker had been to him in his last years.

Throughout the evening there were a number of moving testaments, tributes, and farewells.  A young Native boy sang and drummed a song of his people at the encouragement of his family.  Seth Martin played a back-breaking rendition of his song, “Lone Wild Bird”…

We wear your seamless cloth of joy and loss, severed roots and limbs, time to start again. Start with

I am thine

I rest in thee. I rest in thee. I rest in thee,

Great Spirit come and rest in me.

…and ended his sharing with a kiss on Bix’s forehead.  I shared a couple songs at Bix’s encouragement (“Peter plays the most wonderful music”—can you imagine what it meant to me to hear that?), including my favorite blessing from the Hebrew Scriptures:

May God bless and keep you

May God’s face shine on you

May God be kind to you,

And give you peace

But what sticks with me the most were some words Bix shared after we all sang “We Shall Overcome”. It was the only point in the evening I witnessed where he wasn’t occupied with receiving a stream of visitors, so it was probably the last reflection that he ever offered.  He said (and I will never, ever forget this): “You know, love…is the most powerful force in the world. More powerful than all of the nuclear weapons.  I do believe this.  We really can do it, you know…I do believe in the power of the resurrection, the power of the creator God.”  And then he stopped talking to receive more visitors.

“Love is the most powerful force in the world.”—Fr. Bix, February 25th, 2015.

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By all accounts, Bix’s whole life was a testament, an incarnation of this belief. He was an ordained Jesuit Priest for over fifty years, beloved by many Catholics, especially the poor; the founder of a thriving Catholic Worker community in Tacoma, and an internationally renowned peace activist to boot. At the ripe age of 81, he and four others partook in a Plowshares action at Bangor Naval Base, cutting through two fences and pouring vials of their own blood on the ground, after which Bix performed an exorcism of the base that is home to thousands of nuclear warheads.  He brought with him a handful of sunflower seeds, a symbol of the way of peace, of the irrepressible life of the world to come.

After a fair amount of publicity (including a humorous video segment from the Seattle Times, highlighting that all the Plowshares activists were in their 60s or older, titled “Old vs. Navy”) and an opportunity to witness at trial, Bix entered prison with a number of health conditions that left him susceptible to not receiving adequate medical care in prison and dying inside its walls.  Thus, in the truest sense of the phrase in the 21st century, Bix took up his cross for those he loved—he was willing to lay down his life for an end to weapons of mass destruction:

“I tell you that there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for their friends.” (John 15:13).

I first met Bix in October 2012 at Guadalupe House, just a week or two after the Seattle Catholic Worker first opened its doors. He had extended an invitation for us to join them for one of their regular Tuesday night liturgies and dinners, so myself, Eli and Nick Ogle made the drive down after we got off work, arriving just as dinner was wrapping up.

It would be difficult to overstate how badly we needed guidance at this time, and how much of a balm meeting Bix was to us.  Anyone who’s taken the path of trying to start your own community knows how daunting it is, especially in the beginning.  We just did not know what we were doing.  But this skinny old Jesuit priest, fresh off a stint in prison from his recent Plowshares action, was just the picture of delight and wonderment at hearing that we had started a new Catholic Worker house in Seattle.  He didn’t give advice or force-feed us tales of yore: he and Nora simply sat with us over dessert, just listening to our sharing and responding to our questions, without a trace of condescension or know-how.

Bix ended up being one of SCW’s most faithful supporters and mentors, from our inception to his passing.  He attended almost all of our community gatherings, bringing along many others from Tacoma. He offered just the most achingly beautiful opening blessing at our first Kumbayawesome at the Hillman City Collaboratory on March 1st, 2014, almost exactly a year before he would pass away.  He and Br. Gilberto Perez shared that evening about their experience resisting with the people at Jeju Island in Korea against the U.S. Naval base being constructed there, an experience which he referred to as a conversion experience (in his mid-eighties!).  At Jeju he was captivated by what he called “eucharistic resistance”–the sharing of bread and wine—Life at its most elemental—as the very source of resistance to the forces of death.  His ability to continually be inspired anew and to truly listen to others was what made him such a tremendous mentor to us as we got going.  His friendship meant the whole world to us.  Who knows where we’d be without him.

