Saint John's, the San Francisco Organizing Project and El Buen Samaritano's vicar, the Rev. Gloria del Castillo take on Citibank and win!
Many of us stood outside Citibank on Market Street on the morning of December 20, 2012 to support the Rev. Gloria del Castillo, vicar of our sister parish, El Buen Samaritano. As you may have heard, Gloria is one of the more than a million people who have faced foreclosure in the years of the mortgage crisis. She'd been working with Citibank to renegotiate the terms of her loan, when last Friday she came home to find an eviction notice taped to her front door, saying her house was to be auctioned off on December 31 of this year.
Citibank was engaged in "dual-tracking" Gloria -- negotiating with her while simultaneously going forward with eviction proceedings. Dual tracking will become illegal, under the California Homeowners Bill of Rights, which takes effect on January 1, 2013 -- one day after Gloria's house was due to be sold.So members of the San Francisco Organizing Project, Causa Justa, St. John's, El Buen Samaritano, and a variety of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian religious leaders came out to ask -- to demand -- that Citibank cancel the auction.
And that is what they now say they have done!
Of course, we will have to keep our eyes on them, but it seems that for now, the auction has been canceled, and Gloria can remain in her home.
What a perfect enactment of the Incarnation in this Advent season. Today we experience the Divine incarnated in the form of human solidarity, and we are reminded of Jesus's solidarity with all of us who are poor, outcast, imprisoned, or afraid.
SJE members Dr. Bonita Palmer and Michael Haines sing along.
Children's Mass • Sunday, May 20, 2012
Father Richard Smith led the parish in a special Children's Mass. We thought about what Jesus might have looked like when he was alive like us -- and what he looks like today. (Hint: Look in the mirror!)
We learned -- or remembered -- what all the different parts of our worship service mean. And we talked about the four things that happen to the bread in the Eucharist: It is taken; it is blessed; it is broken; and it becomes a gift for everyone. This is exactly what happened to Jesus during his life, and it is what can happen to all of us as well, if we are willing.
Parishioner Jan Adams took these pictures.
Julian Pantry/La Bodega de Julian
Beekeeping Supports Hunger Ministry
She had already felt concern about dwindling populations of bees.
“I have a backyard vegetable garden and became interested in honeybees after reading about Colony Collapse Disorder,” she said. “Entire colonies are disappearing at an alarming rate, not just here in the U.S., but throughout Europe as well. Honeybees are responsible for the pollination of about one-third of the U.S. crop species: almonds, apples, cucumbers, the list goes on and on. In essence, if we want to continue to eat fruits and vegetables and see the wildflowers blooming, we need to take care of the bees.
“I currently have one very active and productive beehive in my backyard,” Deacon Cherry said. “I have a second beehive that just got its bees. A friend caught a six-pound swarm in a residential section of San Francisco and brought it over unannounced while we were having dinner. Beekeeping is like deaconing. You never know what’s going to happen next.”
Deacon Cherry refers to her backyard guests as Julian Bees because sales of the honey they produce will support the Julian Pantry, her congregation’s ministry to the hungry in the Mission District neighborhood of San Francisco.
“As I was researching urban beekeeping, I read a lot about urban gardening, the Bay Area locavore movement, sustainable agriculture and how the globalization of the food supply affects the environment, our health, our communities and our disconnect with the food we eat,” she said. (Locavores favor food grown as close to home as possible.)
“Most of us don’t know who produced our food, how it has been processed and how many thousands of miles it has traveled to get to us,” she said. “We need to be fed. Not knowing where our food comes from, or how it is grown, is bad for our bodies and, I’d argue, bad for our souls.
“As I was thinking about bees and gardens and food, I remembered what we do on Saturday mornings at St. John’s: Julian Pantry gives good food to hungry people. And it all fit together. Honeybees are in trouble, we need bees to grow food, we keep bees, they make honey, we sell the honey to benefit the Julian Pantry so we can continue to give good food to hungry people.”
Deacon Cherry said that one of St. John’s parishioners, Lauren Dieterich, also plans to begin keeping Julian Bees.
“Lauren will have one hive buzzing this spring, and if all goes well I’d like her to have a second one,” Deacon Cherry said.
“I think to some this was just another harebrained idea,” she said. “But creating a network of hives to benefit Julian Pantry seems very diaconal to me. Keeping honeybees will do so much more than raise funds for our food pantry ministry. By housing bees, we are also providing education and modeling stewardship of creation.” --Douglas LeBlanc
Deacon Breaks Out in Hives