Happenings in Faith, Peace, and Justice
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Gaia House Interfaith Center
913 S. Illinois Ave. - Carbondale, IL 62901 - (618) 549-7387 - ourgaiahouse.org
Director: Treesong

Weekly Events


10:00 AM Quaker Meeting

5:00 PM Shawnee Dharma Group Meditation


7:30 PM SIWADE, African Drumming


5:45 PM T'ai Chi

7:00 PM Shawnee Dharma Group Meditation

7:00 PM Transpoetic Playground
1st & 3rd Tuesdays


5:00 PM Yoga

6:00 PM Questions of Faith & Reality
Last Wednesdays

7:00 PM Game Night


7:00 PM womanBEing
2nd Thursdays

7:00 PM Faith and Environment
3rd Thursdays


7:00 PM Movie & Pizza Party
3rd Fridays


1:15 PM Peace Coalition
1st Saturdays


Gaia House RSO

Carbondale Animal Rights Action Team

Monthly Events in Carbondale

Peace and Justice Vigil, First Saturdays, Noon to 1 PM, corner of Main and Illinois, Carbondale. Sponsored by the Peace Coalition of Southern Illinois


"We may have different religions, different languages, different colored skin, but we all belong to one human race."

—Kofi Annan
Gaia House Interfaith Center
Newsletter for December 29, 2015

Be The Change

Be The Change is a series of events with a new Social Justice, Environment, and Spirit theme each month. Social Justice and Environment themes offer you opportunities to learn about important issues facing your campus, your community, and your world. Spirit themes offer you opportunities to learn about people of different beliefs and cultures who call this campus and community home.

This month's themes are Restorative Justice, Climate Change, and Native American. For a full list of themes, visit our website. If you would like to co-sponsor an event, contact us at director@ourgaiahouse.org.

Hunger & Homelessness: "If the economy has had a negative impact on your family's income, think about those less fortunate who have very little or nothing to spend on their family, even for food and shelter. Poverty, hunger, and homelessness are a very pervasive fact at Good Sam and other agencies like us in the area. We are part of the last line of defense in terms of human dignity for our clients."—Mike Heath, Director of Good Samaritan

Climate Change: "It's simple math: we can emit 565 more gigatons of carbon dioxide and stay below 2°C of warming – anything more than that risks catastrophe for life on earth. The only problem? Burning the fossil fuel that corporations now have in their reserves would result in emitting 2,795 gigatons of carbon dioxide – five times the safe amount. Fossil fuel companies are planning to burn it all – unless we rise up to stop them."—Do the Math, a project of 350.org

Christianity: "By opening our lives to God in Christ, we become new creatures. This experience, which Jesus spoke of as the new birth, is essential if we are to be transformed nonconformists ... Only through an inner spiritual transformation do we gain the strength to fight vigorously the evils of the world in a humble and loving spirit."—Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Events at Gaia House

Winter Break Building Hours

Gaia House does not have its usual open building hours during SIU's winter break. Most regularly scheduled programs continue through break, but some may skip a meeting or two while SIU is not in session. You can also still make an appointment to meet with our director or reserve the building for meetings, receptions, parties, dinners, film showings, and other special events. For more information, contact us at director@ourgaiahouse.org.

Fall Programs

Gaia House is home to a wide variety of weekly and monthly programs. Each of these programs is an opportunity for you to meet with other people who share your interests. New people are always welcome.

Our list of programs is constantly evolving. The left sidebar of this newsletter contains a quick summary of the name, day, and time of our regularly scheduled programs. We also announce the monthly programs in the main column so that people remember what's coming up this week. For more detailed information, visit our program page or check out the signs and brochures in the building.

Transpoetic Playground
Tuesday, January 5 @ 8:00 PM

Transpoetic Playground meets at Gaia House on the first and third Tuesdays of each month. Gaia House invites all to share some poetry or simply enjoy the performances. We look forward to seeing you here! If you'd like to host, drop us a line.

Here are two simple GUIDELINES: (1) Food and alcohol are welcome, but we make no guarantees about their availability. BYOB. (2) There is a meditation event until 8 pm in the downstairs. Please use the main entrance (upper level) if arriving before 8 pm. If possible, feel free to bring snacks for a potluck to be shared on the upstairs coffee table. Thanks!

Wednesday, January 20 @ 5:00 PM

Our Wednesday Yoga sessions will be taking a break for the next few weeks. Yoga will resume on Wednesday, January 20 with a Laughter Yoga session.

Yoga sessions are led by Pradnya on every Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. Join us for yoga for strength, flexibility, and relaxation. We practice postures at a controlled pace, focus on breathing and balance. Adjustments will be suggested to suit individual needs. Questions are always welcome. If you want to use a mat, please bring your own. Mats are not provided.

Yoga is available for members only. Become a member today by visiting ourgaiahouse.org/membership.

Saturday, January 23 @ 6:00 PM
Gaia House Interfaith Center

Christmahanukwanzadan is our annual interfaith celebration of all winter holidays. There will be live music, refreshments, arts & crafts, holiday games, and more! This annual event has several important goals: bring together students and community members of diverse faiths and beliefs; give people an opportunity to meet and mingle with fellow Gaia House supporters; and most of all, have fun celebrating the holidays!

For more information, including advance tickets, silent auction items, underwriting, and volunteering, stay tuned to this newsletter or contact us at 618-549-7387 or director@ourgaiahouse.org. We look forward to celebrating the holidays with you at Christmahanukwanzadan!

