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Missio Dei


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Super Activity Zine

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Fun for All Ages


Issue Three, Volume one April 1, 2010 Free

The Eager Elm

There was an eager elm who longed to be great To be sun-kisser, sky-lover, bird-mother. To tower o’er others, she believed her fate And be respected by sisters and brothers. Near humble village the eager elm dwelled. A sapling shadowed by trees strong and true ‘Til woodsman came through and kin-trees were felled. Alone ‘cept for sun and rain, the elm quickly grew. Guilt-ridden, spirit-crushed, her heart turned bitter She cursed the evil race that took her family Then one year she met good-hearted Clare Ritter A little girl who climbed and played so happily Good-hearted Clare was married and had children Living in elm shade, they loved the grand old tree Son John hung from limbs, daughter Jen watched the wrens While her husband, good John, he planted elm seed Fed love, rain, sun the elmlings grew eagerly The families were happy and filled with pride Then life grew hard; Clare’s family ate meagerly Until sickness came and good Clare, elm-friend, died Good John, mourning, dressed Clare in burial gown Then, sick with grief, took axe to the old elm tree Made a coffin from the old friend he had downed Children cried, saplings quaked, in great misery But through it all, the elm accepted her fate In hope her saplings would grow into great trees She couldn’t muster for John her wooden hate For now she’d be with Clare for eternity

In this issue... Missio Dei News

-Amy Van Steenwyk

Essays “Easter Reflections” -Sarah Lynne

Stories “To-morrow Mourning” -Daniel Wicklander

“How Jesus...”

-James Ashworth

Book Review -Carrol Harder

Prayers for Easter Poetry “Sweet Jesus”

-Mark Van Steenwyk

Art contributions from...

Jared Ingebretson, Skibba, and

Missio Dei News

Micaela Rose Ellens has arrived! She was just a day shy of Valentine’s day, and two days shy of being induced to come out and meet us. Thankfully she and mama are well and Marco and Mateo are very happy older brothers. Josh got to be home with the family for a couple weeks and has transitioned back to normal work hours. Lee had an exploratory surgery on his good (only?) knee, which should have had him laid up for weeks. But for those of you who know Lee, you may not be surprised to hear that he’s been riding his bicycle around the West Bank and finding lots of projects to keep himself busy. Around the beginning of Lent, Martin moved into Sattler House for a month. He is Greek Orthodox and was planning on avoiding meat and dairy products (among other things) in observation of the Orthodox “Great Fast” Thanks to Aubrey’s suggestion, most of us in Sattler and Clare House joined Martin in eating this way for Lent. To make meals simpler we decided to take turns cooking the evening meal. I think everyone is in agreement that it has been a wonderful experience to eat together every night and to have that to look forward to every day. Talks are in the works for how to continue this beyond the Lenten season.

In March, there was a lot of clearing space, moving in and moving out. At Sattler House, Michael’s old room was cleared out for Martin who lived here for a month to try it out before deciding whether to apply to live in a Missio Dei house. Brett and Isaac have both moved in recently. Brett arrived from Canyon City on March 1 and has been getting settled into his newly painted room at Sattler House. Isaac arrived from Ohio on March 15 and is living at Clare House. Our gathering space also got a new look with a fresh coat of paint during one of the Saturday work days. At the beginning of April, Clare House will see more changes as Lee moves out and Daniel and Charlie move in. Chad also moves out as he first travels to Ecuador for student teaching and then comes back and gets married! Both houses still have one empty room and we are still reviewing and accepting applications. We have celebrated many many birthdays over the past month and half of which has meant lots of parties and outings. Some of the days these past few weeks have been unseasonably warm and it has been refreshing to finally be outside without being bundled up. We’ve had picnics, lots of bicycle rides, playing in the park and the kids have rediscovered DIRT! A bunch of us have also been taking a bicycle overhaul class which we hope will equip us to do more of our own repairs on the many bikes we use and share. Jared and Brett have both found work which has been very exciting. Others are still looking and would appreciate your prayers and job leads! We are looking forward to starting up the hospitality train again in April and for all this season brings. ~

