Life in the Sycamore House is busy, joyful, and full of opportunities to learn, serve, and engage in recreation. There are more opportunities than there are hours in each week, so corps members must be intentional and purposeful about how they choose to spend their time. Designated time for work, play, and rest are built into the schedule, with plenty of free time to allow folks to recharge in whatever ways suit them best.
A Typical Week in the Life of a Sycamore House Corps Member
- Morning: Attend a worship service at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Cathedral. Since it’s a thirty second walk from our front door, it’s easy to roll out of bed and arrive on time. Corps members also have the option to worship elsewhere if a different worship style makes them feel more at home. After church, it’s time for coffee hour with the St. Stephen’s family.
- Afternoon: Enjoy brunch with your housemates and a walk along Riverfront Park, which runs for miles along the Susquehanna River, right outside the front door of the Sycamore House.
- Evening: Grocery shopping! Then relax and get a good night’s sleep–there’s a busy week ahead!
- Morning & Afternoon: Work an 8 hour day at your placement site. At Habitat for Humanity, that could mean a morning writing and researching grants for one of Habitat’s many community-building projects, followed by an afternoon of training volunteers.
- Evening: Relax with your housemates, enjoying a meal or a board game together, or take some quiet time in your bedroom.
- Morning & Afternoon: Work an 8-hour day at your placement site. At Capital Area Head Start, that might mean greeting pre-k students and their parents at drop-off time, leading students through play-based STEM lessons, and spending the afternoon writing engaging lesson plans.
- Evening: Tuesday evening is often community dinner time! Work with your housemates to prepare a meal for between 8 and 30 people from the community. You’ll get to know the regular attendees–some from St. Stephen’s and some from elsewhere–and are encouraged to invite coworkers and folks you meet in Harrisburg.
- Morning & Afternoon: Many corps members choose to attend the 7 AM Eucharist service at St. Stephen’s. This short worship service is a great way to center oneself in prayer in the middle of a busy week. Afterwards, attendees often gather for a quick breakfast with this tight-knit community before heading off to work for the day.
- Evening: House meeting! This is a time to gather for a mid-week check-in with your housemates. Discuss chores, miscellaneous needs, and plan for upcoming activities. Afterwards, you might pop over to Messiah College or the Midtown Scholar Bookstore to attend a public lecture or author’s chair discussion.
- Morning & Afternoon: Work an 8-hour day at your placement site. At CONTACT helpline, you’d spend your day taking calls from local persons in crisis, providing emotional support and connecting folks with resources as needed.
- Evening: Each corps member commits to participating regularly in one aspect of the St. Stephen’s Community life. If you choose to sing in the church choir, you’ll have rehearsal on Thursday nights. A few other options include participating in the church’s Community Connections Committee (the outreach group), Monday night Bible Study, or participating in worship leadership (reading scripture or leading prayers at Sunday services). Not a singer? Enjoy happy hour or a cup of coffee at one of the many cafes and restaurants within a few blocks of the house.
- Morning: Faith Formation. Corps members gather with the program director or other facilitator for prayer and check-ins, followed by a faith formation experience. This could be a book discussion, an exploration of scripture, a presentation from a community leader about faith & justice issues, or a vocational discernment exercise.
- Afternoon: Depending on the week, this will be a time set aside for a service activity as a house (such as popping by the PA Food Bank to help sort donations), a time for vocational discernment (journaling, researching, checking in with mentors, applying to grad school, etc.), a time for independent self-care pursuits, or a time for a fun activity as a house.
- Evening: Like any city, there are so many choices in Harrisburg! Go out dancing on 2nd Street, see an indie movie at the Midtown Cinema or a play at Gamut Theater, or enjoy a quiet movie night at home.
- Morning: Venture just 15-20 minutes outside the city for some gorgeous hiking on the Appalachian Trail and enjoy the natural beauty of Central Pennsylvania. Or stay in town and take a short walk to the Broad Street Market, the oldest continuously operating market in the U.S., and a great place to grab a cup of coffee, donut, or meet neighbors and friends.
- Afternoon: Relax, take a nap, and call your loved ones.
- Evening: Take in some live music at one of Harrisburg’s many music venues, or see the Harrisburg Senators play some baseball just a short walk from the house.