Jessie Schiele (born Jessie Lynn Wambold) grew up in Gaylord, the "Hub" of Northern Michigan. She grew up attending, and her parents still attend, Gaylord Evangelical Free Church. After graduating high school in 2003 Jessie spent 11 months traveling around the world, visiting Central America, New Zealand & Australia, South East Asia, India, and parts of Eastern Europe. Her travels were a great education and full of life changing experiences. In January of 2008 she joined AmeriCorps NCCC (The National Civilian Community Corps), a team based traveling national service program. While planting trees and building a tree-house in Vermont she met her now husband, Jordan. After NCCC, the two volunteered together in Hattiesburg, MS; working on homes devastated by Hurricane Katrina. In August of 2009, the couple joined staff at Nazareth Farm, in April of 2010 Jessie became the Project Coordinator. They were married June 18th 2010 on a farm near Jessie's hometown. A little over a year later in August of 2011, in a bright green house on Nazareth Farm Road, Jessie and Jordan welcomed home their son Nathaniel. Two months later Nathaniel took his first plane ride as the three of them visited Kansas City for the first time. The family moved to Jerusalem Farm in April of 2012. Jessie has given up on the idea of having a sewing room but continues her passion of quilting and making/repairing clothes on weekends in the dining room.
Jordan Schiele was born October 6th 1985 in Sacramento, California. Jordan was raised in a devout Catholic family and was the oldest of three children. At an all boy Jesuit High School the seeds of prayer, community, service and simplicity were planted even though they were not fully recognized at the time. During what would have been his college years, Jordan created a window cleaning business named Brighter Day Windows, coached freshman football and worked other various jobs such as Fed-Ex, EPA, and Market Square Grill. Looking for an alternative way of living Jordan joined Americorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps) where he spent 10 months volunteering around the country in Virginia, Mississippi, Maryland and Vermont. It was in this program that Jordan re-discovered his love for simplicity and service. He also realized a unknown passion for home-repair. It was also in this program that he met his wife Jessie. After the program ended in November of 2008, Jordan and Jessie spent their time hitch-hiking around the country to visit family and finally ended up in Hattiesburg, Mississippi where they spent 5 months living with a wonderful couple Ray and Annie, worshiping with Ebeneezer Baptist Church and working on rebuilding a damaged house from Hurricane Katrina for Mary. When the work was finished, in an effort to learn more about his Catholic faith tradition and to explore communal living, Jordan and Jessie stumbled upon Nazareth Farm and made West Virginia their home from August of 2009 until April of 2012. When asked to help in the creation of Jerusalem Farm, Jordan was humbled and extremely excited for the joys, challenges and transformation that this new community would bring.
Nathaniel was born on August 7th, 2011 and is an amazing little boy. He loves to play outside in his spaceship, "do his work" in the garden and with the chickens, and go on bike rides with his dad. Nathaniel is now an older brother to his sister Jubilee ("Jubibee"). He loves having friends over to play with him!
Jubilee was born on March 15th, 2014. Jubilee is a joyous little lady who loves to follow her brother around, eat oatmeal (or anything Sunny is eating), and tell you stories you've just heard. She has a deep heart for anything the color pink and likes the idea of dogs (make sure to bring a picture of yours).
Sunny plopped onto the surface of the earth in Lafayette Indiana. After a solid Midwestern upbringing full of athletics, good friends, and longboarding, Sunny wandered north to Chicago and attended Saint Xavier University. On a spring break Service trip to Nazareth Farm during his freshman year, Sunny met Jordan and Jessie along with other young adults who attracted him with their desire to reject the materialistic pillars of babylon. Along with the influence of the Sisters of Mercy and their heart for activism, this trip pushed him to create a life centered around service of others. Shortly after graduating from SXU, Sunny scooted his way to join the Ru-crew (get it, like JeRUsalem) in Kansas City. He can most likely be found digging in the garden, at the top of a rock wall, or mixing up the compost.
Joseph Wun is a twenty-five year-old Midwestern transplant from Midnorthern California. He comes most recently from dear undergraduate study at Kenyon College in Gambier, OH, and a gracefully life-destroying initiation with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Detroit, MI. He joined the community in April 2016 with much to learn and discover. Life here, for him, has been abundant with edifying encounter. He finds much hope in the volunteers and friends who come to share their lives with the Farm, and the homeowners who invite the Farm to share in their lives. He holds dear the core sight of this community to (re)discover the crafting and nourishing of a neighborhood, one house and home at a time. He has the Jesuits to credit (or blame) for invitation (Jesuit Sacramento Class of 2010) into a spiritual disicpline that is intellectually rigorous and humble, often foolishly immersive, and daringly playful. He has his professors and mentors to thank for assiduous attention to cultivating an ambitious life of the mind and generous habits of the heart. From all his teachers, he has garnered two maxims: 1| Do not block the way of inquiry 2| Cherish each other. He continues to find and care for relationships and companions whose import need an anthology to account. He is foremost a son, brother, and friend. You can find him in the middle of a digression or departing on a tangent, dancing in Club Chapel, reveling in poetry and fiction, or scrounging leftovers. He will go on a hike with you whenever, and will bring GORP.
