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Ordinary Time 2010

Cherith Brook Catholic Worker


3308 East 12th Street
Kansas City, MO 64127
(816) 241-8047

cherithbrookkcmo@yahoo.com
The Church & the Powers
by Nick Pickrell

www.cherithbrookkc.blogspot.com “Wherever the early Christians entered a town the refusing to move from her seat on a bus, a city- it conflicts with the higher law of God.
power structure got disturbed and immediately wide strike in St. Louis with union workers tak- In Romans 13, Paul speaks of submitting
sought to convict them for being “disturbers of ing care of one another while the exploitative to the governing authorities, but it mentions
the peace” and “outside agitators.” But they went corporations lost months of potential revenue, nothing of obeying. This is an important point.
on with the conviction that they were “a colony of and Susan B Anthony being jailed for casting a Later Paul goes on to say in another letter that
heaven,” and had to obey God rather than [human vote in the 1872 presidential election. In all of “our struggle is not against flesh and blood,
beings].... these instances, the oppressed simply refused to but against the rulers, against the authorities,
Things are different now. The contemporary obey the “powers and principalities” that lorded against the powers of this dark world...” Here
church is often a weak, ineffectual voice with an over them. Paul is laying out exactly what it is we are up
uncertain sound. It is so often the arch-supporter Jesus did the same thing. In his triumphal against. He is telling us that the church will be
of the status quo. Far from being disturbed by the entry, Jesus made preparations like one would in conflict with the kingdoms of this world. The
presence of the church, the power structure of the for war. He came down from the Mount of Olives early Christians were persecuted because their
average community is consoled by the church’s si- like one would when preparing to battle for community was a threat to the powers and au-
lent and often vocal sanction of things as they are.” Jerusalem’s liberation. The people praised him thorities. Rome believed in peace by the sword.
like one would a Lord and Savior. The difference They prevented many insurrections because
is that he came into town on a donkey, not a of the steep penalty, crucifixion. But then, the
chariot; he came as a servant, not as a ruler who Christian community emerged with the risen
lords over people; he came unarmed, not with Christ as their king, who had conquered death.

Our Upcoming swords and spears. Jesus was staking his claim
on Jerusalem with no weapons while riding on a
donkey! He was satirizing the powers of his day.
They had a deep allegiance to Christ because
of the love Christ showed them, and they shed
their allegiance to Rome. This perfect love cast

