Before Reading Any Further... we are elated to share with you that our first ever (hopefully part of a series) Children's book has been published and is waiting for your perusal!!!! Explore themes of inclusivity with this co-created work by Pastor Ryan and Noah (whose painting partnership represents the work's mission to overcome 'special needs' labels by sharing in one another's 'special gifts'!)salty sheep salty sheep salty sheep salty sheep salty sheep salty sheep salty sheep salty sheep salty sheep salty sheep salty sheep salty sheep
Welcome to Sweaty Sheep! ...but "what the heck is 'Sweaty Sheep??"
We are the playful, passionate, & colorful sheep who wandered from the flock in order to:
- Seek unity through diversity (oneness is far from sameness!)
- Move beyond the blind acceptance of "second hand religious" rituals, rules, and practices of the past
- Cultivate authentic community unrestricted by labels of homelessness, disablilty, faith affiliation, gender, age, race, etc...
- Laugh at ourselves (life is far too important to be taken seriously!)
- Have fun! Be it a surf, sail, hike, boardgame, ski-trip, etc... As the late Plato wrote, 'we grow more through an hour of play than a life of study and conversation.' Our Mission: 'To embrace RECREATION to break down social, economic, and Faith barriers.We value: The unique gifts of each individual and seek to create a community of mutual growth.
- We believe: There is not one 'right' spiritual path... thus we strive to empower and support the unique faith journeys of each individual without proselytization. So, though rooted in the Christian tradition, we see value in all faith teachings and encourage interfaith dialogue and co-learning. We never: exclude any genders, sexual orientations, religions, species (we are super pet friendly!), etc... We like to focus on what unites, not divides us!
ADVENTURE THERAPY!!!! Dive in along with 16 homeless buddies and 6 'special needs friends for our recent tahoe retreat!
And riding rollercoaster to rehousing... literally!!!!
What do you call a lamb on a sailboat or surfboard? A Salty Sheep... Check out how we are combating homelessness by 'Sailing to Sustainability...'
Keep up with all our events here...
& by liking us on Facebook!
Read our most recent News Coverage here
Questions? ideas? Email Ryan at: Ryan@sweatysheep.com
Give a listen to past 'sermons' by CLICKING HERE!
- California Events
- Uke-o-mmunity Series!
- Unbantu Acres… Cultivati...
- Keeping In Touch In These Text...
- California Events
Our Volunteer lead Santa Cruz Sweaty Sheep Program continues to grow, but not without you!!!
Email Ryan@sweatysheep.com if you’d like to learn more about the program or have an interest in leading any number of fun, formative, playful meet ups/intentional communities! We want everything from board games to dancing, Art to hiking, sailing and surfing to knitting and sipping… Get creative and playful… and help us create a holistic community of intentional recreation.
Our Goal is to create a culture of ‘Compassion’ by uniting in ‘Common-Passions’… Using play as the “Common-Unity’ of a more cohesive ‘Community!”
Don’t read any further before you Facebook “Friend” us … everyone loves friends and you don’t want to miss an impromptu surf, sail, or hike invite!!!!
- Unbuntu Acres Gardening days: Tuesdays and Fridays 10-2pm. (activities for all!!!). 335 Golf Club dr.
- Wednesday Reflective Sails! No sailing experience needed and first come first serve (12 spots every week… so sing up today!!) Devotion and cast off AT 1PM (yes, late arrivals result in tears or a swim:). Set Sail with Us!!!/
- Saturday Bible Study Sails: 1pm At P dock (weather dependent… text 443-223-7334 to check the status!)…
- 1st Sundays worship at the Unitarian Universalist church on Freedom Blvd, 10am
- This is exciting! Each first Sunday we will engage in a shared service where Rev Ryan (your sweaty sheep guru) and Rev Russ of the uua take 10 min each to reflect on a topic such as doubt, human nature, transcendence etc…
- This time also includes an amazing organic lunch and full array of formative supplemental breakout sessions for each age group centered at diverse faith exploration and inclusivity.
- Jan 24th: We will be leading a special “Faith & Farming” session at this year’s national Ecofarm conference!!!! https://eco-farm.org
- Jan 27th: Kick off of our partnership with Santa Cruz Universalist Unitarian Fellowship! Come hear about our role reforming the education program and enjoy a sermon by Rev Ryan on ‘doubt…” 1030am, Freedom Blvd.
- Then at 2pm, join us at the vet memorial center at 2pm for a community interfaith gathering with the ‘Tent of Abraham!”
- Feb 3rd: 3-5pm we will be hosting an author and art afternoon for families featuring our ‘Wally the Wave” book! Join for a fun reading, q & A, and watercolor art project integrating special needs friends! Live Oak Branch on Portola.
- Feb 9th: Shared Adv/Sweaty sheep valintine dance! Share the love with you ‘special’ buds at Trinity Church (420 Melrose Ave) 6-8pm!
- Feb 10th: 10:30am Trinity Presbyterian Santa Cruz Takeover! We’ve taken over trinity before and always enjoy their openness to our off the wall ways
- March 3rd: UUA takeover 10am (freedom ave) Topic: ‘Transcendence’
- Keep up via Facebook “Sweaty Sheep Santa Cruz”
- Uke-o-mmunity Series!