Easter Reflections

gasoline and oil and metal and gunpow-

The Easter weekend has always been der and noise... The air that comes from my favorite season in the liturgical above smells like fear. Not the air below. calender. In the span of three days we The air below smells nice, like things are remember both the death and resurrec- changing, like everything is getting bettion of our Lord, when our mourning ter and more beautiful. Like hope... We turns into dancing. It is a foreshadow- are from below. Us and many like us. ing and promise that everything death- Yes, that’s the thing then: on this day the embracing in our world will be over- dead smell like hope...” “And if you push me, I’ll even come by life. Consequently, this time of year is vital to me, a promise that the be a political analyst. Look, I say that the problem with this country is that it’s fight for life is not futile. This year in particular I feel full of contradictions. there you have it: like Easter has taken on more signifi- a cold sun, people who are alive don’t do cance than ever. I’ve become more in anything as if they were dead, and the tune to the ways our culture embraces criminal is the judge, and the victim is death. The groaning of creation is ig- in jail, and the liar is government, and nored as we build more pipelines from the truth is persecuted like a sickness, the tar sands and continue to sacrifice and the students are locked up, and the ecological systems for our own con- thieves go free, and the ignorant give venience. The poor are cursed and the classes, and the wise ignored, and the oppressed bound as we ignore the cries lazy rich, and the workers have nothof victims of foreclosure and the de- ing, and the least rules, and the greatmands of indigenous people for liber- est obeys, and he who has the most gets ated spaces. This is a sorrowful time, a more, and he who has the least has nothing, and the evil are rewarded, and the perpetual Good Friday. And so, more than ever I need good are punished... And not only that, glimmers of hope like Easter, a vision but here the dead speak and walk and do of the dead walking, an encouragement weird things, like trying to straighten up a sun that’s cold.” to keep fighting for life. I want to briefly include one Thank God that the dead speak, and such vision from Subcommandante walk, and do weird things. ~ Marcos (from the Zapatista Liberation Army in Chiapas, Mexico). It has been an encouragement to me during this Easter season, reminding me how we can embrace Easter-like moments in our struggle for life. Here are a few excerpts. They are written from the perspective of Subcommandante Pedro, who was killed in combat on Jan. 1, 1994. “I was saying that through this slit I could see the sky. Helicopters and airplanes are flying across it... They did not know but I saw them. I saw them and I watched them. I also laughed. Yes, because in the end, those airplanes come here because they’re afraid... afraid that us dead are going to walk again... the smell of fear is like a machine, like

To-morrow Mourning A story by Daniel Wicklander

You were dying, so many times before stricken like this and then you came back. There was a hospital bed in your living room when I arrived to the smells of medication and silent struggle with you lying on that bed with a blank yet peaceful expression upon your face. Eagerly in an attempt to connect with you gently I walked over to the vase of flowers at the foot of your bed. Flowers which you had grown in your garden that spring and summer. I admired their beauty symmetrical in shape light blue violet and I glanced at you while you stared at me with your deep blue eyes. It took an effort for you yet you spoke to me coherently other times when you spoke the words were so mumbled and filled with misery. Now after you died I stay-up thinking of what you said to me wrestling with the fork in the road leading to black or white ends. You’re the third dear one who has passed from me here these twelve short months. Will the grayness of dreams explain my grief as I sleep surrounded by the liquid memories of all of you? The dream begins in misfit sleep when in front of a three doored crypt low to the ground I stand. It is noon and my True Love appears in heaven His light so bright He obscures the mid-day sun into a black disk above. I descend to the three doors as one and each door knob turns in sequence. First Paul’s door opens it creaks eerily and dust flies everywhere aromatic like spice. Second grandma’s hinge releases with the sound of tinkling crystal and a breeze blows briskly over my face and hair. Third your door bursts open it makes a quaking thud upon the floor to the

crypt as it lands on its side clinging to its third hinge on top. Here are the grave’s of my friends filled with emptiness. I enter each door at the same time my True Love brightens His heavenly glory for me so that it spills through all three doors and I can see inside your crypt in pale light. Here are your bodies your corpses so dead even the worms are tired and expired the smell of Myrrh so strong I want to vomit. Flashing light bursts around your bodies at the same time. Your decaying dust disappears and a flower is left growing from the places where you were lain. Paul’s place grows a reckless rose a searing red that brands my eyes. Grandma’s perch brings forth a white lily and it laughs forever like her grinding laughter when as a little boy I would tell her stories off the top of my head just to be near her. Joe’s bed bears a purple crocus surrounded by a blanket of the purest white snow to protect it from the sudden bright spring sun. There are angels beside each flower and they’re laughing at me again. While I weep they ask me “ Little boy, why are you crying?” “Whom do you seek?” “Why are you searching for life in death?” Outside the conflict grew the bombs going off sirens screaming like dud firecrackers compared to my True Love Himself descending from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God and the dead in Messiah rising first. I awoke at once calm and peaceful in morning light. Wondering why I still doubt that I am eternally betrothed to the One whom my heart truly loves? ~

