Hold It All

Philosophy/Poetics/Politics

Category: Share the Wealth Project

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
63104

Suzy, Julia, Abbie, Brittany

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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
63110

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 »

December 10 Sunday Share the Wealth with Andrew Wimmer: Reckoning with Torture

In November 2005, Stop Torture Now, a project of the Center for Theology and Social Analysis in St. Louis, delivered a Peoples’ Indictment against Aero Contractors and the commissioners of the Johnston County airport in North Carolina from which Aero operated extraordinary rendition flights to Guantanamo and CIA black sties. We dubbed Aero’s operation the Torture Taxi.

Watch for two minutes to get a sense of what Aero was involved in.

A dozen years later, and after sustained work by a dedicated group in North Carolina, The North Carolina Commission of Inquiry on Torture held a two-day hearing before a board of commissioners with witnesses from around the world, including those who were rendered, psychologists, military interrogators, international legal investigators, and journalists.

Take a look at the NCCIT website to see the scope of their work.

The question on everyone’s mind and the one voiced repeatedly throughout the two days of hearings was “And now what do we do?” Read the rest of this entry »

Share the Wealth with Andrew Wimmer: Practicing Loving Kindness Meditation

I’m looking forward to talking with other meditators about my recent introduction to Loving Kindness Meditation as taught by Bahnte Vimalaramsi during a ten-day retreat at the Dhamma Sukah Meditation Center in southern Missouri. I began meditating in 1973 when I was introduced to Transcental Meditation and made what seemed like a natural transition to Centering Prayer (as taught by Basil Pennington and Thomas Keeting) during the twelve years I spent living as a Benedictine monk. I have continued with that form of meditation ever since, waxing and waning in my faithfulness to it over the years. On the first night of the retreat I was struck by two seemingly simple tweaks offered by Bahnte Vimalaramsi’s Loving Kindness method that led to a radical transformation for me. I’d like to share the merit of my experience with you. No background in Buddhism is needed, and the conversation will be quite practical.

Andrew Wimmer’s years as a Benedictine monk included time teaching seventh graders in St. Louis, working in a parish in Nicaragua, and pursuing doctoral studies in Boston. He taught courses in social justice and peacemaking at St. Louis University and has written about and organized nonviolent opposition to U.S. use of torture. He’s the father of two sons in their 20s and lives in the Forest Park Southeast neighborhood.

Join us!
Sunday 29 October
Potluck dinner begins at 6:00 pm
Andrew begins sharing at 6:45
At the home of Chris Wallach
5 E. Lake Road
Fenton, MO
63026

From Chris: Directions from Google will take you to the mailbox at the end of my gravel road. Follow the gravel. When you see a three car garage (my mother’s house) look to the right for a right turn. Follow that down to the bottom of the hill and you will arrive at my house.

Saturday 7 October– Share the Wealth with Laura Lapinski: The Films of Wes Anderson

Laura Lapinski, a graduate student in psychology at SIUE, is doing her Share the Wealth on film director Wes Anderson this Saturday. For those interested in joining us, here’s some background from Laura…

Wes Anderson is an American film writer and director. I find him truly unique and remarkable. His individual style is exclusive for a few reasons. One main difference is the cinematography style Anderson uses. To move from scene to scene, he transitions by actually moving the camera directly into the next scene. Its a simple thing yet so original. Wes Anderson movies are aggressively quirky. This is my one of my favorite things about them. The aesthetic involved in each film is similar and unmistakable. The films somehow give off a vintage and modern vibe at the same time.

To me the absolute best thing about Wes Andersons films are the characters. All of the protagonists and most of the supporting characters in any given Wes film are a work of genius. Every one being a specifically strange yet endearing person. These characters are so special and you can’t help but wish they were real and you could track them down. I have been asked many times how to categorize a Wes Anderson film and the truth is I can’t. They are simply in a caliber all their own. In my book, each film could fall into at least two or more genres. Below I have included some suggestions with examples of themes for perusing. You could choose to check one or multiple out before October although I highly recommend watching them all at some point in your life. Read the rest of this entry »

Share the Wealth with Carolina and Christina: A Glimpse into Two Cubana-Americana’s Stories

Carolina Dominguez from Miami and Christina Arrom from Chicago, are Cubana-Americanas who were influenced by the stories of their parents, but especially their grandparents’ lives in Cuba.

After Carolina served with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps for two years in Belize City she moved to Chicago to study social work and work at an all girls high school. “Growing up in Miami allowed me to taste their stories and almost feel like I was in La Havana. However, leaving Miami and living in Italy and Central America allowed me to see how other people viewed Fidel Castro and the new relations between the U.S and Cuba. Working at both a geriatric urology center in the pulse of Little Havana and a poetry organization once back from Belize allowed me to witness the stories of patients who lived the exile, the Mariel Exodus and the title ‘Peter Pan kid.’ In attempt to understand and document this close history of my family I began to write poetry to try and delve into what being Cuban meant to me. Writing poetry about the stories I heard opened me up to write about my own story.”

Christina served with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in San Antonio, Texas. She Read the rest of this entry »