Paul Chan is a regular volunteer for our Thursday night meals at Cherith Brook. His group fundraises annual to bene t CROP walk. We are fortunate to receive support
form CROP walk for the past two years. Below is Paul’s reflection on hiking the Grand Canyon on behalf of the walk.
This was a challenging hike! It was warm and sweltering at times, and then it rained on us on the way back for a total of
30 minutes. But we all held our spirits high as we supported one another throughout these last 10 miles, especially the
last 3 miles when we ascended 3000 feet in elevation on over steep switchbacks. It was dark but peaceful, with only the
repetitive sounds of our boots crunching over dirt and rocks. We made good me, arriving at the top at 1:17 am (a total
of 22 hours 14 minutes later). What an accomplishment for this group of dedicated individuals – I am so proud of how
we worked together!
Our journey up these last 10 miles is always quiet and reflective, as we each try to preserve every breath during the steep
climb. During this me, I reflected on the fact that our walk today paled in comparison to the daily struggles of many
people in the U.S. and throughout the world. Over the past year, I have spent me at Cherith Brook in Kansas City. Cherith Brook is part of the network of Catholic Worker houses throughout the U.S. and is located in a blighted area of east Kansas City. There, one meets
men, women, and families who
come for meals and showers.
But Cherith Brook is more than a
soup kitchen or a food pantry. It
is a place of community and fellowship, where “volunteers” and
the “homeless” can be difficult
to distinguish, as both groups
volunteer on any given day or
night to serve food, wash dishes,
and clean up after the meal or shower. It is a place which
recognizes the humanity and
talents of all who come together
to ‘break bread’. It is an oasis in east Kansas City, with 30+ fruit bearing trees and shrubs,
large vegetable gardens abutting the street curb and behind
the house, multiple bee hives
and rain water tanks, and several dozen chickens and ducks
squeezed in a 3-home lot.
My time at Cherith Brook has
made me feel more connected
with folks in Kansas City. You
see, I live in an all-white upper
middle class sec on of Kansas
City, and it is hard to know the
other side of the city without
consciously making me to do
so. But my time there is an important time in my schedule every week—in fact, it is my priority outside of work and family, and my family joins
me. Three weeks ago, as I sat across the table eating dinner from a homeless man who I will call “Charles”, we shared
his joy of finally landing an affordable apartment after many months of trying. He had tears well up in his eyes as he
described how he had felt so INVISIBLE to the people all around him these past 2 years after a large unexpected medical bill depleted his savings and uprooted him from his prior residence.
Being at Cherith Brook reminds me of what is possible. Four adults live there and oversee the operation, and 2 of
them are married and have raised their children over the last 9 years while living there (their kids started there in third
grade and are now in 11th grade). The group lives “in community”, sharing earnings and resources for the greater good
of the house’s operation and meeting for communal prayers most mornings. They organize rallies, fight for a fair
minimum wage, and look for ways to promote peace and justice in the world...
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On Sunday, April 23rd, we will be hosting a one-woman dramatic presentation of the life of Dorothy Day by Sharon Halsey-Hoover. "Conversations with Dorothy Day" depicts Dorothy stopping by to share a cup of coffee and visit with friends while she talks about her life. The setting is the present time and the "powers that be" have given Dorothy permission to be gone from the heavenly realm for a very short time. During the visit Dorothy reads from her journals, her books, and other writings as she shares the story of her conversion and the founding of the Catholic Worker. Join us in the Cherith Brook Cafe at 3226 E. 12th St. Kansas City, MO at 6pm for soup and show.
On Saturday, April 8th from 9am to 12:30pm, we will be having our monthlySecond Saturday Work Day. We will put you to work sorting clothes, cooking lunch, deep cleaning, doing maintenance, gardening, ect. Afterward, we will enjoy table fellowship together. Please RSVP as soon as possible so we can plan projects. You can call (816) 241-8047 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are located at 3308 E. 12th St. in KCMO
On Saturday, March 11th from 9am to 12:30pm, we will be having our monthlySecond Saturday Work Day. We will put you to work sorting clothes, cooking lunch, deep cleaning, doing maintenance, gardening, ect. Afterward, we will enjoy table fellowship together. Please RSVP as soon as possible so we can plan projects. You can call (816) 241-8047 or email at email@example.com. We are located at 3308 E. 12th St. in KCMO.
THE MARCH IS OVER...NOW WHAT?! On Friday, February 24th, from 6:30-8pm at 3226 E. 12th St, Kansas City, MO 64127we invite you to join us for a roundtable event. Many of us participated in The March in KC and some went to The March in DC. Let’s gather to share/reflect about those monumental gatherings and continue the movement with ideas of how to move forward in resistance. We will have representatives from local groups who are directly affected by Trump’s executive orders and those groups instrumental in organizing efforts of mobilization and action. Let’s support each other and think creatively about ways to stay engaged.