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The Happy Hawthorn

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The Epiphany edition of Missio Dei's "Super Activity" Zine.

Text of The Happy Hawthorn


    ppy Hawthorn!

    Fun for All Ages

    Issue one, Volume oneJanuary 6, 2010

    Poems & A


    Coloring P




    Articles &


    And much




  • In this issue...Missio Dei News

    -Amy Van SteenwykEssays

    Forclosed -Sarah LynneShifting Perspectives -Jen ShirkThe Un-kingdom of God-Mark

    Van SteenwykPraryers for Epiphany

    PoetryProphecy -Daniel WicklanderCasual Confusion -Karl E.J.

    Hokansonapril first

    Art contributions from...Jared Ingebretson, Bryn Harding,


    The Happy Hawthorn gathered upBefore the first of May

    Burning in the Beltane fireUntil the break of day

    Hear the Happy HawthornSing a lullaby

    As all the baleful noblesFall down and cry

    Peasant children fast asleepWhile princelings toss and turnThe king and queen bellow wails

    As the palace starts to burn

    Hawthorn crown upon the headOf the Holy King

    The people dance round the fireWhile their children sing

    Origin unknown

  • Missio Dei News In October we celebrated Chad and Annas engagement! We found ourselves with an opening in Sattler House after Justin moved out in Sep-tember so we took the month of Oc-tober to process applications and ulti-mately decided to invite Derk to move to MN from North Carolina. Clare House hosted a house concert. It was a night full of music from Kevin Per-tinen w/ Adamas Tres, the Ex-Lovers, and Seth Martin w/ The Menders, kin-dred spirits from Portland. Since Hal-loween fell on a Saturday this year it coincided with our last Hospitality Train for the season. Mark made his harvesty apple and squash soup which was a hit as always. Three of our community mem-bers trekked to North Carolina early in November to visit Hyaets Commu-nity. Derk rode back with Sarah and Jen and thats the short version of how Derk ended up at Missio Dei. The same weekend that the North Carolina crew returned, Carmen and kids came back from Peru! It was wonderful to have them back after spending two months visiting family there. Around mid-November we got some bad news about taxes. Apparently we owe $4600 in back taxes for 2008 for the 1/2 a year previous to us buying Clare House in August and moving in. Although we qualify for tax-exempt status now, we didnt then, so after looking into it fur-ther, it seems were stuck with that to pay ASAP. Then, suddenly, Thanksgiving was upon us. Joshs family and Amys parents joined Missio Dei-ers and oth-er friends for a wonderful Thanksgiv-ing meal and afternoon together. Vin-cents wife Francis commented that it was the best Thanksgiving shed had in 10 years. And that was her first time meeting almost everyone here! We continue to give thanks for such a won-derful gathering (not to mention great food!) As Muslims around the world

    and in Cedar Riverside celebrated Eid-al-Adha, the Feast of the Sacrifice, Black Friday arrived! Charlie, Derk, Jared, Mark and Bryn went caroling at the Mall of America - carols full of lyrics challenging consumerism and its destructive effects. In an odd twist, they got interviewed by TLC channel reporters putting together a new show: Mall Cops. So the security at the MOA had to pause from kicking them out to let them perform one last time for the video cameras. Our Saturdays and Sundays changed in late November. With the end of the Hospitality Train, we decid-ed to return to having weekly group dis-cernment meetings on alternating Sat-urdays and Sundays. Then we spend every other Saturday doing projects together. So far weve created a more kid-friendly area downstairs which we use mostly for the children on Sunday nights. Weve cleaned out the porch, the basement and the garage at Sattler House and put plastic on the windows at both houses. A few of us also insu-lated the garage at Clare House. December started with many Missio Dei-ers marching downtown in protest of this latest troop surge to Afghanistan. Since then, things have slowed down a bit. Lets just say theres been a lot of knitting and hang-ing out. In contrast to Thanksgiving, many of us were out of town for Christ-mas. In January well be bidding farewell to Boo whos en route to Nor-way in a few months and saving up $ in the meantime. Well also be process-ing applications and welcoming new people into both houses. ~

