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…

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…

College spring break group visits *cino

Last week, we were joined by nine students from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI on a spring break trip in partnership with Calvin’s Service-Learning Center. We had a wonderful week exploring the idea of committing to a place and considering the practical outcomes of place-based living. To that end, we enjoyed tearing up carpet and…

Project Neighborhood visits *cino

Part of what we do at *culture is not optional is to show people why culture is not optional and one of the ways we do that is by introducing various visitors to our rural city of Three Rivers. This past Saturday, 45 students, mentors, and even a few children from Calvin College’s Project Neighborhood…