Book Review The term urban farmer is new

to people in the United States. Here in this country there is a complicated system of separating people from the source of what is eaten. In Novella Carpenter’s book Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer, the author looks at the complicated American system of food from the inner city as a source of food. Novella Carpenter embodies the intellectual paradigms of eating local, plus she engages the emotions raised by the challenges of growing food, dumpster diving to feed animals, and the cycle of life and death giving life. She even entertains the reader with humor and stories. An astonishing story of inner city homesteading-- not just a garden but also bees, chickens, rabbits, turkey, and even two pigs. A farm mingling in the

midst of a ghetto. Ghost Town farm of Oakland California is filled with the unity of opposites; chanting Buddhist monks and clucking chickens, new immigrant families and heritage turkeys, and homeless people sleeping in abandoned cars and bees making honeycomb in a balcony hive. Ordinary lessons in biology, defining moments in insight, and an apprenticeship with a world class maker of salami, prosciutto and other cured pork. The book is a fascinating memoir, with real life farming tips integrated from many sources. Mostly, the book is a constructive dialog with the complicated American food system from someone who wants to know what she eats from its source. Novella Carpenter makes an honest attempt to embody a mindful practice of eating and respect food as a gift. ~


Scripture Reading

Eastertide is the period of 50 days from Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday. During Easter, we affirm that Jesus is risen and is defeating death and oppression through the struggle of his people.

Monday: Mark 16:1-8 Tuesday: Matthew 28:1-10 Wednesday: Luke 24:1-12 Thursday: Luke 24:13-32 Friday: John 20:19-23 Saturday: John 21:15-19 Sunday: Revelation 21:1-7 [prayer after a time of meditative silence]

The Lord's Prayer Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come; Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil; For yours is the kingdom, And the power, And the glory, Forever. Amen.

Evening Sending [Facilitator read regular aloud, All read bold aloud]

Evening Prayer [Begin by lighting a candle. After a long moment of silence, the evening prayer facilitator begins.]

Call to Prayer See I Am Near... [sing or read 3 times] [create space for contemplation]

A PRAYER BY HIPPOLYTUS OF ROME Christ is Risen: The world below lies desolate Christ is Risen: The spirits of evil are fallen Christ is Risen: The angels of God are rejoicing Christ is Risen: The tombs of the dead are empty Christ is Risen indeed from the dead, the first of the sleepers, Glory and power are his forever and ever.

God our Creator, by raising your Son You have brought death to death and have shaped the new Creation. May we embrace the Cross Live into the resurrection and reflect by our life together the new creation. May we dance on the grave of death itself! May we laugh in the face of the Empire! May we link arms with all who struggle for life! Grant this in the name our Brother Jesus who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Morning Prayer

Scripture Reading

[Gather by standing in a circle, facing one another. Begin after a minute of silence.]

Monday: Romans 6:4-11 Tuesday: Colossians 3:1-4 Wednesday: 1 Corinthians 15:35-38, 42-50 Thursday: Philippians 3:8-14 Friday: 1 Peter 1:3-9 Saturday: 1 Peter 1:17-23 Sunday: 1 Peter 2:19-25

Call to Prayer See I Am Near... [sing or read three times] [pause for contemplation]

A Pashal Prayer Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, And bestowing life to the dead. As we struggle against the death-machine, we confess that we are workers, not the master we are ministers, not messiahs, we are prophets of a future not our own. Bring shalom, O God.

[prayer after a time of meditative silence]

The Song Around the Throne Worthy is the Lamb who was slaughtered to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise! To the one seated on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and might forever and ever! Amen.


[same as evening prayer]

These manual positions, with the proper lighting, will give you the results depicted below. At least, approximately.

How Jesus Ended A Mad Dog’s Unruly Enterprise:

A True Story On March 10, 1820 Reverend Daniel Sabin Butrick traveled to Creek Path, Georgia to build a church and school. By the end of July the school was established and had received over thirty students. One morning, Butrick desired to go to the school house and spend some time alone in prayer, but was over come with a sense that, “the devil had laid a snare for me.” He instead ventured to a private place where he prayed and thanked God from delivering him from the unknown danger. The next morning he traveled to the top of a high hill to pray—he spent the night

and appreciated the sublimity of the moonlight as it illuminated the Cherokee wilderness. Butrick returned home to the Carmel Mission Station the next day. Whereupon hearing the barking of a dog at the schoolhouse he was inclined to investigate. After taking a few steps, he reconsidered and quickly returned home. Soon one of the students came running to Butrick’s house for a gun because a mad dog was on the attack near the school. The Reverend and his student ran to the schoolhouse; where the dog lunged at Butrick as the student shot it dead. The missionary raised his hands triumphantly and proclaimed, “And this put a stop to the dog’s wild and furious career!” 1

______________ The Private Journal of Daniel S. Butrick, Papers of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, Houghton Library, Harvard University, ABCFM 18.3.3, May 13, 1820.


