|

Building a Community of Vulnerability and Common Struggle


January 22nd, 2018

We’re doing a three hour workshop called Get Empathy with students at New Roads, a high school in Santa Monica. It’s program is designed to create a space where people can learn how to tell their stories and listen to other’s stories as the cornerstone of the art of community organizing. There, I tell my story of the struggles I went through in my family, with the death of my father, grandmother, and my dyslexia. And Danielle tells her story, of the struggles in her family from her dad’s MS. After we teach them the basics, they break up into small groups. People share their stories with such vulnerability and honesty, and talk about their depression, abuse, and struggles in their families. They find the values of strength and resilience to heal themselves and others. In these groups, there is magic that happens where people realize they share struggles. In one group there was a woman who shared for the first time that she was undocumented, with a teacher who had graduated years before from the school and had also been undocumented, and they cried together. This magic, this sharing of values and resilience, is how we build movements for social justice, and it is what we do at the Center for the Working Poor. We do it in many of our activities, from our Centering Prayer group, to Get Empathy, to our support of the resistance movement— we create the space of struggle. But we cannot do that without you. We need the support of donors so that we can support myself and Danielle who live in voluntary simplicity to do this work, as well as support the community at large. Please consider donating this holiday season.

This entry was posted in About the Center, About the Center, Spirituality & Centering Prayer, Spirituality & Centering Prayer, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.


2020 Center Update: Surrender and Become Attentive

December 17th, 2020

“To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, And a time to die …” — Ecclesiastes 3:1 “Surrender to what is dying, and become attentive to what is emerging.”  — … Continue reading

Monasticism, Indigenous Cultures, Burning Man, and/or Kingdom of God?: My trip to Taize.

December 27th, 2019

After being invited to Barcelona, Spain this fall for a chaotic tour of book talks, TV appearances, and radio interviews, I needed a place to recover from all the activity. And one of the greatest realizations of my life has … Continue reading

Are We Cells in a Mystical Body? Center Update 2018

December 24th, 2018

As many of you know, I am a social justice geek. I compulsively read and think about social movements, and have been doing this for a long time, and am now considered a specialist in the field commonly referred to … Continue reading

CENTER UPDATE 2017

January 18th, 2018

The election of Trump was like somebody threw a political bomb into the middle of a crowded room. For undocumented people, it meant fear of losing DACA and being deported. For labor unions and the working poor, it meant losing … Continue reading

CENTER UPDATE 2016: STILL OTHER SEEDS FELL ON GOOD SOIL

January 9th, 2017

Many have asked how I am feeling after Trump was elected to President of the US. The largest natural disaster in my lifetime just hit my community. It reminds me of both the day after my father died in my … Continue reading

Plan For the Revolution, But Keep Everyone Washing the Dishes: A New Year’s Update

December 31st, 2014

Dear Friends, I started the Center for the Working Poor in 2006. I donated all my money and my car, and slept on the floor of my shared, cramped apartment with our first full time volunteer, Clayton Perry. We ate … Continue reading

Christmas Update From Paul Engler & The Center

December 17th, 2012

The Center for the Working Poor, (aka the Burning Bush Community), continues to share in the wonderful mix of serving the poor, communal living, prayer and meditation, and nonviolent movement organizing that distinguishes our beautiful home. In addition to delivering … Continue reading

A Moment of Hope for a New Movement: Update from the Center for the Working Poor

December 15th, 2011

By Paul Engler Every once in a while, a rare and special moment comes when you realize that you are doing more than turning out for just another protest. Instead, you realize that you are in the middle of true … Continue reading