Picnic Supper and Plant Exchange

On May 23, a lovely cool evening, we gathered to appreciate this beautiful time of year and to share many ethnic dishes. Several members of the Zen Center joined WTB members and guests in the magnificent green area behind the CNY Rise Center, 275 W. Seneca Turnpike in Syracuse.

Attendees were asked to bring a dish to “pass” and, if desired, a cutting or plant to share.  The discussion topic planned was “honoring the earth in our various traditions.”

A group of approximately 40 women with diverse religious backgrounds attended this event. 

It was a relaxing way to share stories and food to end the program year — as had been hoped.

A table had to be added to the initial one to accommodate the number of delicious dishes of food being brought into the yard. Using furniture from the CNY Rise Center, extra tables and conversation areas were set up after 5:00 as people continued to arrive. 

As the time of eating and fellowship waned a bit, Barbara Bova began by thanking the CNYRise Center for the use of their site today and for use of their facilities for meetings throughout this year. She also thanked everyone for attending and the great food which was brought.  She encouraged everyone to share recipes through wtbcny@gmail.com. 

A number of women who had brought plants or cuttings shared information about the plants. 

Barbara also asked Melek Yavuz, President of WTB and Board Member at CNY Rise Center, as well as Shinge Roko Sherry Chayat from the neighboring Zen Center to share thoughts.

Sherry Chayat spoke about the efforts of the Zen Center to reach out to the cares and concerns of the community around them.  She mentioned by name the number of women from the Zen Center participating today. She said the Zen Center serves and represents people from all cultures and backgrounds. She spoke a bit about the meditation in which they participate as being a way to “enter into the great silence” and how helpful it is to so many. She invited others who might be interested to the Zen Center.

Sherry, also, mentioned the long relationship between participants at the Zen Center with Women Transcending Boundaries. She recalled her participation in the very first meeting of Women Transcending Boundaries. 

Melek Yavuz talked a bit about the history of the CNY Rise Center, which grew out of the original Turkish Cultural Center, set up by Turkish immigrants in another section of the city. The name of the organization was changed to be more inclusive when this building was purchased by the group. She spoke about their efforts to facilitate relationships with the Syracuse community by sponsoring various educational, holiday and celebration events. The emphasis of the CNY Rise Center is respect, inspiration, service and empathy with the Syracuse community. 

Melek also spoke about the relationships more specifically with two neighboring organizations — the Unity Church and the Zen Center. These groups sponsor social events together including the Valley Ties Annual Neighborhood Cookout.

Participants left having experienced community in a new way on this day.