The Spirit

(From A Tear and a Smile, Kahlil Gibran) And the God of gods separated a Spirit from Himself and created it in Beauty. He gave to it the lightness of the breeze at dawn and the fragrance of the flowers of the field and the softness of moonlight. Then He gave to it a cup of joy, saying: “You shall drink of it except that you forget the Past and heed not the Future.” And He gave to it a cup of sadness saying: “You shall drink and know therefrom the meaning of Life’s rejoicing.” Then He put therein a Love that would forsake it with the first sigh of satisfaction; and a Sweetness that would go out therefrom with the first word uttered. And He caused to descend upon it knowledge from the heavens to guide it in the way of Truth. And planted in its depths Sight, that it might see the unseen. “Untitled” By Skibba

Therein He created Feeling to flow with images and phantom forms; And clothed it with a garment of Yearning woven by angels from rainbow strands. In it He did put the darkness of Confusion, which is Light’s image. And the God took Fire from Wrath’s furnace, and a Wind from the desert of Ignorance, and Sand from the seashore of Selfishness, and Earth from beneath the feet of the ages, and He created man. He gave to him unseeing Force to rise up in fury with madness and subside before lust. And the God of gods smiled and wept and knew a Love boundless and without limit, and He mated Man with his Spirit ~

Sweet Jesus

Easter is that day when you appear Sweet Jesus To whisper sweet nothings into my ear Sweet Jesus And to forgive my sins, my dear Sweet Jesus Like drinking too much beer Being insincere And forgetting you all year Sweet Jesus Show me the path Sweet Jesus Away from God’s wrath Sweet Jesus Give my soul a bath Sweet Jesus So that I can laugh For all the junk I hath From plying $atan’s math Sweet Jesus You make me white as snow Sweet Jesus So merrily I go Sweet Jesus To maintain the status quo Sweet Jesus Like keeping down the low Having too much dough Or killing all my foes Sweet Jesus - Mark Van Steenwyk

“I got Plenty o’ Nuttin’” Oh, I got plenty o’ nuttin’ And nuttin’s plenty for me I got no car, got no mule I got no misery

De folks wid plenty o’ plenty Got a lock on de door ‘Fraid somebody’s a-goin’ to rob ‘em While dey’s out a-makin’ more What for I got no lock on de door Dat’s no way to be Dey kin steal de rug from de floor Dat’s okeh wid me ‘Cause de things dat I prize Like de stars in de skies All are free Oh, I got plenty o’ nuttin’ And nuttin’s plenty for me I got my gal, got my song Got Hebben the whole day long No use complaining Got my gal, got my Lawd Got my song Oh, I got plenty o’ nuttin’ And nuttin’s plenty for me I got the sun, got the moon Got the deep blue sea De folks wid plenty o’ plenty Got to pray all de day Seems wid plenty you sure got to worry How to keep the debbel away Away I ain’t frettin ‘bout hell ‘Till de time arrive Never worry long as I’m well Never one to strive To be good, to be bad What the hell I is glad I’s alive -from Porgy and Bess by George Gershwin

About Us...

The Happy Hawthorn is a publication from Missio Dei based loosely on the liturgical calender. It is filled with fun and challenging content, plus news updates and prayers for the season. Also online Email us! Missio Dei is an urban intentional community that includes residential members (in three houses) and members who live nearby. We are committed to following Jesus’ way of simplicity (seeking a sustainable life with a proper relationship to possessions), hospitality (inviting friends and strangers to share our life together), prayer (being rooted in life-giving spiritual rhythms), and peacemaking (breaking our addiction to power as we get in the way of violence and injustice). We are rooted in the West Bank area of Minneapolis, committed to Anabaptist beliefs, and seek to embody the radical love of Christ in the shadow of Empire.

Where We’ve Been Hanging Out -Hard Times Cafe -Riverside Park


Jesus Radicals Conference The 8th annual anarchism and Christianity conference will be heading to Portland, OR on August 6th and 7th. Details to come soon. Interested in living in community? Missio Dei has openings in our houses. To make an inquiry email (, send a letter, or visit us to get an application. See our website for the latest information.

Visit us... Sunday evenings at 5pm, we gather to eat together, pray, engage scripture, discuss, and sing. We meet at Clare House (2717 8th Street S in Minneapolis). Monday is a day when we open up our houses for people to come pray with us. Clare House hosts Lauds at 9am and Sattler House hosts Vespers at 10pm.

-The Dania Hall Plot

Wednesday nights at 6:30pm we have an open meal. That night we make a large meal and welcome everyone to dinner. We’ve had anything from 4 to 26 people join us for dinner. We share our lives and struggles over dinner and then spend time praying afterward for those who are able to stick around. Our Wednesday night meal is at Sattler House (3312 31st Ave S in Minneapolis).

-An Old Warehouse


3312 31st Ave. S. Minneapolis, MN 55406

-Minneapolis Library -Second Moon -Seward Cafe -May Day Books

Missio Dei 3312 31st Avenue South Minneapolis, MN 55406

The Eager Elm  

The Missio Dei 'zine for Easter 2010.