Hold It All


Category: Gatherings

Share the Wealth with Marty and Jerry King: When a House becomes a Home

We began our journey of serving the homeless almost 40 years ago by volunteering to provide meals and serve in other ways at Karen House, the Catholic Worker shelter for women. The journey continued when we joined the work of Winter Outreach, serving men and women on the streets of Downtown and helping to staff the emergency shelters that have saved and transformed lives through the past 13 winters. And now, our journey continues in the work we do at the four Assisi Houses scattered around the City of St. Louis that provide winter shelter and then transitional, supportive housing that goes beyond simple shelter to create communities of the formerly unhoused. And as Greg Boyle states it so eloquently in his two books about his ministry with gang members in Los Angeles–we no longer are “serving”, we are accompanying, and even beyond that, we are “being served” and learning from these men and women who have become models for us of incredible generosity and courage in facing the challenges of living without resources and without access to anything or anyone that can effect change in their lives.

We will talk about what is the heart of Assisi House, and share some of the stories that have transformed an all winter shelter into a home for fourteen women this year. We are privileged to be a part of Assisi House, and to share these stories that emerge when men and women who had been forced to spend virtually all of their time and effort “being homeless” are given a respite from that hardship. It shouldn’t surprise us after all these years, but it still does, to see the miracles of transformed lives.

Jerry and I have been best friends and partners for over 54years. And our passion/compassion to engage with others in our life, whether it be here or during our years in South America, has followed the same path. While not always in agreement, we have worked side by side or in support of each other. We are still learning how.

Join us
Sunday 18 March
Potluck dinner begins at 6:00 pm
Jerry and Marty begin sharing at 6:45
At their home
830 DeMun, 3rd floor
Clayton, MO


Share the Wealth with Ron Laney: Developing a Better Understanding

Many years ago, I partook in a handful of undergraduate psychology courses at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, and when a certain professor heard I would not be returning the following term, she phoned to inquire why. When I explained the reasoning behind my decision, she offered words of understanding and encouragement I remember to this day. Her words, along with those of others before and since (including, finally, my own inner voice), eventually led me to enroll in the Master of Arts in Professional Counseling program at Lindenwood University in the spring of 2016. I am currently in the second semester of my counseling internship at Creve Coeur Counseling Associates with the intention of graduating this May.

Please join me as I share my experience of pursuing a graduate degree in counseling, an experience through which I am pleased to be developing a better understanding of not only others, but myself, as well.

Sunday 11 March
Potluck dinner begins at 6:00 pm
Ron Begins sharing at 6:45
At the home of Diana and Jim Oleskevich
4026 Magnolia Place (not Magnolia Avenue)
St. Louis 63110

Share the Wealth with Andrew Wimmer–The Solar: A Bridge from Here to There

A decade ago I began reading and thinking in a more focused way about the economy. About money and how it works — and how it could and should work.

I would like you to join me for a conversation that is part theoretical but mostly practical. I’d like to share my plans for a building in the Forest Southeast neighborhood that I have begun to rehab and transform into an inviting space where we can work together on envisioning and creating the new. I’m calling it The Solar in part because I’ve put solar panels on the roof but mostly because I’m looking forward to living together in the warmth of the sun! Read the rest of this entry »

Share the Wealth with Lynda Oppong: Finding Purpose

I am grateful for this opportunity to talk a little bit about myself and my experiences so far. How living between two countries now have moulded who I am now and how my life in the US has helped me look back at Africa and has given me this strong desire to go back home and help my own people in any way I can. Usually, when people leave the continent, they find it hard finding their way back and helping their communities and all their talent and skill is used to help other places grow. As Africans, I believe it is important to realize how much potential the continent has and how much room there is for improvement and development. It is my desire to take advantage of the learning experiences I’ve had here to help my continent in any way I can.

I am a final year student at Maryville University, studying criminal justice. I am originally from Ghana, West Africa and I’ve been here for four years getting my bachelors degree. The goal is to go to law school then move back home after.

Join us
On Sunday 25 February
Potluck dinner begins at 6:00 p.m.
Bring something to share
Lynda begins sharing at 6:45
At the apartment of Kine, Lina, Sarah, and Sandra
on Maryville’s Campus
650 Maryville University Drive, 63141 St. Louis
Hilltop Apartments (far north end of campus)
Apartment number: Pine 15

Share the Wealth with Brittany, Julia, and Suzy: Reflections from the 2017 Mev Puleo Program

We–Brittany Butler (junior), Suzy Kickham (sophomore), and Julia Nouse (sophomore)–spent 10 weeks studying liberation theology and living in community in Nicaragua this past summer. Now, after six months back in the states, lessons we learned in accompaniment, community, and gratitude have continued to shape us. We hope to share with you all some of our experiences of both joy and brokenness.

