In Praise of Ventura Village

This article may sound like I’m currying favor, or being really self-serving, but I want to praise what I see in the Alley and in Ventura Village. When I started writing articles for the Alley five years or so ago, I didn’t really expect anyone to read them. I thought this was a small neighborhood […]

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A Common Humanity

It was about forty yards to the gallows. I watched the bare brown back of the prisoner marching in front of me. He walked clumsily with his bound arms, but quite steadily, with that bobbing gait of the Indian who never straightens his knees. At each step his muscles slid neatly into place, the lock

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A Hopeful Sign

Like many people in this part of Minneapolis, I am continually reminded of the challenges facing our neighborhoods. High crime rates, limited resources, livability crimes, drug use…. you know the list as well as I do. Aside from my personal observations, I hear about the challenges the members at Peace House Community deal with every

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Director’s Corner

Welcome to 2024! On behalf of Peace House Community and its members, volunteers, and staff, we wish you a peaceful year. We also want to thank you for getting us through 2023. Well, we didn’t just get through it; in some ways we thrived. Way back in the second half of 2022, PHC’s Board of

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Meet Mikey

Mr. Ivanovich goes by several names. Sometimes he’s Mikey. Sometimes he’s Shorty. Sometimes he’s White Shorty, to separate him from the two Black Shortys who come to Peace House Community. (It doesn’t help, because we have two White Shortys who come to PHC.) But whatever you call him, he’s always ready to talk. Mikey’s been

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Embracing Failure

Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly at first. It’s worth doing poorly many times until you get good at it.-Paul Tracy (or maybe it was Zig Ziglar; I can’t remember which one said it.) Go on failing. Go on. Only next time, try to fail better. -Samuel Beckett As someone who grew up receiving

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We Need Each Other

Among my other duties, I help coordinate the adult education series at the church that I attend. This fall and winter we have had various congregation members speak about the intersection of their vocation and their faith. In other words, how does their faith affect their work, and how does their work help them see

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Conflict: The Doorway to Greatness

Dave and Ray Davies, the brothers who led the British band The Kinks since the 1960s, have a famously volatile relationship. Even though they managed to stay in a band together for over 40 years, they often despised each other and had explosive arguments. They addressed their relationship in the song “Hatred (A Duet)”, which

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Learn from the Ants

As a kid, I used to be fascinated by anthills. I constantly wondered how animals with such tiny brains and no obvious ways of communicating on a large scale could create such a complex society. It wasn’t until I grew old enough for deep theological reflection that I realized my view of the ants was

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