Labyrinth Peace Park

Labyrinth Walk
Sunday, January 3 @ 7:30 AM to 8:00 AM
Labyrinth Peace Park

The public is invited to a monthly Labyrinth Walk to be held the first Sunday of each month from 7:30am to 8am at the Labyrinth Peace Park, north of Gaia House, 913 S. Illinois Ave, Carbondale. The Labyrinth Walk will be followed by coffee at Harbaugh's.

The Buckminster Fuller Dome-covered labyrinth and park is always open for meditation and re-creation. For more information, see ourgaiahouse.org/labyrinth or contact Bob at 618-967-3016.

Labyrinth Peace Park Restoration Group
Saturday, January 9 @ 1:30 PM
Gaia House Interfaith Center

The next meeting of the Labyrinth Peace Park Restoration Group is on Saturday, January 9 at 1:30 p.m. at Gaia House. New members are welcome. If you like the Labyrinth and want to learn more about the restoration project, upcoming events, and what you can do to help, this is a good opportunity to get involved.

Campus & Community

Carbondale Community Farmers Market
Saturdays @ 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Carbondale Community High School

NOTE: There will be no market on December 26 or January 2 due to the Christmas and New Year's holiday weekends. The market will resume on January 9.

NOW ACCEPTING LINK! The Carbondale Community Farmers Market provides a place for community to gather, meet the faces of agriculture and get the tastes of all Southern Illinois has to offer. Kids Korner is now coming to the Saturday farmers' market with kids activities. Located at the Carbondale Community High School (north entrance). cdalecommunityfarmersmarket@gmail.com.

NEW: Double Up Food Bucks at Carbondale Community Farmers Market! Double Up matches the value of federal nutrition benefits (LINK/SNAP) spent at participating farmers' markets, helping people bring home more healthy, locally grown fruits and vegetables.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration
Saturday, January 17 @ 4:00 PM
Carbondale Civic Center

THE 17TH ANNUAL DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR., COMMUNITY CELEBRATION will be held at the Carbondale Civic Center, at 4pm on Sunday, January 17th. The theme for this year's celebration is "We Who Believe in Freedom Shall Not Rest Until It Comes." The celebration will include music, interpretive dance, readings and a special performance by Jeff McGoy.

The Community Choir will perform under the direction of Pat York, accompanied by the Southern Illinois West African Drum Ensemble. The public is invited to participate in this choir. There are three locations for rehearsals and the choir director requests that participants attend at least two rehearsals.

Rehearsals are scheduled for Monday, Jan. 4th and Monday, Jan. 11th, from 7:30pm to 8:15pm at the Gaia House Interfaith Center located at 913 S. Illinois Avenue. Parking is available in the rear of the building off Illinois Avenue.

Rock Hill Missionary Baptist Church, located at the corner of Marion and Monroe Streets in Carbondale, will host a rehearsal on Saturday, Jan. 16th, from 10am to 10:45am. The final rehearsal will be at the Civic Center on Jan. 17th at 3:45pm.

Mayor Henry of Carbondale and Mayor Stephens of Murphysboro will present the Spirit of Dr. King Community Service Award. The award recognizes an individual or group that exemplifies the character and legacy of Dr. King.

Refreshments will be served beginning at 3:30 pm and the public is encouraged to bring a canned or boxed food donation for the food pantries of Southern Illinois.

Good Samaritan In Need Of Funds

Good Samaritan Ministries is in urgent need of financial support. Until the state of Illinois passes a budget, Good Sam will receive no more state funding. State funding makes up one fifth of the Good Sam budget. Without this funding, they will soon have to close their doors. Donations from individuals, businesses, and faith communities will ensure that Good Sam stays long enough to recover from this delay of funding.

Good Sam was established in 1985 by the Carbondale Interfaith Council. They provide an emergency shelter, a transitional housing program, a soup kitchen, a food pantry, and an emergency assistance program. If Good Sam closes, 30 people will be put out on the streets and 14 people will lose their jobs.

For more information, including how to donate, contact Patty Mullen at 618-457-5794 or visit their website at goodsamcarbondale.org.

Wesley Foundation Food Pantry

Are you a student? Are you and your family in need of food? If you and your family need food assistance, The Wesley Foundation Food Pantry has free food items and toiletries for those in need. If you need help, please contact The Wesley Foundation by phone at 618-457-8165, by email at umwesley@siu.edu, or in person at 816 S. Illinois Ave., next to Quigley Hall on campus. Fall 2014 pantry hours are Mondays 2-5 and Wednesdays 1-5.

Submit Your Happenings

Are you involved in a local community organization? Do you know of any upcoming events related to our core themes of social justice, the environment, and interfaith dialog? Email us with the details of the event and we'll do our best to include it in our newsletter.

With a mission to SIUC students and an outreach to the wider area,
we are a welcoming community committed to spiritual awareness
that integrates peace, justice, and ecological sustainability.

Gaia House Interfaith Center's multipurpose areas, kitchen, and library are available for your meetings and social events. Free wireless internet access. Visit our free lending library and our Labyrinth Peace Garden, 913 S. Illinois Ave. (corner of Grand), Carbondale, IL 62901. ourgaiahouse.org. Gaia House is now present on Facebook and Twitter for daily updates and reminders.

We are supported locally by the Southern Illinois Quaker Meeting, Church of the Good Shepherd UCC, the Carbondale and Cobden First Presbyterian Churches, the Carbondale First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship, the Southern Illinois Baha'i Community, and many generous individuals and families. Thank you.

Happenings in Faith, Peace, and Justice is available for your announcements. Please let your interested friends know about it. We will be happy to include them. Contact the office at (618) 549-7387, or by email.