October 2019 Newsletter

Hi friend,

It’s been a minute since we’ve reached out, so let us re-place ourselves in your mind:

“Simone Weil House is a​ domestic community at the intersection of a ​Catholic Worker house of hospitality to those in housing need, and a ​public household serving as node for neighborhood-based social, economic, and intellectual life”

“IMBY (In My Backyard) is about hospitality that integrates: the unhoused in household & neighborhood community; community and neighborhood economy. Our flagship is Simone Weil Catholic Worker House.”

“We should do only those righteous actions which we cannot stop ourselves from doing, which we are unable not to do, but, through well directed attention, we should always keep on increasing the number of those which we are unable not to do.” – Gravity & Grace (Simone Weil)

Well then, Happy October! Read on for, in order of appearance: First Friday info, house updates, highlights, event calendar updates, new projects, new non profit status (under “In My Backyard”…IMBY), and scintillating savings in every aisle and paragraph. Pull up a chair.

First, our second attempt at a second First Friday, Friday 11/1.

Halloween First All Costume Friday Saints Party, Party

It’s a mouthful and mind full. ​Come in costume ​AND​ bring more fun potential-costume material to put in ​The Pile​ and swap with. At an unspecified point in the evening, you’ll construct a new costume from the pile and/or one other, and explain it.

Speaking of explanation: Consider this event something that will begin spiritually, find a midpoint that is spiritual and spirited, if you will, for our dinner and saint toasting, and then open into the more purely spirited. Trust the experts, it’ll be more fun than awkward.

  • 6 Doors

  • 6:30 Mindfulness Meditation, Evening Prayer (Psalms based) & Intro

  • 7:00 Potluck Dinner (bring a dish and/or drink)

  • 8:00 Wine/? Toasts to Simone Weil or your favorite saint/saintly person (2 minutes max per toast; but locutions are expected)

  • 8:30 Party – conversate, dance, snack, imbibe, make merry, and at the cue…

  • ? – Re-costume and share your new get up with the party (so wear appropriate underlayer)

All people and all ages are welcome; come at any point in the evening!

Simone Weil House Life Updates

It’s been a month plus of slow but steady progress towards the household we wish to become. We’ve been making our way through both crisis (ER visit & hospitalization, theft, a near miss with (unrelated) jail time) and your basic interpersonal strains; along the way we’ve been having fantastic conversations that are helping us build our relational foundations. Many conversations were had around the short and dramatically punctuated stay of a young guy we came to develop a deep bond with. Fortunately communication continues after his departure, and it appears his time here made an impression that will serve him moving forward.

Currently we’re preparing to invite another gentleman or two from the St Francis outside community who have found themselves recently back on the street, one post hospitalization, one due to not having a disability income adequate for rent. The month also held a health emergency for one of our current residents, who is now out of the hospital and back to trying to get the surgery she needs to address ongoing issues. Until new additions we are a household of five – Doug, Su, LeAnn, Nathan, and Bert.

Gratitude & Highlights

  • Hearing Unk gush about our “family” environment; hearing Su share cottage industry plans

  • Nathan and LeAnn getting indoors “respite” to organize and build a multipurpose bed for the van

  • Getting the huge help we needed to make it through the last month financially, which took our trusty regular donor and extremely generous gifts from Joel and Angie, and Rachel and Winston

  • Doug finally having a solo room, and Su being able to eat real food again!

  • Working through ​The Long Loneliness​ with our great Wednesday group, getting to know Dorothy

  • A ​packed​ house for Sept. First Friday, and a good time over games for Oct. sorta First Friday

Updated Calendar

Weekly Open Dinner​: ​Any Wednesday @7​ join us for dinner followed by prayer, reading aloud from Dorothy Day’s ​The Long Loneliness,​ and discussion. It’s a great way to get to know the house! If you want to help, get on the ​dinner prep help calendar,​ Feel free to bring a drink or side, but no need to.

Potluck Brunch​: ​Saturday 10/19 between 10 and 1​. All are welcome. We make a special invitation here to neighbors and friends in need. The brunch environment here is relaxed and fun. Join us! (we aren’t doing weekly brunch until further notice)
Dinner Fundraiser: ​Thursday 11/21​: ​Details aren’t hashed out yet, but we plan for this to be the first of a series of probably bi-monthly fundraising dinners. Put it in your calendar and watch out for details! Facebook.com/SimoneWeilHouse is a great way to make sure you don’t miss anything

Coming Down the Pipe (how quickly depends on your help!):

A fermenting co-op; monthly neighborhood meals with Alberta Cooperative Grocery; the return of the open house days, the worker co-op previously promised; “home school” shared reading & discussion; a real website; and more IMBY hospitality initiative — ​Want to help something here launch??

IMBY/SWH Finances & Legal Update

Our newly minted Oregon non-profit is named “In My Backyard” (IMBY), with the idea that the Simone Weil Catholic Worker House & Public Household is the first node and example of the IMBY network. ​If you’re interested in where our conversation about dispersed, Catholic Worker inspired hospitality started, or where the inspiration comes from, read ​IMBY dispersed hospitality idea​ and reach out to let us know of your interest.