Who Are We? Schedule Events This demonstration coupled with the chaotic
scene in the temple courts (flipping the tables)
ultimately led to Jesus’ imprisonment and
out the fear the Christian community had of
Rome’s sword, and many of them spent years
in jail or were executed for their allegiance to
Community—Cherith Brook is a residential Showers M, T, Th, F 8 am–noon September 8 death. Jesus did not obey the cumbersome laws God’s kingdom.
Christian community committed to sharing Groundbreaking Action at the KC Nuclear of the Pharisees that oppressed the poor, and he Today is no different. Many Catholic Worker
table fellowship with strangers, and all our Weapons Plant did not proclaim Caesar as lord. Instead, Jesus houses actively resist these rulers and authori-
Prayers M, W, F 6:30–7 am
resources with one another. We have found our enacted an alternative way of life - one that says ties, and the most potent resistance we have
inspiration from the early church, the Church of the first shall be last and the last shall be first, to offer is our way of life. Just like Rosa Parks
the Savior, and the Catholic Worker. Community Meal Th 5–7 pm September 17 - 20 and one that proclaims God as being over all. sitting on the bus like everyone else, many
Midwest Catholic Worker Retreat at Sugar In our age there are similar powers at work. Catholic Worker houses and other intentional
Mercy—Our daily lives are structured around Creek, IA There are anti-camping laws that are used Christian communities resist by simply living
Friday Night Sharing 1st, 3rd & 5th Fri 2–5 pm
practicing the works of mercy as found in Jesus’ regularly to hassle homeless men and women the way Christ compels us to. If that gets us into
teachings. We are committed to regularly feed- who are trying to sleep. There are laws being trouble, so be it. Our community has gotten
ing the hungry, clothing the naked, giving drink Garden Work 2nd & 4th Fri 2–5 pm September 24 - 27 enacted that racially profile our Mexican broth- yelled at for giving food away on our downtown
to the thirsty, welcoming the stranger, visiting Festival of Shelters at Cherith Brook CW Robby Jones and Steve Jacobs (St. Francis CW / Columbia, MO) walk with Nick at the ers and sisters. There are corporate lobby groups streets, but Christ tells us to feed the hungry so
the prisoner and the sick in the name of Jesus. CW Faith & Resistance Retreat. that drown out the cries of ordinary citizens. we continue to give. Some policemen refer to us
Sacraments Monthly, 2nd Sun 6:30 pm
There are wars being waged abroad while we are as the “cult on 12th street” because about a doz-
Peacemaking—As followers of Jesus, we October 7 There is much to ponder in this excerpt facing enormous amounts of foreclosures and en people who are unrelated live together and
understand our lives to be centered in God’s Women’s Day Monthly, Last Wed 11:30 am–2 pm Action at the KC Nuclear Weapons Plant from Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from Bir- unemployment at home. All of these things are share all we have, but the early church regularly
Shalom. Cherith Brook strives to be a “school” mingham City Jail.” I don’t think many on this happening, and yet the contemporary church shared so no one was in need among them. We
for peacemaking in all its dimensions: political, side of the civil rights movement would ever is silent. In many cases, the church condemns are escorted out of city hall meetings because
Haircuts Monthly, 2nd Sat 9–11 am
communal, and personal, working constantly to October 22, 7 – 8:30pm question the actions of those involved in the the kind of holy imagination people like MLK we voice our opposition to further criminalizing
undo poverty, racism and militarism. Clarification Meeting at Cherith Brook CW civil rights struggle--which landed many people demonstrated because it would mean breaking those women who are being prostituted on our
Group Workday Monthly, 2nd Sat 9 am–1 pm “Race & Religious Relations” with Dr. Ed in jails, beaten up, or dead. Same goes for the the “law.” The question I would pose then is this: streets while the johns
These three orbs can be summed up as the struggle Chasteen and Imam Yahya Furqan labor movement in the early part of the 20th what laws are we bound to first and foremost? walk away, but Jesus also came alongside the
to connect with the God of life. We pray that Cher- century, or for the women’s suffrage movement If we claim Christ as our king the answer should prostitute (where the man involved was also
ith Brook is a space where all of us—the broken— of the 1920’s. In all of these instances, people be simple. We answer to Christ, and while we strangely absent) and prevented an execution.
can come to learn and relearn the ways of Jesus; acknowledged that the power structure was submit to the earthly power structures as Christ When Jesus stood before Pilate, he told Pilate
a place to struggle together for God’s call of love, wrong and decided to not follow the unjust laws did when he accepted his sentence of crucifix- that “my kingdom is not of this world. If it were,
mercy, peace and justice. anymore. All of a sudden you had Rosa Parks ion, we will refuse to obey any man-made law as (continued on page 4)
2 Cherith Brook Catholic Worker Ordinary Time 2010 Ordinary Time 2010 Cherith Brook Catholic Worker 7
Aims & Means of the Catholic Worker Nonviolent Peacemaking Opportunity Prayer from a Friend How To Help