Randy Barthweeks moved to Jerusalem Farm from Louisville Kentucky with his wife Bernadette and he is the resident mascot. You may recognize him from his time at Nazareth Farm in W. Virginia. Randy comes to the community and farm with a lot of experience leading retreats and working with youth. Randy graduated from University of Louisville (Go Cards) with an accounting degree. He has since been using the accounting degree to count and make sure all those who are retreat at the Farm are present and accounted for at gatherings (prayer and meals to name a few). When Randy is not leading retreats he can be found spinning things such as pillows, baby pools, and plates. Randy enjoys cooking with Bernadette when given a chance to. He can be found also riding his bicycle around the city and is an avid biker in his spare time. A little known fact, or maybe not so little, about Randy is he is a pogonphile. A pogonphile is an admirer of beards and this aspect of Randy is evident in his love for his own beard and others who grow beards, he even compliments those with great beards. Randy is looking forward to exploring Kansas City with Bernadette and the rest of the community. He is excited to be a part of a community again where he is challenged to live his faith every day and is held accountable to how he lives out the Gospel message of loving your neighbor.
The qualifications for wizardry are: knowing how to actually fold a fitted sheet and make it look good, the ability to connect with strangers faster than they can say hello, coming up with arts and crafts ideas that’ll blow you away, and the ability to guess within a few months how old a child is (given that they are under the age of 6 or 7). The latter two skills were acquired by working in early childhood education where she excels in loving every child she meets with the patience of a saint. She will continue to hone these skills at a local early childhood education center with some awesome 4-5 year olds. This move to KCMO is a bit of a homecoming for Bernie because she went to college at Avila University here. Her family also hails from Marshall, MO which is only about an hour and half away so she is super excited to be able to get to see her parents and 4 older brothers and the in-laws much more often than when she was in Louisville, KY. She is excited to make this her home and invite her husband Randy into a city she loves so dearly. If you come visit you can probably find her by the coffee pot sipping on the sweet taste of just wages in the fair trade coffee and then trying to kiss Randy with her gross coffee breath. Blech! :P
"Chili and beans don't mix, but sometimes they do." - Jordan "Sunny" Hamrick
"Ever seen a bunch of crabs in a bucket?" - Charles Bukowski
Thom was raised in South Bend, Indiana, following two short childhood stints in Phoenix, AZ and Norman, OK. During his youth in the 'Bend, Thom joined an ecumenical Christian community through which he was exposed to mission work, simple living, and friendship with the Lord. After graduating high school, Thom attended the University of Notre Dame, where he received a degree in Computer Science. During his time at Notre Dame, Thom became deeply involved with several other looser forms of community: He led freshman orientation and was a Resident Assistant in his dorm, he spent several years leading the Notre Dame Swing Dance club, and helped run the arts & culture section of the student newspaper. After graduation Thom spent some time hitchhiking and traveling, and has now settled at the farm. Thom sees living in community held together by common faith as one of the most life-giving ways Christians can work to bring God's joy to others, and is excited every morning to participate in the work, life, and love of Jerusalem Farm. When you come to J-Farm, make sure to find Thom in the kitchen or the office to share with him what you're currently reading, your favorite kind of music, your latest million dollar app idea, and any good spots you know for dancing!
Jimmy Thomas was born on December 24, 1982 making him the oldest and therefore wisest member of the community. Jimmy has lived his entire life in Chicago except for attending Monmouth College in Monmouth Illinois where he studied History and Religious Studies. Moving to Kansas City is both a wonderfully exciting opportunity and a challenging change of scenery. He will be working on code violations and community accountability boards as a VISTA this year at Jerusalem Farm. Jimmy worked in the library at Loyola University Chicago as theStacks Supervisor for the past 6+ years and has been married to his wonderful and supportive wife Kelli for 8+ years. Together Kelli and Jimmy have been pursuing the farm lifestyle of barn raising and apple pie for many years. Jimmy enjoys playing board games, reading, petting dogs, exploring neighborhoods and eating.
Marika was born in Santa Rosa, California, and grew up in Omaha, Nebraska. She studied theology and sociology at Creighton University. While at Creighton, she was introduced to "a faith that does justice." She organized advocacy events for students and went on several service and justice trips, including one to Bethlehem Farm. In West Virginia, she experienced a call to care for creation and saw the life-changing power of community. She sojourned at Jerusalem Farm last summer and is excited to return to Kansas City and work to build community in its many forms. Marika enjoys clouds, porch sitting, and freshly baked bread.
Cassie was raised in the good ole farmtown of Marengo, Illinois where she enjoyed growing up playing in the woods, bike riding, fishing, sitting around bonfires, or otherwise just being outside. Cassie just recently graduated from Creighton University, a Jesuit institution, chock-full of those Jesuit values, ruined as she may be because of it, as they say. There, she was deeply involved in the beloved SCSJ, the center for service and justice. In high school she did no service, but all it took was her first Service & Justice trip as a freshman in college to get her hooked on all things service, justice, reflection, and Catholic social teaching. She is spending her summer at Jerusalem farm, which is serving as a wonderful transition into her upcoming participation in the program Farm of the Child, which will last for at least a year and a half in Honduras. For now though, she is ecstatic to be at Jerusalem Farm surrounded by love and communuty. After 22 trips around the sun, Cassie has found that she loves fair trade, writing, learning, dogs, hiking, camping, and pretty much anything having to do with social justice.