17 June 2012

A good weekend

Last weekend it was once again my turn to have weekend duties in the community: I and 3 others take care of the meals, lead 3 chapels, hold open hours for the reception, buy groceries, pick up the bread, go with people to church, and try to do a couple of fun activities with the group. Because there's a lot to do (and organize), it can be quite tiring. It can also be disappointing if the efforts made to help others and be available are met with a lack of appreciation for that and/or a lack of participation. Last weekend was the usual tiring, but hardly disappointing: at the end of the weekend, I had the feel that I had been part of something good.

Before the weekend even started, there was some question of the availability of those helping out on the weekend team. I did my best to sort things out so that it would still be a good weekend for everyone. This sorting caused some frustration along the way but hopefully has also raised awareness about holding others accountable in a good way and making expectations for weekend duties clearer for everyone.

On Friday evening, a stranger came in to the reception longing for someone to listen to him and asking for help. I gave a listening ear and could refer him to the Kruispost, where hopefully he'll soon be able to receive more structural (and professional) help for the challenges in his life.

Saturday was time again for more good talks - a chance to catch up with others in the community with things that they've been struggling with and wondering about. Often normal life - even with structured coffee times during the week - doesn't give enough time or possibility for this. Doing dishes or preparing a meal together makes it easier to hear how the other person is doing.

And Saturday evening at 6 was the Holland soccer game. Dinner got moved to earlier and chapel later - and we set ourselves up in front of the television to share some Dutch spirit. The Dutch spirit and orange streamers were great; the soccer game, however, was not so great.

Sunday morning was the final church service from one of the community members who is a pastor. It being beautiful weather, several of us biked out to Landsmeer (a 40 minute trip). We were glad we could be there to support one of our own as she goes through this transition.

And Sunday evening was a barbecue. Throughout the weekend, the cooks kept inviting others to come join us. Much to our delight, various members from the community - at least one person from each of the various buildings where we live - accepted the invitation. The meal thus became not only a chance to enjoy wonderful food but also a way to increase fellowship and to delight in the joy of living in community.

A good weekend thus: Tiring, but very good.

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