  • Forclosed Rencently, Missio Dei joined other Minneapolis residents in opposition to many of the current foreclosures and evictions, particularly with five woman who have been the victim of predatory adjustable rate mortgages. When we first got involved Rosemary Williams case she was a resident on her block for 55 years, living in her current home for 20. Seven houses on her block already lay empty from foreclosure, creating a forlorn atmosphere in the old neigh-borhood. Rosemarys story doesnt seem atyp-ical. She took out a loan on her house to help her daughter go to college. She was given an adjustable rate mortgage, originally at $1,100 a month. After she lost her job and her mortgage jumped

    to $2,100 a month Rosemary was obvi-ously unable to pay. Though she did eventually find work (she was working while we were house-sitting) she was unable to make the new payments. Incensed by the refusal of banks to neogotiate with homeowners facing eviction, especially after they had just recieved huge bail-outs, many Min-neapolitans decided to adovcate for Rosemary and occupied her foreclosed upon house. Basically this means that Rosemary was evicted and boards were put up to close up the house. After this several people broke back into the house to let Rosemary back in. Then many people (anywhere from 5-50 people at a time) stayed in the home with Rosemary, hoping to either

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  • help keep Rosemary in her home, or at least draw attention to the epidemic of evicitions and foreclosures in the Twin Cities. They and others called govern-ment officials and GMAC (who held her loan) in hopes of pressuring them to renegotiate her mortgage to a rea-sonable rate. At first I felt uncomfortable. Wasnt the eviction fair? No one forced her to take out a mortgage on her house. She should have known this could happen. These were the thoughts run-ning through my head as I considered my involvement. I knew that I had al-ways been told that this was the way the world works. I had heard that peo-ple like Rosemary should know better (or that they were just lazy or indul-gent). I knew the banks had received government money, and had heard that this was somehow supposed to help out the people losing their homes, but at the same time I wasnt sure how that was supposed to work, and all I knew was that losing a house after not paying your mortgage seemed fair. As I spent time looking into scripture on this subject though, I began to see things differently. The banks situation reminded of the parable of the unforgiv-ing servant (Matthew 18:23-35), where a servant is forgiven a huge debt, goes out and imprisons those who owe him. Gods laws on property distribution and redistribution and foregiveness of debts struck me as a very different perspective on justice than captialism had taught me (see Leviticus 25). The prophets proclamation against Isreals refusal to obey these laws and their op-pression of the poor (check out Amos) convicted me of the sin of silence. I began to think about how Gods perspective on fairness and justice seemed ill-aligned with the banks, and with what I had been taught in gen-eral. The most surprising to me were the laws in Leviticus. God requires the Isrealites to return the land to the original families every fifty years. He

    requires the release of debts and slaves, and forbids Isrealites to charge inter-est to each other. The most significant part of this to me was the reason why. God reminds them that the land is not theirs, neither can any human really own another. Slaves must also be set free because they are only truly Gods servants. God wants the people who would gain power accumilating land and people to remember that these do not belong to them, and will be fairly taken away within their lifetime. In doing so God puts in place provision for those who would lose their homes, livelihood, and personal freedom. He guards against the kind of systemic, generational proverty that is endemic in our society. We have no such precautions and yet we call our system just. Rosemary can pay for her house many times over while we turn a blind eye to predatory, usurious lending and then we call that justice. This isnt the kind of justice that God intended us to operate on, and considering the reality the God ulti-mately owns this land, I became more and more convinced that he would probably side with Rosemary over GMAC. I figured that that is what re-ally matters. And so I joined my fellow Missio Dei members and neighbors in resis-tance to Rosemarys foreclosure. At this time I just stuck my toe in, bring-ing food, calling GMAC, and spending a few hours at a time there, but plan-ning on ditching when the police ar-rived to reclaim the home for GMAC. I was afraid of arrest. Worried about my ability to get to work and with what that might mean for my employability in the future. Mostly I think I was just worried about what my old friends and family would think. How would I ex-plain this to them? Would they con-tinue to affirm and support me? Eventually Rosemarys home was raided. I was at work. I found out on a ten minute break, which was extended

  • to fifteen as I struggled to compose myself and dry my tears. I tried to explain to my coworkers. I told them that Rosemary was my friend, because I wasnt sure they would understand why I