catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 9, Num 13 :: 2010.06.25 — 2010.07.08


A very *cino summer

I don’t often write “newsy” pieces for my editorial, but this issue seems like a good time to do so, given the summertime theme and the fact that we have so many exciting things going on this season.

For those who are unfamiliar with the connections, *culture is not optional is an organization that encompasses several publications and activities.  The online catapult magazine (which you’re currently reading) is a complement to our quarterly print publication called the road journal (which you can sign up to receive for free).  Each year, we host at least one summer event, either ^camping is not optional or Practicing Resurrection, in addition to speaking and displaying at several events throughout the year.  More recently, *cino purchased the historic Huss School in Three Rivers, Michigan, and we’re working to build a community center and off-campus program there that will attempt to model Christianity as a way of life in a particular time and place for educational and community development purposes.  In fact, modeling and educating for Christianity as a way of life is one good way of summing up what *cino is all about.  Keep reading for more clues about what this big thing is…

Summer Stories Fundraiser

On Tuesday, June 8, a group of friends in Grand Rapids, Michigan, organized a storytelling event as a fundraiser for *cino.  The food and beverages were delicious and the stories were delightful, as folk shared all sorts of summertime tales around the microphone in the living room and the event raised over $100!  Watch for an upcoming announcement about where you can listen to some of the stories online.

Interns in Three Rivers

We are grateful and excited that six recent college graduates have decided to commit a portion of their summer to volunteering for *cino in Three Rivers.  The Spirit has certainly been weaving together abundant resources over the past couple of months in terms of people, a place for them to live and items to furnish a hospitable household.  Five of the interns have already been hard at work.  Marian’s completed her two-week stint, which was full of tasks to get the house set up and gathering quotes to stock our summer daily asterisk supply (a daily quote, which you can sign up for here).  Johnathan is working with a local *cino supporter, Julie, to oversee the Huss Future Festival (see below), which will include an experiential art exhibit and gigantic rummage sale to invite people into the future of the school property.  Paul has been researching all sorts of grants, which are going to be critical as we move forward with renovation.  Jared and Liz are history majors who will be working on a major research and story-gathering project around the school and the surrounding neighborhood.  In between working hours, we’ve been enjoying lots of good food, conversations, walks, bike rides, gatherings and games.  Well, perhaps there’d be some disagreement about the “goodness” of the game times…  Overall, we’ve enjoyed diving into the community together, familiarizing ourselves with its unique characteristics and characters, while figuring out what we can contribute to its welfare.

Triple Ripple Community Gardens

Radishes that are so huge they keep getting mistaken for beets?  Indeed!  One of the first projects sprouting at Huss School has been a community garden, which is a collaboration by local youth and adult mentors.  We’re thankful that the co-organizing skills and vision of Julianna and Brenda are bearing such good fruit at the property, which has been longing to become a life-giving resource again.  Read, see and hear more about the garden at the Imagining Space blog.

Huss Future Festival July 24

As a way of inviting people into the mission and resource gathering for the Huss School project, we’re hosting what we hope will become an annual event: the Huss Future Festival!  An array of activities from 8am-4pm on Saturday, July 24 will all concern the future of the school property in various ways.  A giant rummage sale will help us move some extra items out of the building and raise money for things like a feasibility study — the next critical step for planning and renovating.  Vendors hosting their own rummage sales will donate 10% of their sales to the school project.  A bake sale will serve as another fund raiser, but it will also be the backdrop for a room that will demonstrate the spirit we hope to cultivate in the space, with free fair trade coffee and tea, plenty of seating to stop and sit a while, and live music.  And that’s just on the main floor!  The second floor will have a variety of artistic and participatory displays that will help visitors imagine the future possibilities for the space.  Additionally, local artists will sell their beautiful wares and donate a percentage of their profits to the school project.  You can participate by:

  • Donating items to the rummage sale or to the bake sale
  • Signing up to be one of the individual art or rummage vendors who donate a percentage of sales
  • Serving on the core planning team to help with any aspect of the event
  • Volunteering on one of our work days (June 26 and July 17) or on the day of the event
  • Signing up for a time slot to offer your musical skills
  • Marking July 24 on your calendar to attend…and bring friends!
  • Praying from near or far for a successful event in terms of participation, fund raising, safety and delight

Send us a message here if you can help.

Practicing Resurrection Conference 2010

Join us at Russet House Farm in Cameron, Ontario from August 5-8 for Practicing Resurrection 2010, a family conference co-sponsored by *culture is not optional and Russet House Farm.  Our featured keynote speakers this year will be Ched Myers and Elaine Enns.  Under the theme of “Urban Gardening and the Peace of the City,” workshop topics will include community gardening, building cold-frames and raised beds, restorative justice, gardening and community activism, community shared agriculture, seed sourcing and seed saving and others.  Practicing Resurrection is quite a laid-back affair, with camping accommodations, outdoor cooking and rustic facilities.  It’s the kind of event for bringing your tent, hiking shoes, flashlight, swimsuit, guitar, bug repellent and kids — but not your dog (sorry).  Childcare and children’s workshops will be provided throughout the weekend.  For more information, visit the conference web site…and register today!  We’d love to see you there for a good talk over a morning coffee or an evening campfire.

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