Category: Tradition

Holidays with friends and family

Holidays with friends and family

We started out the month with a trip to Grand Rapids that we’d been planning for a while, to attend a concert with the band Over the Rhine and celebrate our friend Ken’s last show as the director of the Student Activities office at Calvin University. We worked with Ken for five years in the SAO and, like many others, were deeply impacted by his intelligent faith and his passion for popular culture and social justice. It was a joy to be able to spend time friends from around the country and even the UK who came in for the celebration.

Finally finishing the new bathroom at the Imaginarium!

Work projects this month included finishing the second bathroom in the new Imaginarium at the Huss Project, which is one more step toward getting our official occupancy permit to be able to host events and programs there. We also hosted our annual Christmas potluck at our house, with a wacky gift exchange and, even though we still debate whether it’s actually a Christmas movie, a viewing of the beloved action film, Die Hard.

A Very *cino Christmas

In mid-December, we received some unexpected news that Rob’s aunt (his mom’s younger sister) had passed away. She was in a lot of pain so there was some relief, but it was still very difficult for her daughters, who are about our age, to find themselves without a mother or father anymore. Their whole family had been a huge help when we started World Fare in 2003. It was good to be together as a family, sharing memories, food, and the rituals of grief.

Shortly after the funeral, we made the trip back to northwest Indiana again for family Christmas celebrations. Because things were a bit spread out this year, we had time to visit with friends (former high school teachers of ours) and also to get into downtown Chicago with Rob’s parents. We wandered around the Christkindlmarket in Daley Plaza for a while, and then headed over to the Chicago Architecture Center to view exhibits about the history of Chicago and skyscrapers around the world. Buildings and urban design are some of Rob’s great passions and it was fun to be able to share those passions with his parents in a new way.

Visiting the Chicago Architecture Center with Rob’s parents

We returned home on Christmas Day and after a few days of relaxing at home, we closed out the year with our annual New Year’s Eve party at our apartment, which doubles as an anniversary party. It’s hard to believe we’ve been married for 19 years! We don’t know what 2020 has in store for us, but we do hope that our path to parenthood becomes clear in the coming year. It’s been a long wait and we’re anxious to share our lives with a kiddo.

Community celebrations

Community celebrations

Our summer busy season continued into August, with further Imaginarium work in preparation for the wedding of our friends Alek and Deborah, which was be the first major event there besides Future Fest. These two dreamed up a beautiful wedding and had perfect weather. At Deborah’s request, we performed a sweet little song during the ceremony with Rob and I on vocals, Rob on guitar, and our friend Elisabeth on violin. It was fun to reconnect with many friends at the ceremony and reception, several of whom came to Three Rivers, like Deborah did, through our summer internship program.

2019 *cino community

August is often a month of saying goodbye and this year was no exception. We transitioned this year from a less formal program to an AmeriCorps summer associates program and were grateful to work with Sugan, Anna, and Jacob for ten weeks. Our good friend Emily also came to join us for the summer between semesters of grad school and she helped out immensely with special events, including a thank you dinner and house blessing for all those who helped with the community house renovation in the spring. Even though it’s always hard to say goodbye, we’re so very thankful for all of the friends who have brought a fresh perspective to our work in Three Rivers and thrown in their energy alongside ours to lift up the gifts of our community!

Thank you dinner for 208 volunteers
Concerning resurrection

Concerning resurrection

April has been a big month for working on the new community house as we anticipate moving day in May. Thankfully, a whole crew of people from our church have volunteered to pitch in, including skilled trades people. The house was converted to a bed and breakfast at some point, so most of the bedrooms have a bathroom attached, but only one bathroom was in working order. We actually ended up demolishing that bathroom to combine it with another one and create a wheelchair-accessible bathroom on the main floor. Besides that one, we got three other bathrooms up and running as well. Removing old wallpaper and putting a fresh coat of paint on most of the main floor has made a huge difference. This house is going to make a wonderful space for overnight hospitality and group gatherings.

Painting at 208, the *cino community house

We also celebrated Easter this month, which is an important holiday for us. Nearly every year, we attend the Easter vigil at St. Gregory’s Abbey, which is a Benedictine monastery just west of Three Rivers. The service starts at 11pm with readings of Bible stories leading up to the life of Jesus. At midnight, the bells ring, the lights come up, and we celebrate the first communion of Easter together, followed by a delightfully subdued party (remember, this is hosted by monks who are usually in bed by 8:30pm every night!). Then we head home around 2:00 a.m. to catch some sleep before driving to northwest Indiana to spend time with both sides of our family.