I love the weekend. Not because it’s a break from my 9-5 job (which I would almost be thankful for at this point), and not because it’s a chance for me to go out to parties, but because it’s a time when no matter what, our community comes together. More people are home, more frequently, and everyone seems to be focused on things that they really want to do. Growing up as a Seventh Day Adventist, I still feel a nostalgic sense of Sabbath on Saturdays. Yesterday, Michael and I had a day of rest. We stayed in bed later than usual, we made a big breakfast together, and we even watched television (don’t be too shocked, it was Arrested Development), all before going out and getting all the parts we’ve been needing… Bike tires, oil filters, all that good stuff. We spent the afternoon prepping dinner, which I was pretty pleased with; twice baked potatoes with roasted red pepper and cheese, fresh brushetta with basil from the garden on toasted bread, and baked pears with a havarti and nutmeg mornay sauce. Finally, after feasting with one of our housemates and the three kids he was watching (their parents finally got a date night!), we packed up some leftovers and went to meet Tiff, Ian, and his visiting brother at a local tattoo shop. Everyone got something done but me, ’cause I’m still designing my next one.
Community can be a lot of things. It can be stressful. It can be annoying. Sometimes, it’s having eight built-in friends and accomplices. After everyone got inked, we went back to our house, and while the kids were in bed we drank hot apple cider with brandy and played a rousing three hours of Settlers of Catan. Right now, that’s what our community looks like.
There’s a lot going on right now. Everyone is new and still finding their footing and their place, in the greater community as well as our house. Someone recently commented that they don’t exactly understand my living situation, so let’s clear all that up. We are ten people, four families or individuals, living together in a four story, historic house in downtown Harrisburg. We are all Christians, and believe that God is calling us to a life of service and fellowship. Some of us, myself included, think God is calling all his people back to that. Here at the Pancake Mansion, we’re striving to bear each other’s burdens, learn to sacrifice, and how to love the way Christ did. It is not always easy. But, most of the time, it’s a lot of fun.
We’re having a big meeting in a couple weeks, to discuss our community values and set some things in place as far as how we operate, but right now we have a rotating dinner schedule, and a weekly chore list. Some of us work with a local city church, and some of us operate and attend a worship gathering that meets in our living room. We’ve got a long way to go, but we’re starting small and trying to grow stronger as a group and as disciples.
We invite anyone and everyone to come and see.
Sunday is always more of a work day. Tiff and I are canning apple butter and preserves, Mike’s fixing the car, and most of our other housemates are helping with the local church’s Sunday service. After I finish this post, I have to finish my notes and research for tonight’s study, and help cook dinner. Then it’s setting the table, feeding whoever comes in, playing music, and leading discussion. Sunday is the kind of work I want to do all the time. And right now, I feel incredibly blessed, because I can.