While we will begin by sharing stories, we mostly hope to foster a conversation during which we can all share and reflect together.

Join us
Sunday 18 February
Potluck dinner begins at 6:00 p.m.
Sharing begins at 6:45
At the home of Julia Brucks
2819A Shenandoah
Saint Louis, MO

Suzy, Julia, Abbie, Brittany

Share the Wealth with Ashaki Jackson: Some Food for Thought

My name is Ashaki Jackson and I am native to Trinidad and Tobago. My family immigrated to the U.S. when I was 8 years old and later on I moved to St. Louis and pursued a degree in Anthropology. I am working towards an MSW degree with a special interest in mental health and mind, body, and spirit healing.

Ashaki Jackson, among many other beautiful things, is an explorer. If you pay close enough attention, you will observe her on one of her bold expeditions across the body, delving into the mind, and unbinding the spirit. She searches for what proves elusive, an old knowledge spoken in new languages, a nurturing of imagination, a bold embrace of all the joys and sorrows that exist within simply breathing and being present in this moment with you. –TK Smith

Join us
Saturday 10 February
Potluck dinner begins at 6:00 p.m.
Ashaki begins sharing at 6:45
At the home of Jim and J’Ann Schoonmaker Allen
4519 Oakland Avenue Forest Park Southeast

Share the Wealth with Ayesha Akhtar: صبر (Patience)

Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam. Every year, Muslims around the world take part in a month of fasting called Ramadan. Ramadan is considered to be a very holy month for us, and it carries quite a bit of weight and many blessings. Every year Ramadan came about, and every year I kinda felt myself just going through the motions, but not taking it as seriously as I should. Last year, 2017, after going through a bit of a rough patch, Ramadan came at the right time in my life and took on a whole new meaning for me, which is what I will be discussing at this Share the Wealth.

My name is Ayesha Akhtar. I majored in Accounting Systems and Forensic Accounting, finished my CPA exams, and am currently working as an accountant. I was born in Karachi, Pakistan, and came to the states when I was 3 years old. I lived in South Dakota, Illinois, and attended school in Saint Louis, where I am currently.

Join us
Sunday 4 February
Potluck dinner begins at 6:00 p.m.
Ayesha begins sharing at 6:45
At the home of Lea and Terry
4121 West Pine Blvd.
St. Louis 63108

Share the Wealth with Savannah Sisk: Sunday 28 January 2018

“Lying on soft earth,
carried into sky by longing,
humans respond to stars
with questions. Why is the Universe
so vast? Why are we so small?

Call and response through the night.

My whole life I have sent
these questions into space. And
listened for response.”

From Stars by Margaret Wheatley

Join Savannah Sisk in a Share the Wealth that explores our spiritual questions, faith journeys, and religious identities. She will discuss her ever-evolving love/hate relationship with Jesus (which has on occasion meant reading a dozen books on Jesus from the library within a month), her passionate search for right living and community, and the presence of both dark nights and luminous mornings. Everyone will be invited to reflect on their own spiritual paths/big questions, and the personal/communal rituals that move us forward. Read the rest of this entry »

Share the Wealth with Hanna Suek: My Time in the Philippines

My name is Hanna Suek. I am a junior at Saint Louis University majoring in Occupational Therapy. I had the privilege of studying abroad in Manila, Philippines last spring. I will be telling a few stories about unexpected culture shock, undeserved hospitality, and searching for God in a foreign land.

In preparing for this night, I have wondered why anyone would want to hear me speak about this experience. Of course, it was important to me, but why would it be important to share? I have yet to find the answer but invite you to help me by coming to listen.

Join us
Sunday 21 January
Potluck dinner begins at 6:00 p.m.
Hanna begins sharing at 6:45
At the home of Theresa and Cami
3521 Hartford Street
Apartment A
Saint Louis 63116

Share the Wealth with Lea Koesterer: 2017 Harvest in Occupied Palestine

My friend Mary Wuller told Lea to get in touch with me before she went on her trip to Palestine with Interfaith Peace Builders. We visited at Northwest Coffee in December, and I knew I wanted her to share with us some of her stories and reflections. –Mark

Because I am not an expert, I speak about my own experience traveling with Interfaith Peace Builders, and things that Palestinians themselves told me about their existence under the apartheid regime that exists under Israeli occupation. I gleaned background information from relevant books. Among others they are:

Lords of the Land: The War for Israel’s Settlements in the Occupied Territories, 1967-2007, by Edit Zertal and Akiva Eldar.

The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine, by Ben Ehrenreich Read the rest of this entry »