Fr. Tuohy’s homily at Bix’s funeral rightly centered on “The Power of the Resurrection”—one of Bix’s favorite phrases, a phrase he made sure to invoke on his death bed.  Bix’s strength and conviction were not the result of white-knuckling or a stubborn, made up mind; as he put it to the National Catholic Reporter: “I believe strongly in my heart in the power of God and the power of creation and the Resurrection. They are much stronger than the powers of death.”

Now, one detail I’ve yet to mention from my last night with Bix was that after my emotional goodbye and as we were all being ushered out, I realized I had forgotten my phone on his bedside table.  Whoopsie.  So I shuffled sheepishly back to his bedside to grab it.  Everyone had left the room; Bix was still awake.  I said, “Bix?” “Yes?”, he said.  “I just want you to know that we are going to keep the movement going.  We’ll keep on working and witnessing for peace and justice and an end to war.”

“Oh, that’s good”, he replied.

***

The next morning, Melissa, Megan, and I made the drive down to the Bay Area for the Pacific Life Community gathering, receiving updates on Bix’s health along the way. Bix was grieved and remembered beautifully at the PLC: many folks in attendance had witnessed with him for decades and were losing one of their closest friends.  One of the artists that attended the conference fashioned a number of placards with Bix’s face on it, which we all wore to the civil disobedience action at the gates of Lockheed Martin.

Being there made me remember when I attended Bix’s keynote address at the PLC in 2013, when it was held in Tacoma.  Afterwards, Bix found me, clasped me on the shoulder, looked me square in the eye and said, “Peter, we need you”.

Welp, he’s got me, and indeed a holy host of others who will continue witnessing for peace and justice until we’re laid in our own grave.

Love is indeed the most powerful force in the world. Bix’s whole life witnessed to this truth.  I give thanks that I got to see this incarnated so beautifully in William Bichsel, S.J.  He’s crunching ice in heaven; we’ll be planting seeds here below.

Fr. Bix, PRESENTE!

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Peter Gallagher is a member of the Seattle Catholic Worker

Report back from the Kinsler Institute Festival of Radical Discipleship and Pacific Life Community gathering

In the past month, Peter had the immense privilege of traveling to California to represent SCW at two separate gatherings.  The first was the Kinsler Institute Festival of Radical Discipleship, put on by Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries to celebrate Ched Myers’ 60th birthday.  Over 160 people traveled to Oak View, CA from all over the country for a five day festival featuring workshops, speakers, music and art, and an untold amount of laughter and tears and stomping and clapping and connecting and every other holy form of intimacy.  It was truly one of those experiences that cannot be conveyed through words; it was deeply moving and profound.  What can be said is that Peter came out of the Kinsler Institute with many precious memories, many new and dear friends, and a reinvigorated passion for living the Gospel and helping build the radical discipleship movement.

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Next came the 2015 Pacific Life Community Resistance Retreat. This year’s retreat was held in Menlo Park, in Northern California, from Friday, February 27, through Monday, March 2, with a nonviolent direct action on Monday at Lockheed Martin, in Sunnyvale, protesting nuclear weapons work and other weapons for war. After sharing poetry, litany, dancing, songs, and prayer, 12 people were arrested for blocking traffic. They carried a letter with them that read:

To All of Us Who Pay Taxes or Work at Lockheed Martin,

Lockheed Martin is the world’s largest weapons producer. The nuclear missiles that Lockheed Martin designs and builds are a threat to all life on earth. We ask you to evaluate the morality of profit from world-wide death and suffering.

This is the time to transform Lockheed Martin’s reliance on weapons production into new technologies that help the earth and benefit the common good.

Those arrested included: Peggy Coleman, Betsy Lamb, Ann Havill, Fr. Jerry Zawada, OFM, John Yevtich, Katie Kelso, Susan Crane, Fr. Steve Kelly, SJ, Larry Purcell, Elizabeth Murray, Ed Ehmke and Mary Jane Parrine. Four of the protesters were released that afternoon by signing out, as was one later that evening. The seven who refused to sign papers for their release were held in jail until they were seen by a judge. They were released, all charges dropped, on Wednesday night, March 4. The individuals who signed out will have a future court date.

