Reimagining catapult 2014!

Each August for the past few years, our annual publishing break has given us a bit of breathing room to begin dreaming about how to reimagine catapult magazine. For 12 years now, we’ve relied on one relatively consistent format while the world of technology has rapidly changed around us. We’ve known that a change is…

Summer of simple abundance

*culture is not optional is a wild and wooly organization with tendrils of work reaching near and far from our base in Three Rivers, Michigan.  Summer tends to be a time that we focus on our local community development work through the Huss Project, but learning and serving with visitors and temporary transplants to Three…

The value of abundant simplicity

With Lehman’s catalogs on the center of the table (“simple products for a simpler life”), we embarked on this week’s core values conversation around “abundant simplicity.”  Our first exercise was to picture and do a bit of writing about someone we know whom we admire as living “the good life.”  After sharing about some of…

Welcome 2014 *cino summer interns!

They started rolling in in May.  First, Seth arrived to begin working at a local farm and help get the community garden started.  Then, Alexandra moved in and promptly began pitching in on our Farmers Market table.  Nate was the next to arrive and it wasn’t long before we were briefing him on Community Fun…

The value of radical hospitality

For our weekly Garden of Your Mind session today with *cino volunteer staff, we explored our core value of radical hospitality — a timely conversation as we begin summer lunches and Community Fun Night this week.  A past catapult editorial served as pre-reading, along with some relevant daily asterisk quotes about hospitality: Safe place Incomplete…

The value of compassionate listening

(Father Greg Boyle, Director of Homeboy Industries) This summer, our volunteer staff is spending one hour each week exploring each of *cino’s ten core values in turn.  Last week, we talked about “experiential learning,” with reference to the article “The play deficit” by Peter Gray.  This week, in anticipation of summer lunches and Community Fun…

Healing ourselves by healing our places

Kind people are asking me how my time was in California and I’m not sure how to respond yet.  17 days of learning, sharing, hiking, field tripping, observing, storytelling, absorbing — it’s hard to sum up.  I am full of good things.  I am digesting.  I am grateful for new and renewed friends, new and…

Coming soon: student groups + justice films

The next few weeks will be busy for the *cino gang, with lots of good learning, sharing, eating, field tripping and film-festing!  Here’s what we’re looking forward to… March 15: Project Neighborhood Retreat 45 students and mentors from the Calvin College intentional living communities will join us for a day-long retreat to explore community life…

A nursery for ideas

As we discern how to keep moving forward with *cino, Rob and I have embarked on our own informal leadership course, and as part of that, I’ve decided to start posting some interesting quotes and ideas related to leadership on the *cino site. Leadership is a tricky thing for us, since much of the literature…