KC Nuke Plant A Psalm of House


What the Catholic Worker Believes: Nonviolence Groundbreaking Cherith Brook Needs
by Sarah Cool by Jane Stoever by Fr. Ed Hays Sandwich Meat (no bologna)
Sandwich Bags
As catholic workers, we believe that personal and One of our friends recently came to our house the world and our nation better places to live? If Let’s give the KC Nuke Plant’s groundbreaking a new twist on O Lord, Psalm 139 sings,
social transformation should be pursued by the for refuge after being assaulted by a guy in the we seek the latter, violence can never provide the September 8th! “If I sink down to the netherworld, Mayonnaise
means Jesus revealed in His sacrificial love. With neighborhood wielding a sharp metal shank. We answer. The ultimate weakness of violence is that The groundbreaking for the Kansas City Plant, which makes and pro- Or go to the furthermost limits of the sea,
Sliced Cheese
Christ as our Exemplar, by prayer and communion helped clean and bandage her wounds, comfort it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing cures non-nuclear parts for nuclear weapons, occurs September 8th. You are there, holding me in your right hand.”
with His Body and Blood, we strive for the practice her, and offered to help her make a police it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it Join peacemakers from far and near for the groundbreaking. If you’re That you always securely hold me in your hand Peanut Butter & Jelly
of Nonviolence. report. Thank God we were here and able to multiplies it.” coming from out of town, contact Jane Stoever for housing at 913-206- Daily strengthens me here at Cherith Brook.
Coffee, Sugar, Creamer
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be welcome her into our safe space. And in his speech, Beyond Vietnam, King 4088 or janepstoever@yahoo.com. Locals are offering beds to travelers, IF I welcome someone whose ragged clothes
called children of God.” (Matt. 5:9) Only through In an attempt to avoid some worldly violence, stated that, “I sometimes marvel at those who ask the Catholic Worker houses have space for sleeping bags, and some weary Smell of urine, his breath of alcohol, you are there. Vinegar (gallon size for cleaning)
nonviolent action can a personalist revolution come we at Cherith Brook have chosen to do without me why I am speaking against the war. Could it travelers may prefer a motel room. If I feed a brooding stranger who is ungrateful,
Baking Soda
about, one in which one evil will not be replaced television. Part of our reasoning to do without be that they do not know that the Good News was The all-day planning and preparation for civil resistance related to the Complains about the food, you are there.
CMYK

simply by another. Thus, we oppose the deliberate television comes from studies of Americans meant for all - for communist and capitalist, for groundbreaking begins on Tuesday, September 7th at 10 a.m. This will If I go to clean the toilets, dirty showers, Dish Soap
taking of human life for any reason, and see every who watch an average of four hours of televi- their children and ours, for black and for white, for take place at the All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church located at 4501 Or any unpleasant task, you are there.
Toilet Paper
oppression as blasphemy. Jesus taught us to take sion daily. Those studies indicate that watching revolutionary and conservative? Have they forgot- Walnut, Kansas City, MO. Speakers will include Jay Coghlan, head of
suffering upon ourselves rather than inflict it upon television can cause one to become “immune” or ten that my ministry is in obedience to the one who NukeWatch, NM, and Ann Suellentrop, M.S.R.N., of Physicians for Social When a companion in our house is rude, Milk, Eggs, Butter
others, and He calls us to fight against violence numb to the horror of violence, gradually accept loved his enemies so fully that he died for them?” Responsibility and PeaceWorks. Entertainers will include The Recipe and And their conduct irritates me,
Black Beans
with the spiritual weapons of prayer, fasting and violence as a way to solve problems, imitate This is the position that Cherith Brook takes. Sahj Kaya. In him or her, you are there.
noncooperation with evil. Refusal to pay taxes for the violence they observe on television, and We ask the question, how can we possibly follow We invite you to participate in this nonviolent peacemaking opportu- When we gather for communal prayer, Salt & Pepper Shakers
war, to register for conscription, to comply with identify with certain characters, victims and/ Christ’s mandates without condemnation of all nity. Contact Jane Stoever to register for this free event. And I, not feeling prayerful, only pretend,
Folding Tables (standard size)
any unjust legislation; participation in nonviolent or victimizers. Spend some time with us and violence? You are there, holding me in your hand.
strikes and boycotts, protests or vigils; withdrawal you’ll experience all of the other ways we choose At Cherith Brook we often speak out against When I feel no joy in helping others, Clear Plastic Restaurant Cups
of support for dominant systems, corporate funding to fill our hours: with gardening, visiting with unjust legislation, participate in peaceful pro- Harbor judgments against those I serve,
Pickup Truck
or usurious practices are all excellent means to our neighbors, sorting donations, working on tests and vigils, and do not support dominant/ Even then, you are there.
establish peace. various projects around our property, and more. hierarchical systems. For example, no one per- Industrial Refrigerator
Even without television in our lives, we still long son is in charge at Cherith Brook. Rather we are Cradled in your hand, let your fingers
Greenhouse/Hoophouse
for more time to do the things that really matter all empowered to be in charge and take charge Creatively knead me to greatness,
- the work that God has put on our hearts. of whatever we see that needs to be done. We As they once did your son Jesus,
Many Americans support the defending of do not accept government funding. We exist O Lord, may my time at Cherith Brook,
our country through our military might, glorify-
ing those who go into combat by giving them
the status of “hero”. We at Cherith Brook do not
merely on donations from individuals and some
religious entities. Additionally, we do not accept
interest on our bank accounts, nor do we charge
Serving the needs of the poor
Prepare me in unexpected ways
For what’s next for me in my life,
Shower
support militarism in any form. If fact, we each
work outside the community no more than 20
hours a week, which affords us the opportunity
interest to anyone we lend money to. And we
have gone to great lengths to get our property
loans out of interest charging banks and into
Confident, you’ll be there.

