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HOME VAN NEWSLETTER 8/14/10 ::: GAINESVILLE SAYS GOODBYE TO FATHER GILLESPIE

Father John Gillespie, Director of St. Augustines Church and Catholic Student Center, long-time board member of St. Francis House, and a strong advocate for the homeless and hungry people of Gainesville for many
years, is being reassigned to a parish in St. Augustine. He went before
the City Commission many times over the years, strongly supporting the basic
human rights of poor and homeless people, most recently during the ongoing
battle over the 130-meal limit at St. Francis House. He is not and
never has been a man afraid of speaking truth to
power. He has also been a good friend to the St. Vincent de Paul
Society. We will miss him. There is going to be a potluck for Father
Gillespie on Sunday August 22 from 1 to 5 p.m. at Hurley House and everyone is
invited.
WATER
Many thank yous to everyone who has dropped cases of bottled water off at Home Van Central. We are continuing to drop water off in homeless areas three times a week and will continue to do so when the
heat index is above 100 (which seems to be almost always these days). This
has been a crazy summer on almost every front (national, international,
galaxy-wide?) and the simple act of bringing water to the thirsty has helped me
stay on balance, and has helped our homeless friends stay alive. It is a
sacramental activity in the most fundamental sense of the word. We spend a
lot of time hauling stuff and it is hard to haul enough water to get through the
week, so please continue to drop off water as you can. Every bottle
counts.
SEPTEMBER 11 ACTIVITIES
Mayor Craig Lowe has declared September 11, 2010 as Interfaith Solidarity Day in Gainesville. There will be an Interfaith Prayer Vigil at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church from 9 to 11 a.m. on September
11. Many other churches are also planning events they will be
publicizing. I am hoping that many yard signs will appear. It occurs
to me that making a yard sign would be a wonderful activity to do with
children. A hands-on activity in support of peace and kindness is worth
ten homilies on the subject. Also, people who feel really insecure about
drawing a star and a crescent don't have to. A simple message like "We
support our Muslim neighbors" will do just fine. Last week I was stopped
at a red light and I saw a young Muslim family coming out of the downtown
library - 20-something parents and two small children, all carrying books.
I thought how wonderful it would be if this little family and all our
Muslim neighbors could drive past dozens of yard signs lovingly constructed on
their behalf. Let's make it happen.
Peace and blessings to all of you,
arupa

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
The Home Van needs tents, tarps, bottled water, Vienna sausages, creamy peanut butter, jelly, candles, white tube socks, bugspray, books and games. Call 352-372-4825 to
arrange for drop off. Financial donations to the Home Van should be in the
form of checks made out to the St. Vincent de Paul Society, earmarked for the
Home Van, and mailed to 307 SE 6th Street, Gainesville, FL 32601, or can be made
online at http://homevan.blogspot.com/

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