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“The soil is the great connector of lives, the source and destination of all. It is the healer and restorer and resurrector, by which disease passes into health, age into youth, death into life. Without proper care for it we can have no community, because without proper care for it we can have no life.” ― Wendell Berry
CRISTO TRABAJADOR Christ the Worker
I believe in you, comrade, Christ man, Christ worker, victor over death. With your great sacrifice you made new people for liberation. You are risen in every arm outstretched to defend the people against the exploitation of rulers; you are alive and present in the hut, in the factory, in the school. I believe in your ceaseless struggle, I believe in your resurrection -Excerpt from the Misa Nicaragüense liturgy
BLOOD AND BLACKBERRIES Ryan Cagle Earth's
in fact afire with the presence of God really
common bush afire with God, But only he who
somehow operate from being able to pickand
sees takes off his shoes; The rest sit round and
enjoy the fruit that it bears? Is the act of gazing
at upon the burning bush and plucking its
-Elizabeth Barrett Browning
somehow mutually exclusive? I don't think so at I would be lying if I said that I did not love this
all! That is, only if we have eyes to see!
quote from the English poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning, but I can't help but think that it is not
The wild blackberry brambles that surround on
so black and white as she seems to imply. Is our
yard are in full bloom! We cannot pick their fruit
ability to see that a common blackberry bush is
fast enough, which is more than enough of a rmeinder that we can take our time. These bushes are afire with God after all! This week as I picked
That is to say, for moment I
recogniesed that I was treading on holy ground. Even if I was unwilling to discard my shoes while among the thorns and thistles of the blackberry thickets. To pick blackberries is a reverent act. One must tarry with the brambles slowly pulling back the leaves with care to discover clusters of fruit nestled in the shade. To gather the fruit comes at a cost. Thorns and thickets meet fingertips. Blood and blackberry juice. Dirt and Divine. Alchemical. The thickets invite us to slow down, sit, and consider the wild blackberry brambles with all of their fruit and thorns. We must give our attention to uncovering the mysteries that lay beneath the canopy of leaves. Pick a berry only to discover a dozen more that we did not see. We must remember, this is a dance. We must take care how we tread on holy ground. We must resist the impulse to simply take as if the fruit somehow belongs to us. We must only receive. It is all gift and grace. If we rush, our missteps will be rewarded with thorn pricks. Remember, this is all a dance. Let the thorns and thickets teach you the steps. Blackberry brambles, like the soil, have so many lessons to teach us.
SPRING UPDATES Big News! We have officially partnered with
the Transform Network! We are so excited about this partnership and all the ways that Transform will be stepping in to support the work we are doing as our fiscal sponsor. Reclamation Gardens Farm / Outreach Center Initiatives are officially underway!
We received unanimous approval for use of the the land and building owned by our local municipality for the next five years! We have so much work ahead of us, but are so excited to see these bones live and these projects come to fruition! We have been working hard to get all of the backend stuff complete for this project. From soil sampling to garden planning and everything in between. There will be a lot of info about this initiative in the next Zine! Our goal for now is to have the front end of the property up and running wit 20 community garden beds by the end of Summer! You can see some nice photos of the land that were taken by our good friend Jared Aaron of AirAlabama toward the back of this zine! And a mockup of phase one on
WALKER COUNTRY FREE STORE
the next page!
We are stoked to finally have the chance to bring
The People's Community Fridge Program
has been rebranded as the The People's Pantry! Honestly, it just rolls off the tongue a lot easier! The work with this project is ongoing. We have met with people in a neighboring community about establishing a 2nd location. Many in our community have become regular contributors to this project.
to life the first iteration of our Free Store Initiative on June 25th! This version will exist as a type of monthly "pop-up shop" until we get our building downtown renovated! Free stores are spaces that invite us into dreaming of a different world together. It is a radical act to bypass the system to help your neighbor, and that is exactly what a free store is about. We are looking forward to sharing in the Summer Zine how this first pop-up event goes!
PHASE ONE FARM INNITATIVE MOCK UP
COMMUNITY GARDEN BED SECTION
SUPPORTING THE WORK RESIST THE DEVIL! FEED THE PEOPLE!
We ain't sure you wanted it or not, but you
If shirts and stickers ain't your thing you
can now purchase shirts and stickers related to the work we are doing! All the proceeds go directly to the farm and other initiatives we have going on! Right now there are just a couple of designs available,
can always support the work the old fashion way by making contributions directly to us! Whther that be one time or in the form of monthly support!
but we will be adding more in the coming
One Time Donation
ABOUT JUBILEE Jubilee House is a dream about what it means to collectively struggle for a different world. A world free of the evils of racism, oppression, and alienation. Jubilee House is a dream of a radically different future for Walker County, a future shaped by jubilee (Leviticus 25, Isaiah 61:1-12, Luke 4:18-19) in which the material and spiritual needs of the most vulnerable and marginalized are met through acts of mutual solidarity. Gustavo Gutierrez once said, “Every attempt to evade the struggle against alienation and the violence of the powerful and for a more just and more human world is the greatest infidelity to God. To know God is to work for justice. There is no other path to reach God.” For us, Jubilee House is our attempt to be faithful to the struggle for a more just world by facing the evils of racism, oppression, and alienation head on, starting with Walker County, Alabama. We do not see ourselves as saviors or heroes, but rather as those willing to bear witness to the reality that the Spirit of Liberation is already present, working in and among those who are the most marginalized (BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and the poor) in our towns and communities. We have a long road ahead of us, but we know that a different world is possible and we are left with no other choice but to love, dream, and fight for it. For our future.