Amen.
Needs
to resist funding the war machine by not hav- the hands of individuals who will lend us money Tennis Shoes (men’s & women’s)
ing to pay federal income taxes. All of us have with no interest charged. We are still looking
Jeans & Belts
agreed to this, even our Koren War and Iraqi for help with our goal of having 100% of our
War veteran community members. William property loans as non-interest bearing loans. So (esp. men’s sizes 32-36)
Henri & Diana Garbison at a nonviolent demonstration Astore, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, please let us know if you or someone you know
Summer Shirts & Shorts
made several good points recently about why we can help us with this effort.
In today’s violent world at home and shouldn’t equate military service with hero- We try to practice nonviolence constantly: Men’s Underwear
abroad, Christ’s mandate to live nonviolently ism in an online article written for Common- in our acts of hospitality and mercy towards
(esp. size 32-38)
comes as a big challenge. Many Americans have Dreams.org: our friends and neighbors, in our peacemaking
grown up surrounded by violence. Some experi- “By making our military a league of heroes, we efforts, by striving to see the face of Jesus in Women’s Panties (esp. 4-7) & Bras
ence it in their own homes and neighborhoods; ensure that the brutalizing aspects and effects of every human being, and more.
Shampoo & Conditioner
on television and in video games; in the movies war will be played down. In celebrating isolated We invite you to live non-violently in solidar-
and news media; even by supporting or joining heroic feats, we often forget that war is guaranteed ity with us by adopting some of our practices, (large bottles)
the US armed forces. to degrade humanity. trying out some of your own ideas, and continu-
Deodorant &Razors
We see the affects of domestic and street “By making our military heroic, we act to prolong ing to do what you’ve already begun. We would
violence daily in the interactions we have with our wars. By seeing war as essentially heroic the- love to hear from you about your experiences Tube Socks
our friends who visit Cherith Brook for meals ater, we esteem it even as we excuse it. and how living more nonviolently has affected
Shoes & Foot Powder
and showers. Having survived two abusive re- “By insisting programmatically on American your life and the lives of those around you. It’s
lationships, I know firsthand that the cycles of military heroism, we also lay a firm foundation for taken us four years to get this far, and we still Toothpaste & Brushes
abuse and violence are hard to break free from potentially dangerous post-war myths, especially have more work to do! It cannot happen over-
Tampons & Pads
and often lead folks to live destructive lives for of the blame-mongering variety. After all, once you night, as we know that all worthwhile endeavors
themselves and their loved ones. Too often we have a league of heroes, how can you assign respon- take time, patience, trial and error. But to not Ibuprofen & Tylenol
hear gunshots right here in our own neighbor- sibility for costly, debilitating, perhaps even lost wars try at all ensures failure from the beginning.
Laundry Soap (high efficiency)
hood. Unfortunately our children have learned to them? It’s just a fact that heroes don’t lose.” We wish you well in your efforts to follow in the
to duck and hide when they hear that familiar Martin Luther King, Jr. had the following to nonviolent footsteps of Jesus. Bus Passes & Stamps
ringing in the air or see police helicopters in the say about the violence of war: “Are we seeking (from left) Micah Waters, Brother Louis Rodemann, Steve Sheridan, Fr. Ed Hays, Jodi Garbison, Josh Armfield & Eric Garbison enjoy conversation at
Haircutting Scissors
sky above our house. power for power’s sake? Or are we seeking to make Cherith Brook after a recent Clarification Meeting led by Fr. Ed.
6 Cherith Brook Catholic Worker Ordinary Time 2010 Ordinary Time 2010 Cherith Brook Catholic Worker 3
Recent Nonviolent Action Press Release Thoughts on Life at Cherith Brook