- Unbantu Acres… Cultivati...
Unbantu Acres… cultivating diverse community
On any given day at Costanoa Commons Farm, you’ll likely find Chris Robertson out tilling the soil – shirtless and shoeless. Chris’s struggles to overcome homelessness and addiction, while caring for a severely autistic 13-year-old child, make him a representative of three distinct and too often despondent populations. To Chris’s right, Carson, a 20-year-old whose passion for farming shines brighter than his cerebral palsy diagnosis, preps a watermelon patch. To Chris’s left, a group of ‘special’ children attend a summer camp, oblivious to any segregating needs, and they frolic after free- range chickens.
Costanoa Commons is an urban farm/ intentional community located less than
a mile from downtown Santa Cruz, CA. Costanoa cultivates a deep sense of companionship by integrating diverse neighbors, including unhoused people and disabled youth, as common-‘panions’ (Latin for ‘spiritual/physical nourishment) through a common-passion (the foundation for ‘compassion’) for gardening.
The farm is working hard to demystify labels and misperceptions by focusing on the gifts, not the ‘needs’ that make these neighbors ‘special.’ “Noah is very clear about wanting to offer something to his community that other people value,” says Heidi. “With an effort that is truly integrated, where those with disabilities work side-by-side with others who don’t have the same challenges, attitudes that typically hinder people from living full lives can change.”
Society vastly misunderstands people who are often classified as “disabled,” despite their prominence in the community. In fact, “if formally recognized as a group [they] would be the largest minority in the United States” says the National Institute on Disability. Moreover, it is the one minority group that any of us could join at any time.
Alternatively-abled individuals are too often viewed as lacking… defined, labeled and limited by their ‘needs.’ This is far from the case, for God has made each ‘perfect’ and ‘whole’ and their presence is essential to the completeness of our greater community. As Plato wrote, “we are all born whole, but we need each other to be complete.”
As soon as you set foot on the soil – the ‘adamah’ (dirt) from which we sprout – of this Santa Cruz sanctuary, you feel at home. In these fields, inclusivity is more than an aspiration, but an experience as refreshing as the early summer strawberries brightening the fields. What makes gardeners of this farm so special isn’t their ‘dis’- abilities but their unique ability to see beyond divisive labels (the L’s, G’s, B’s, T’s and Q’s; abled and disabled; housed and homeless; Jew, Christian, Muslim…) as they cultivate a community of true acceptance.
How can you help you ask?
- Donations of gift cards: Help us provide for those who are working to provide for the community! These veterans are transitioning out of homelessness and any support towards food, transportation, social services, or therapeutic services (medical, nutritional, counseling, etc) is incredibly helpful.
- Host a ‘Pop-up Farmstand! : We are looking for safe/supportive events and communities to bring our mobile gratuity based (pick ur price) organic farmers market simulation stand and pizza stand!
- Visit/volunteer at our farm!!! We’ve partnered with www.costonoacommons.org and host volunteers every tuesday 10am-1pm, our Saturday farmstand 12-3pm, and would love to schedule a special intro/workday for you and/or your group side by side with our special needs and homeless gardeners! 335 Golfclub dr., Santa Cruz CA
- Hire one of our trainees! Our program is meant to be a transitional (and transformational) step towards longterm employment and housing…. We would love to work with you as a potential placement site for individuals as they grow ready to re-enter the workforce.
Make a financial contribution. All donations are tax exempt and we invite you to direct your support towards general operations or specific initiatives:
- Provide a scholarship for one of our participants (a small stipend for their garden work and material costs for their project)
- Sponsor a produce scholarship for a community in need, event, etc
- Help us get a dehydrator! (@$550)
- Build a Barn! $10,000 to go!
Learn more about our partners www.costanoacommons.org
1029 S Preston St.
In Louisville, Sweaty Sheep launched RunPossible, a program partnered with St. Vincent De Paul that provides mentorship and wellness opportunities to individuals facing homelessness and/or working towards sobriety and self-sustainability by pairing each with local community members such as YOU. Through running and walking, Yoga, Zumba, nutritional education, and personal relationships RunPossible initiates a self-transformation process through exercise and wellness that aids in the development of life changing friendships and self-confidence.
Every Tuesday we meet for a walk/jog at 6pm and on Fridays at 5:30pm we host Yoga with KY Yoga Initiative or Zumba with a skilled instructor. All located at 1029 S Preston Street in the SVDP Family Success Center.
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|Fridays 5:30pm||Free Yoga or Zumba|
- Keeping In Touch In These Text...
Keeping in Touch in these Texting Times…
DON’T MISS A FLOCKING!! Sweaty Sheep is truly Christianity on the Move, and we want YOU to keep up! Join our text message list (we won’t flood you with messages) by texting “Sheep” to 51555. This is a simple, no strings, cancel anytime, text group. If you do want to donate you can text “Sweaty” to 41444 and you can make a pledge for later or specify a donation amount. Thank you all!!