The keynote speaker was Dalit Baum, Ph.D., originally from Tel Aviv, and co-founder of Who Profits from the Occupation, and of the Coalition of Women for Peace in Israel. Dalit is a feminist scholar and teacher. She has been active with various groups in the Israeli anti-occupation and democracy movement. She has worked for American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) in the San Francisco office since 2013 and currently serves the organization as Director of Economic Activism. She spoke on the relationship between the U.S. and Israel, and the destruction and slow genocide of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. This year’s retreat had 80 people in attendance from various western states.

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(photo credit to Mike Wisnieski.  Much of the wording from PLC report back taken from LA Catholic Worker website)

Winter 2014 Inbreaking out now!

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Friends,

We’re pleased to present the first-ever Advent edition of The Inbreaking!  Featuring, as ever, a host of radical content for your perusal and enjoyment.  You can give it a look here.

Also, for those of you in Seattle, we hope you’ll join us for our Advent party TONIGHT at 6:00 PM at the Hillman City Collaboratory (5623 Rainier Ave S. at Orcas St.).  All are welcome!

Save the date! SCW’s Advent gathering 12/6 / Thanksgiving feast at the Collab!

Advent Gathering 2012

Dear friends,

We hope you’re enjoying the transition into late Fall—what a GORGEOUS autumn day we got in Seattle today! We’ve got some awesome events planned for the holidays already, so we thought we’d send an email along now to give our extended community plenty of notice.

First of all, we are delighted to invite you to the 3rd annual Advent edition of the Seattle Catholic Worker’s Kumbayawesome—our favorite gathering of the year!  This year we’ll be hosting it at the Hillman City Collaboratory on Saturday, December 6th at 6:00 PM.

As always, the night will start with a open community meal and assortment of holiday treats, and will move into a time for folks from all walks of life to share music, reflections, and other forms of creative expression, much of it Advent-inspired (we usually end up singing many of the classics).  Our hope is to let the beauty of song and fellowship convey the true meaning of Advent—the triumph of hope and love in the face of darkness, oppression and injustice—and how that message is shrouded and even contradicted by many aspects of the consumer capitalist “holiday season”. We’ll provide some food, but please bring a dish, side, or dessert to share if you are able, to ensure that there’ll be enough food for everyone.  Everybody is welcome—feel free to invite your friends!

Second, for the first time we’ll be helping coordinate an open, all-inclusive Thanksgiving feast at the Hillman City Collaboratory this year, along with folks from Valley & Mountain fellowship.  We’re really grateful to be able to provide a meal and warm company for folks from our drop in center (among others) who will need a place to go on Thanksgiving.

If you happen to be in a position of being without Thanksgiving plans, we’d love you to have you join us!  Just let us know :).  In addition to that, we’ll need some help with food and volunteers in order to make the day a success.  We’ll need people that can drop off some food at some point during the day—a turkey, a side, dessert, anything would help!  We’ll also need volunteer servers, and of course, help with set up and clean up.  If you are able/willing to help in any of these ways, PLEASE let us know!  It would be greatly appreciated!!!

Lastly, we’re hoping to have the next issue of The Inbreaking available for our Advent gathering.  If your address has changed, let us know your new address so we can make sure you get your copy!

So, that’s all for now.  We’ve got some exciting days ahead of us!  We hope you’ll have a chance to celebrate life and all its blessings with us as we move towards the season of Advent.  Peace be with all of us until then.

With gratitude,
The Seattle Catholic Worker

Fall Kumbayawesome/Wes’ Birthday Pictures

Friends,

Better late than never: here are some pictures from our most recent Kumbayawesome, where we had the chance to celebrate the birthday of our beloved friend and mentor Wes-Howard Brook. It was a truly wonderful celebration! You can see some photos below, and check out even more here.

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Fall Issue of “The Inbreaking” out now!!!

Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 11.51.10 AMFriends!  Take a look at the newest issue of “The Inbreaking”, featuring fabulous articles by Mary Pauline Diaz, Jaime Rodriguez, Gabbi Duncan, Peter Gallagher, some great poetry from a local activist, along with a host of other radical content.  Check it out here, and if you’d like a copy mailed to you, let us know!

And we’ll hope to see you for the next Kumbayawesome/Wes’ birthday/SCW fundraiser this Saturday at 6:00 PM at the Hillman City Collaboratory (at Rainier and Orcas)! 🙂