To keep you up-to-date with news from the farm, we’ll be sending Koinonia Briefly to you each and every month. Enjoy...
Did You Know?
Koinonia Catalog has been mailed and we are standing by to fill your orders. If you have not received your copy, please call us at (229) 924-0391 or e-mail us. You can also see the online version by pointing your browser to www.KoinoniaPartners.org/catalog/
This time of year the farm is all abuzz as we get ready for the pecan harvest. The pecan shaker and the pecan sweeper are being readied and soon we’ll be out in the orchards harvesting one of the best crops we’ve seen in years. Because so many of our friends donated to the cause last year after the remnants of four hurricanes passed through our orchards making a mess of things, we were able to launch a “revitalize the orchards” program. And it is working! Don’t forget to order fresh pecans for your holiday baking.
First there was the Cotton Patch Gospel, a musical based on Clarence Jordan’s Cotton Patch Versions of the New Testament. Then there was Briars in the Cotton Patch, an award winning documentary about the history of Koinonia. Now there is Dennis Hassell’s new play The Glory Place. Read more about this exciting new work below.
Helping our neighbors has always been a part of our life here. Not too long ago, a group of parents contacted us to ask for help with an overcrowded school bus situation — we’ve now added a bus service to our list of ministries. Koinonia is transporting a van load of children from Koinonia Village and Forest Park to school each morning. This has given us a chance to get to know some of the older children better, and we’ve even been asked recently to help several of them with a science assignment due soon.
Since 1996, the Prison & Jail Project has led a sojourn through Southwest Georgia. This 85-mile journey, known as the Freedom Walk, calls attention to abuses in the Southwest Georgia criminal justice system. The stops include prisons built to house 1500 "criminal aliens;" courthouses where harsh sentences are passed; and small, suffocating jails which meet no building, health, plumbing, or fire code standards and yet imprison human beings, mainly young, African American men who are awaiting their trials and sentencing. Each year the Freedom Walkers stay at Koinonia. This year several members and volunteers from Jubilee Partners walked, as did some from Oakhurst Presbyterian Church in Atlanta and the Open Door Community there. We got to see some former Koinonians including Steve Clemens of Minneapolis and Luz Mestez-Nunez who was on her way to Peru. Ann Karp, Sanders Thornburgh, Nashua Chantal and community interns Maureen Kane and Matt Kubly represented Koinonia on this year’s walk.
At the Farm
October has been a theatrical month at the farm. In addition to our weekly trips to staff the intermission at Theatrical Outfit’s production of the Cotton Patch Gospel, fifteen or so of us, including former community member Alma Jackson, traveled recently to attend a reading of Dennis Hassell’s new play, The Glory Place. It was featured at Art Within’s international script Symposium and Showcase. Tom Key read the role of Clarence Jordan. It was an incredible experience for all present. Dennis has written one wonderful play! Producers from both coasts, Canada and Atlanta have expressed a strong interest in the script. We look forward to the day that productions will be taking place across the country. You can find out more at www.dennishassell.com and www.artwithin/playsindevelopment. We’ll also keep you updated about the progress of this amazing work.
True Colors, an Altanta-based theater under the artistic direction of Kenny Leon, performed at the Rylander in Americus recently. Many of us attended the Friday evening performance of Flyin’ West and then hosted the company for lunch and a tour on Saturday. The play by Pearl Cleage is about a group of African American woman who leave Memphis, Tennessee after the Civil War to travel to Kansas to set up a homestead of their own. It is a thought-provoking play. We were all deeply moved by the performances of this exceptional troupe.
Inspired by The Glory Place, Koinonia has founded the Cotton Patch Players, a readers theater ensemble that has license to perform excerpts of the play for special events. We are in rehearsals for our first performance. We’ll let you know in next month’s edition how the reviews went.