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The other day the Meldrum Kitchen received some beautiful cabbage from a donor. Also we had some gorgeous swiss chard from our Earthworks Urban Farm. After all the coring and chopping, we ended up making a “smothered cabbage” side dish. The swiss chard was used with the rest of the cabbage. When we prepare them, we de-stem them, but we save the stems & chop them up into small pieces (less waste, food, no need to compost). We add the leafy greens from beets, radishes, baby salad turnips & even carrot tops. I like to use something rather than just throwing it out. This summer heat can make our appetites’ decline, but we want to stay satisfied while eating lighter.
“We plant the seeds that one day will grow…we water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise…We lay foundations that will need further development. It is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest.” Bishop Ken Untener
All of a sudden, as we prepared for the start-up of our annual summer three week Peace Camp, I realized with a jolt that it has been twenty years! For twenty years we have been trying to plant seeds of respect, peace-making and care in the hearts of east side children and youth. For twenty years, we have loved the children of the peace camp and they have loved us. For twenty years our youth have discussed peace, offered resolutions to conflict and celebrated peace with art, music and dance.
At a recent new staff training, we were watching clips from the movie “Francesco.” One thing that inspired me was that Francis of Assisi did not have all the answers. He was graced with an inspired spiritual intuition to see each other as family, as brothers and sisters no matter one’s social status. One of the implications of this is that he needed help and we need one another. Others in the Franciscan tradition such as St. Clare and St. Bonaventure helped by breathing a lasting energy into the Gospel inspiration that so moved St. Francis.
Last week the Rosa Parks children remembered and commemorated the Florida students killed on February 14. The children, also, discussed family and friends they had lost to violence. Prayerfully, we lit a candle as each child named someone who had been killed recently. Several 11-year-olds mentioned a girl in their class who was very depressed by all this and was acting suicidal. This led to further discussions on what we can do to change meanness, violence, and bullying into kindness and compassion. We decided to make a peace blessing, a love blessing to share with people of the Soup Kitchen.