A Wednesday at Brent House

Thursday, October 4, 2007

This past Wednesday morning was pretty quiet, and I was able to get some desk work done. Around noon, however, I wandered downstairs thinking I needed to set up for Afternoon Tea, and there was Emily, already getting the coffee made. The rest of the afternoon was a steady flow of people coming in, chatting, eating a bit, studying. By the time I left in the late afternoon to run errands, Charlie & Maggy were going through the food cupboard, tossing what was too old to use, detecting what some mystery jars held (including a Tanqueray bottle that certainly did not contain gin -- but that’s another post), listing what staples we needed to have on hand for our Sunday night cooks.

I returned to the house around 5:40 to find Melissa and Tammy cooking their hearts out (some really delicious pasta with sage and walnuts, and corn chowder--yum!) in preparation for the evening’s Dinner and Conversation with Martha Nussbaum. Within 10 minutes the doorbell began to ring and people began to arrive. David was incredibly hospitable, introducing himself and making sure that people had places to sit. We had around 45 people for the event, which was quite informative, with some great discussion.

We were still in full swing a little before 8 pm, when our diocesan convention delegates and alternates (the first students ever to represent Brent House at convention) arrived. They sat in the dining room (along with some some other interested folks) to talk about the nominees for bishop. In true U of C style, they engaged the nominee’s essays with a critical eye, looking for the contexts and subtexts, asking probing questions. That’s where I left them sometime near 9 pm. I am so impressed with the care they are taking in preparing for this election.

Not all days are this full at Brent House, but it’s becoming more common. All of the members of the Brent House community--residents, peer ministers, board, Casey the canine minister--want the house to be a place where people feel welcomed and can connect with each other, rest and be refreshed. Thanks to their dedication, it’s happening!