Statement
It Doesn’t Matter if You Shall Jail Us of Resistance
by Steve Clemens
Reflections from a Summer Intern
by Anna Mullen

For several years Cherith Brook Catholic Worker for urban blight remediation to purchase the Statement of Resistance to Nuclear Let me start with a disclaimer: I’m not an living has taught us to view our jobs? When we of vocational calling that are our most sincere
has been involved with the local anti-nuclear soybean fields and trees on the southern edge of Weapons Production in Kansas City, Mo., expert in vocation discernment. Or, for that introduce ourselves to new acquaintances, one service to the world.
movement, helping bring attention to the building the city for this plant with the promise to turn August 16, 2010 matter, I can’t even say I’ve been able to discern of the first questions to be asked is, “What do Perhaps it’s not the most academically cor-
of a new nuclear weapons factory in Kansas City. it over to private owners for $10 after 20 years- my own vocational calling yet. But, for the past you do for a living?” – what’s your job? We in- rect way to understand and describe vocation,
After voicing our opposition to lawmakers and all under the cynical guise of protecting about We are gathered today, August 16, 2010, at the three years, my school has relentlessly encour- quire about the activity that consumes so much by in the place I’m at on my journey of living,
filing a lawsuit regarding the misappropriation of 2,000+ jobs. site of the future nuclear weapons production plant aged me to explore the meaning of vocation and of our lives that we know not how to identify I find the concept comforting. In many ways I
city funds towards the building of this facility, we Presbyterian pastor and local Catholic in Kansas City, Missouri, to protest the continued to acknowledge the joy of journeying to that ourselves without it. And it seems to me that’s feel there is immense pressure to identify my
decided to act. On August 16th, 100 people stepped Worker member (yes, one in the same), Eric manufacture of U.S. nuclear weapons. discovery. This summer, Cherith Brook has been what vocation should be: the things about you vocational call – as though I should always be
onto the future site of KC’s Nuclear Weapons Plant, Garbison spoke in a loud voice over the din of We also denounce the existence of the current a stop along my path of discernment. I’m sure I that consume so much of your living that you looking forward to this prize. It is similar to the
and this is what transpired. the construction equipment this morning to Kansas City facility, where 85% of the non-nuclear have professors who would be rejoicing to know don’t know how to identify yourself without pressure I feel to know what I’ll be doing a year
14 of us stood in front of the huge cat- the construction supervisors and the police who components for the U.S. nuclear arsenal are pro- that my time here has greatly influenced my them. Your authentic selfhood, your vocation, from now when I’ve graduated. This pressure of
erpillar dump truck with our hands outstretched, had come to arrest us: “I’m a pastor who lives duced, and demand its closure and clean-up. understanding of vocation. your deeds. vocation identification not only weighs down
holding on to one another as we sang, prayed, in Northeast Kansas City at 12th and Benton. The current plant and the future plant threaten Cherith Brook has given me an insight into While at school, I may say that my deeds like a burden instead of being lifted like an
and read our statement on why we were protest- I heard 4 gunshots last night. There are crack the health and well-being of workers, our environ- Christian living that has brought me to an could be described as “taking notes,” “reading adventurous time of self-discovery and growth,
ing the building of the first nuclear bomb plant houses and abandoned houses in my neighbor- ment and the Kansas City community. The new unveiling and broadening of my understanding books,” and “regurgitating information to prove but also completely disregards the process of
to be constructed in 32 years on the south side of hood. The homeless come to our house for food plant is the recipient of funding by the city govern- of vocation in a way I wasn’t particularly antici- I’ve been paying attention”. Not particularly vocational discernment as a continual and
Kansas City, MO. and showers – yet the city government have ment through the explicit misdirection of funds pating. More or less, I thought I was spending worthy deeds. In fact, it requires some creative ongoing journey –
We sang the South taken funds for blighted neighborhoods and use intended for the improvement of urban blight. my summer here to explore my own interest in thinking to understand how these deeds align something our friend
African freedom song: it for this”, as he pointed to the vast expanse of The 1970 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty community life as a possible call to vocational with my claim to faith. But this summer at and long time com-
