“There was so much life in those walls”: Mourning the loss of Walker Community Church

It is a testament to the breadth of Walker Community Church’s engagement in the greater community that two meetings were held to gather people together less than one day after a fire devastated the South Minneapolis church. At the first, held early Monday morning, church congregants gathered to sing together, to mourn, and to talk about moving forward. A similar meeting was held Monday afternoon at Waite House. This latter meeting was for community organizers, activists, neighbors and friends, many of whom also call the church home.75 people attended the meeting facilitated by members of the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAC) and Communities United Against Police Brutality (CUAPB), two groups who maintained offices in the Church. Some time was devoted to sharing potential resources and also known needs of groups who relied on the Walker’s generous support of the social justice movement. Continue Reading

THEATER | Children’s Theatre Company’s “Harold and the Purple Crayon” captures childhood

One of the most difficult things about raising children is to watch them confront the world’s harshness for the first time. My two little ones have thus far been privileged and blessed to allow this to happen slowly and gently—at the death of a dear friend’s elderly father, with conversations about homelessness or petro-chemicals or greed, and, yesterday, with a first trip to the Emergency Room. Without getting into too many details, my sweet four-year-old spent most of last Saturday under the florescent lights of Children’s Hospital, being poked and prodded while watching ungodly amounts of cartoon television and negotiating IV-for-ice-cream trades. We came away from the day with an unsettling, but temporary diagnosis, feeling 90 percent grateful and 10 percent, well, exposed.

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FOOD | “The Northern Heartland Kitchen” cookbook warms your kitchen

I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but as I stared longingly through the plastic wrap at the bunches of kale (Dino! Red Russian!) on the front of The Northern Heartland Kitchen (Beth Dooley, University of Minnesota Press, 2011), I felt this cookbook had already won me over. Outside, the first winter’s snow whirled, and I knew that tonight would be the night to eat the last of the garden kale.After the plastic wrap was removed (and I got over the initial disappointment of the lack of kale porn that seemed promising based on the cover) I found a cookbook that carried a gentle respect for the abundance of our harsh climate. The book keeps a low profile; there are no flashy photos of prepared dishes. Seven recipe sections cover the four seasons and also “The Northern Heartland Hearth,” and two sections of condiments and preserves. Continue Reading