It is hot and humid here today. The radio station I listened to this morning said it is 95 degrees outside, but the humidity feels like triple digits. I spent a portion of the afternoon over in Sycamore House kitchen, scrubbing the tiled walls and cleaning behind the refrigerator. My two hours in the house were a small drop in the bucket compared to the hours logged by volunteers from the property committee, Sycamore house board, and Cathedral. It’s incredible to see the sense of industry and care that they have for this building, soon to be home for six new corps members at the end of August.
I am Heather Loring-Albright, the new Director of Sycamore House Service Corps here in Harrisburg, PA. I’m thrilled to be joining such an enthusiastic community of folks who are committed to service and one another.
The last time I kept a blog was when I relocated to Chicago for graduate school in 2012. I wanted to keep family and friends updated on my adventures in the cooperative housing that Greg (my partner) and I had just moved to in Hyde Park. Living with eleven roommates was different than what I expected, but so was seminary. The blog was a link to my supporters and friends from the East Coast.
This time I’m writing for folks I don’t know yet or am just getting to know, but I learned today that one of our corps members decided to join Sycamore House Service Corps in part because of the blog. That’s important. Rather than sending updates to people who I’ve left behind, I am beaming information into the universe, greeting folks who I will hopefully have a chance to meet.
I lived in Harrisburg for a little over a year in 2011-2012, but moving back is like an all-new adventure. It’s not the place I left, exactly, and I like that. I’m excited to introduce folks to this city and show them all the love that is here. With the dedicated nonprofit community, the welcoming Cathedral family, and the friendly neighborhood folks, I am convinced that Harrisburg is a hidden gem.
I like to watch all of the people walking by on their lunch breaks. I think about them and what they need, what they strive for, what they get nervous about. I wonder how Corps members can reach out to them, make a difference, and lend a hand. I’m not sure what my ministry here will hold, but I do know that it will grow over time. If you turn out to be a future corps member, I hope you feel welcome.