“The prophet engages in futuring fantasy. The prophet does not ask if the vision can be implemented, for questions of implementation are of no consequence until the vision can be imagined. The imagination must come before the implementation. Our culture is competent to implement almost anything and to imagine almost nothing. The same royal consciousness that make it possible to implement anything and everything is the one that shrinks imagination because imagination is a danger. Thus every totalitarian regime is frightened of the artist. It is the vocation of the prophet to keep alive the ministry of imagination, to keep on conjuring and proposing futures alternative to the single one the king wants to urge as the only thinkable one.” ― Walter Brueggemann, The Prophetic Imagination “The scandal is that the gospel means liberation, that this liberation comes to the poor, and that it gives them the strength and the courage to break the conditions of servitude.” ― James H. Cone, God of the Oppressed “Communities of resistance are creative places, full of invention, performance, freedom of identity, consensual relationships, and gift-giving. But they can be a destructive force, too; as each member confronts their domination by modern society on their own terms, little pieces of that world crumble away. A community of resistance is a demonstration of the lives we want— individually, we may be stuck in the real world, but collectively, we inhabit another real world.” ― Unknown
VALUES Anti-Capitalist | We believe that poverty and economic class today are not ordained by God or by some kind of natural order, but are established by the exploitation that comes from the machinations of capitalism which can be overturned through the material and spiritual liberation taught by Jesus Christ. (Luke 4:16-19; James 5:2-6) Anti-Racist | We believe that racism is anti-Christ and that Christ calls us more than simply being “not-racist.” Rather we believe that we must be committed to the active dismantling of hatred, bias, systemic racism, and the oppression of specific minority groups in Walker County. (Ephesians 2:14; Revelation 7:9-10) Solidarity Not Charity | We believe that solidarity, rather than charity, most accurately reflects the Kingdom of God. Charity is top-down aid that only addresses the symptoms of the issues present in our community while solidarity seeks to change the systemic problems from which the symptoms arise through horizontal acts of love and mutual aid. (Acts 2:44-45; 1 Corinthians 12:12) Open & Affirming | We wholeheartedly celebrate people of every gender, sexuality, religion, race, and circumstance as being made fully in the image of God - just as they are. (Galatians 3:28)
Transformational Way of Jesus | We are rooted in a very spacious Christian theology and seek to accompany folks on their spiritual journey wherever they are we are not trying to convert anyone. (1 John 4:16) Peacemaking & Social Justice | We seek ways to actively be good news by not being apathetic to the injustice in our community, and posturing ourselves to labor for reconciliation and healing in Walker County. (Luke 10:27) Curiosity | We believe in dialogue, the interplay of faith and doubt, the importance of asking questions, openness to the mystery of God and movement of the Spirit. Because we know that we do not have it all figured out. (Matthew 7:7-8; 1 John 4:18) Well-Being | We care about the’ entire well-being: social, emotional, spiritual, physical, and intellectual of those in our community by embodying a holistic approach that is exclusively focused on religion or spirituality. (John 10:10b) Collaboration | We will seek to partner with a variety of people and organizations that share our values in an effort to create something meaningful and positive for the people of Walker County. (Romans 12:4-5)
MUST READS & OTHER RECS BOOKS Freedom Farmers: Agricultural Resistance and the Black Freedom Movement
by Monica M. White .Everything for Everyone: The Radical Tradition That Is Shaping the Next Economy
by Nathan Schneider Abolitionist Agroecology: Food Sovereignty and Pandemic Prevention
by Maywa Montenegro de Wit Becoming Abolitionists: Police, Protests, and the Pursuit of Freedom
by Derecka Purnell Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm's Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land
by Leah Penniman PODCASTS The Revolutionary's Garden (https://www.therevgarden.com) The Solecast (https://thesolecast.libsyn.com) Propaganda by the Seed (https://propagandabytheseed.libsyn.com) OTHER A Love Letter From the End of the World
by Saint (https://haters.noblogs.org/post/2022/04/15/a-loveletter-from-the-end-of-the-world-by-saint/)
MISA CAMPESINA (PEASANT MASS) BY CARLOS MEJÍA GODOY’S YOU ARE THE GOD OF THE POOR, THE GOD WHO IS HUMAN AND HUMBLE, THE GOD WHO SWEATS IN THE STREET, THE GOD WITH A ROUGH FACE. THAT’S WHY I’M SPEAKING TO YOU, AND MY PEOPLE TOO – YOU’RE THE GOD WHO LABORS, CHRIST THE WORKER. YOU GO HAND IN HAND WITH MY PEOPLE, YOU FIGHT ON IN THE FIELDS AND IN THE CITY, YOU QUEUE UP IN THE LABORERS’ CAMP TO GET YOUR DAY’S WAGES. YOU EAT SNOW CONES IN THE PARK WITH EUSEBIO, PANCHO AND JUAN JOSÉ, YOU EVEN DEMAND MORE SYRUP WHEN THEY DON’T PUT ENOUGH ON THE FIRST TIME. YOU ARE THE GOD OF THE POOR… I’VE SEEN YOU IN A CORNER STORE, DOING BUSINESS IN A STREET VENDOR’S STAND, AND I’VE SEEN YOU SELLING LOTTERY TICKETS WITHOUT BEING ASHAMED OF IT. I’VE SEEN YOU IN THE GAS STATION CHECKING THE TIRES OF A TRUCK, AND EVEN ASPHALTING HIGHWAYS WEARING LEATHER GLOVES AND OVERALLS. YOU ARE THE GOD OF THE POOR…
God is not dead. God is bread. The bread is rising! Bread means revolution. Organize for a new world. Make the church a people’s church. Wash off your brother’s blood. The streets belong to the people. And the church belongs to the streets. In the midst of occupied territory, The liberated zone is here. — The New York Lords, “Celebration for a People’s Church,” 1969
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