Tag Archives: community

Love Potion #’09!

10 Feb


this month is a season of materialism, commercialism, romanticism (and probably a few -isms I’m missing), which are all pretty contrary to the LOVE that valentine’s day is supposed to be about.

so this year, if you want to invest in some good, old-fashioned LOVIN’ check out Mission Year’s Annual Love Drive! this is a sweet (almost chocolatey) way to get involved with Allison and I as we seek to build and better community (as well as learn a whole heck of a lot about its very nature) in Chicago’s most underdeveloped neighborhoods.

Check it out here! https://www.missionyear.org/love/schulers

The sweetest deal of all? donate $50 or more and get a free t-shirt!

oh shoot, wait, doesn’t that promote materialism??? well, whatever — it wasn’t my idea. If you want to stick to the Man, donate $49 so you don’t get it. Or better yet, donate over $50 and then give the shirt to someone who needs it. That’s more in line with Valentine’s Day anyway.

Grace & Peace Always.

Jean Vanier, of L’Arche, on Community, Darkness, and Our Personal Poverty

18 Dec

I am becoming more and more aware that the great difficulty of many of us who live in community is that we lack trust in ourselves.

We can so quickly feel that we are not really lovable that if others saw us as we really are, they would reject us. We are afraid of all that is darkness in ourselves; we are afraid to face our emotional or sexual problems; we are afraid that we are incapable of real love.

We swing so quickly from exhilaration to depression, and neither expresses what we really are. How can we become convinced that we are loved in our poverty and weakness and that we too are capable of loving?

“I Stay Over There”

18 Dec

Living in West Garfield Park, I’ve noticed a lot of linguistic differences between here and where I grew up (small town Kansas). This isn’t at all unexpected, but the differences do make significant statements and send even subtler messages about life in Chicago.

Because I’m not a sociologist or linguistic anthropologist or feeling very intellectual, I’m not going to attempt to draw all the conclusions one might from these hidden messages. I’m going to focus on one word: stay.

This is what you say when you tell someone where you live. “I stay over there.” “Where do you stay?” “I stay over on Maypole.” Etc.

They mean, “I live over on Maypole.” But I’ll suggest that there is a significant difference between living and staying.

Our neighbors here are practically nomadic. Many of them have lived in numerous communities, on numerous streets, in numerous houses. Just the other day one friend pointed to almost every area we passed on the bus:

“I used to stay right over there.”

As I thought about this, I realized our neighbors really do just stay places. They rarely live anywhere. They don’t put down roots and invest in where they live.

They can’t.

Because they hardly stay in one house more than a few months or years.

There are a hundred reasons why this is so. But it’s interesting that to stay is such a different concept than to live. To live implies life, longevity, joy and community. To stay implies transience, uncertainty, and oppression.

For our neighbors and those living in cities across the globe, my greatest hope is that through economic development, more people-conscious initiatives and policies, and the power of community we move together from an ephemeral existence where we simply stay in buildings, to a vibrant life of really living.

Don’t Light a Signal Fire; Wiggle Your Toes

17 Nov

We see a vast expanse of midnight between our shores and think so much separates us. But islands are merely the mountains that peak above the sea. Our roots find their home in the same igneous pasture as those thousands of miles across the waters.