“It doesn’t matter if bulldozed land in front and behind us. requires an end to all planning, preparation, ministry. A sort of trial and error thing – “Is this Cherith Brook I feel like I could say my deeds munity dweller David
you shall jail us, we “I went to the city council meetings two years production, threat, or use of nuclear weapons and my vocational calling?” I’ve spent considerable have been “offering friendship,” “receiver of Jansen reminded us
are freed and kept ago to try to stop this plant. That is why I’m adherence to the fundamental rules and principles time wrestling with what it means to identify grace,” “giver of my fullest ability”. My deeds of on a recent visit
alive by hope …”. We standing here today, risking arrest, to say we of Humanitarian Law. Further, ratified treaties a vocation. I am careful to distinguish job from have required me to give all of my able self to to our community.
talked with Janice, can’t use this money to build weapons of death.” are enshrined by the U.S. Constitution as supreme vocation – a job is something you do for money, living the gospel message of love and nonvio- Remembering that
the dump truck driver Garbison told the JE Dunn Construction laws of the land. Building the first new U.S. nuclear a vocation is an occupation of higher calling lence (which I will have you know is not as easy the path of discern-
after she read a copy supervisors and the police, “We want people to weapons production facility in 32 years is in obvious and stronger purpose. But nonetheless, I still as I would like to think it should be). It requires ment and the stops
of our statement. have jobs. They could take all of this equipment violation of these laws. struggle to see where a vocation ceases to be a a whole lot of faith to live out these deeds. along the way are
Neither she nor the over to the old Honeywell bomb plant on Ban- The cardinal rules and principles of humanitar- job (a money maker, a lifestyle sustainer). In his Truly, if we have deeds honest to our claims just as important as
nearby bulldozer nister and begin to clean that site up.” ian law require that civilians never be the object book, Let Your Life Speak, Parker Palmer says, of faith, then how are we not to depend on the actual claiming
driver knew that what It is beyond ironic, in fact numbingly stupefy- of attack and prohibit weapons that are incapable “Our deepest calling is to grow into our own au- that faith? The Frank Sinatra tune “Love & of a vocation can be
they were working ing, that our nation can decry Iran’s attempt of distinguishing between civilians and military thentic self-hood, whether or not it conforms to Marriage” rings in my head – “You can’t have an incredibly freeing
on was to clear a site to enrich uranium for a potential bomb while targets. some image of who we ought to be. As we do so, one without the other!” For example, one of way to recognize the
for a nuclear weapons we continue to modernize our illegal nuclear The International Court of Justice found that we will not only find the joy that every human the most important aspects of living in this way we ought to live.
plant. She was also weapons and extend the life of present bombs the destructive power of nuclear weapons cannot being seeks--we will also find our path of au- community is relational interaction with our Let us recognize
unaware of the toxic for another 40-60 years – all at a time when our be contained in either space or time, and nuclear thentic service in the world.” Cherith Brook has friends who live on the streets. So once a week the things we do with
waste that pollutes President claims a goal of zero nuclear weapons, weapons have the potential to destroy all civiliza- truly challenged me to begin to wrestle with this we leave our sanctuary of Cherith Brook to much regularity and
the present Kansas beginning with the New START Treaty. tion and the entire ecosystem of the planet, and idea of authentic self-hood, and if that’s core to meet our friends where they’re at – on street let us strive to make
City Plant now oper- Half of the 14 arrested came from outside of thus are illegal. In keeping with the Nuremburg walking a path of vocational discernment, then corners, in abandoned houses, at camp sites those deeds our most
Josh Armfield and Gina Cook link arms while blocking a ated by Honeywell the KC metro area: from Des Moines and Malloy Principles, we choose to act nonviolently rather this internship experience has clearly been well and by the dumpsters behind Family Dollar. authentic expres- Anna and Vader, one of our chickens
construction vehicle. (photo by Joshua McElwee, NCR) that makes 85% of the in Iowa, from Tuscon, AZ, Columbia, MO and than be complicit. placed on my journey. It’s a world completely foreign to me, a world sions of self-hood. May
non-nuclear compo- Minneapolis. The other 7 were from Kansas The intended use of the new Kansas City Plant is This summer, we have been reading the I have been brought up to be wary and cau- we recognize that our faith calls us into action
nents for the US nuclear bomb arsenal. City, primarily from two Catholic Worker com- to improve and extend the life of nuclear weapons. book of James as a community study and as a tious of. On my first trip out onto the streets, I via our deeds to clothe the naked, comfort the
I hadn’t planned to risk arrest as I trav- munities that live and serve among the poor Any complicity in planning, preparation, threaten- reflective tool for the work we do. A few weeks remember one of the volunteers walking with sick, feed the hungry, and befriend the lonely.
eled down I-35 through Iowa to Kansas City and marginalized. They see a direct connection ing to use or use of these weapons is a crime against ago we read James 2:14-18, and I think it most us asking Nick if he ever felt scared going into Together, let us pray and believe that our faith
last weekend but what I heard from the locals between the neglect of human needs and the peace, war crime and crime against humanity. beautifully sums up what I’ve come to recognize abandoned houses. “No,” he said. “I have faith.” and our deeds can bring about the gospel real-
convinced me that I needed to act as well as obscenity of dumping billions into the troughs Under principles of democracy we exercise the vocation – and authentic selfhood – to be. And perhaps that’s what it takes for us to live ity of unending peace and justice that all of
speak against this crime. After hearing two of arms merchants. Committed to a faith-based right of every citizen of this republic and this planet What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if a person out our vocational callings – to have faith. As creation is longing for.
retired workers tell about their friends dying of nonviolence, these activists chose to risk time to peacefully resist the nuclear threat that attacks claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such Palmer says, “Our deepest calling is to grow into
cancers and other diseases after working at the in jail rather than to allow this plant to proceed every core concept of human rights. faith save him or her? Suppose a brother or sister our own authentic self-hood, whether or not Anna Mullen came to us from the Vocation & Val-
Bendix (and now run by Honeywell) Plant, I was without protest. We act to exercise our basic rights to life and is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says it conforms to some image of who we ought to ues Program at Hastings College in Nebraska.
stunned to learn that it was only recently that The developer and and land owner, Jim freedom from violence and we exercise our duty to to that person, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and be.” And frankly, meeting our friends on the
the EPA was forced to list the site as a source Cross, pleaded with us to walk away from his protect children and future generations. well fed,” but does nothing about his or her physical street breaks a lot of rules about who society is
of major toxic pollution. Yet a day-care center earth-moving equipment so his workers could We act to ensure that our government fulfills needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by it- telling me I ought to be. To have belief in a lov-
remains on the grounds that sit atop this toxic resume, promising us “cold drinks and a place to its promise and responsibilities to unequivocally self, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But ing and peaceful Creator who calls us to break
mess. It looks like the federal government (and sit and talk in the shade”. “I don’t want to have pursue and achieve nuclear disarmament in good someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”  down the barriers of class status and economic
Honeywell) will walk away from this site once you arrested”, he claimed as he returned three faith.       Show me your faith without deeds, and I privilege, who opens up the way for justice and
the new plant is built, leaving the local taxpay- times asking us to leave before the police put us We call on national, state and local Kansas City will show you my faith by what I do. What are peace to embody the earth, and frees us from
ers stiffed for the clean-up bill. in handcuffs and drove us downtown. We were government to end the use of our tax dollars to deeds but the things we do with such regularity conforming to the standards and expectations
Speaking of taxpayers, the city government booked on trespass charges and released with a wage permanent war and demand clean-up of all that we cannot comprehend daily living without of society. Faith such as this frees us to enter
of Kansas City decided to use funds earmarked court date of October 7th. chemical and radioactive contamination. them? Is that not how our modern, secular into authentic self-hood and to engage in deeds
4 Cherith Brook Catholic Worker Ordinary Time 2010 Ordinary Time 2010 Cherith Brook Catholic Worker 5
Happenings at Cherith Brook Feature Article Continued Photos of Community Members & Friends

House Notes The Powers


by Josh Armfield

Chasing chickens has become a pastime at the streets, in the context of the poor. What (continued from front page)
Cherith Brook this summer. They wander about is Jesus trying to tell us about the poor in the my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by
the yard and find their way under the fence and Northeast? Out of these book discussions we the Jews.” Yes, the kingdom of God is not of this
into the alley and into the empty lot behind us have come to a common call as a community to world. The nations lord over its people while
and sometimes all the way to the next street be- be more present on the streets. We see a need to Christ served his, the nations proclaim wars
hind our house. We must look ridiculous corral- stand with women being sexually exploited on while Christ proclaimed peace, the nations keep
ling chickens in the middle of Kansas City. But the Avenue and to engage the “John” that comes order with fear while Christ keeps order
what good friends these ladies have been to us! to this neighborhood to buy sex. We don’t have with love, the nations conquer through military
Just a few weeks ago, while cleaning the chicken a very detailed game plan yet except to spend a might while Christ conquers through laying
coup, we found our first egg! Now we are getting couple hours at a time each week on the streets down his own life. I wonder how our society
about four eggs a day from the ten chickens that and to disrupt business as usual. So pray for us would be changed if the church were bold
we own. By fall we expect to have ten eggs a day! as we deepen this area of our life. enough to live like she was called to live 2000
It’s amazing how your idea of eating changes We have had a good summer here with lots years ago.
when you are growing your food. I think we all of new projects being finished and a bounti- Sarah, a sister in our community, came home
want to spoil our chickens and treat them like ful harvest from the garden. We have also had from her church recently and was upset by some
queens as long as they are giving us eggs. to deal with sadness, as well. In early July our remarks her priest had made. It was the 4th of
friend Tony Brooks was killed when he was hit July, and the priest shared a story about what
by a car on Independence Avenue. We hope he experienced on a recent trip to the nation’s
to not become numb to the sadness that we capitol. He said he could only see two things
experience here as often as it comes, but we lit up as the plane made its final descent--the
hope that these hardships such as Tony’s death capitol building and the church. He used that
will deepen our community. We are so thankful image as a sign that there is a connection to be
for how God provides for us. We are especially made--that the church and the state were to be
thankful for our volunteers who come and help one. Sarah, disgusted by this comparison, left
us do the work here and teach us how to love the church and came home. While I think the
better. As we continue to root ourselves here in priest’s reflections on the connectedness of the
this very ordinary place, we trust that God is do- church and the capitol building were correct, I
ing extraordinary things and we believe God is! think he was off in his conclusion. I think his
story speaks more to how the church has been
operating like a power, just like the state. Many
churches operate out of fear. They fear losing
members so the church emulates the nation and
what it believes. Issues of economics, war and
peace are rarely discussed because the nation
has thoroughly indoctrinated its citizens and
have been taught to hate anything contrary to

A freshly harvested batch of tomatoes from our garden what it teaches.
This is why Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s
Speaking of the chicken and the egg, we have remarks are so relevant even today. Until the
a full house this summer. We have welcomed church is able to reclaim her holy imagination
two new interns into our community. Anna and begin to live as the early church lived, she
Mullen will be a senior at Hastings College in will only serve as a tool to further indoctrinate
Nebraska next semester. She is studying reli- us in the ways of the kingdoms of this world,
gion and media production, is our top dumpster not the kingdom of God. May the church once
diver, and has a mean hook shot. Our other again speak out against injustices. May the
intern, Elisabeth Rutschman, comes to us from church once again take a stand against the
Jokkmokk, Sweden. She is spending over a year powers. May the church once again live the
in the U.S. visiting family and experiencing way Christ has called us to live, even if it puts
intentional community with us. It is revitalizing us in jail. Our nation is full of people who are
to have interns in our community who bring intoxicated. But it is a different kind of intoxica-
energy and fresh ideas! Anna and Elisabeth have tion. People have been intoxicated by drinking
helped us to beautify our spaces in the shower Our intern Elisabeth is securing donated produce the cup the powers so readily offer us, and the
house and in the garden. to her trailer. Church is the sobering agent. Remember, our
This summer we have been reading a book battle is not against any person but the powers
together by Stanley Saunders and Charles and principalities. So let us take up the struggle
Campbell, called The Word on the Street. We to reclaim our citizenship in the peaceable king-
have been learning and reminding ourselves dom that gives eternal life, whatever the cost
of the importance of resisting the powers and may be. After all, that’s why we believe in the
living with “resurrection imagination”. We are resurrection.
trying to read the scriptures in the context of