Transformed by Service

24 Nov

“I am learning from my newfound friends in room 126 of MCHLC that questions are good and curiosity is even better. Some parts of me already knew this but something about the folks in the room or the room itself drives me to recognize my own curiosity and allow it to flourish in the public sphere.”

This Thanksgiving, take a moment to read more about Steven Simpkins own transformation as he works at Mt. Carmel Healthy Living Center during his year of service through the Confluence Year Episcopal Service Corps program.

“To borrow a line from the latest and greatest hip-hop musical sensation Hamilton, while I am at MCHLC: I want to be in the room where it happens. For me that room is room 126 better known as the space of the cooking demo and any other larger program. The room itself is not particularly awe-inspiring, though the decorations for the Community Friends Thanksgiving celebration in the attached photo certainly add some pizazz and warmth. The learning and profound curiosity I have seen from program participants is what brings air into my lungs. Thanks to the hundreds of people that I have encountered in this room I have learned and relearned the radically simple power of curiosity. Room 126 is where I learn the most about myself and others and seems to be where everything of import to my personal development happens.

day-3-photo

The first program I experienced with MCHLC was a cooking class. The second was a large 80 person cooking demo. That second day was a little overwhelming but was also incredibly insightful. Every single participant was present in the learning moment. Even after the food is served the crowd listens closely to the provided advice for living and eating healthier. Creative, genuine, thoughtful questions are asked with total abandon and people linger following the demonstration to connect with new friends from their common experience.

As an introvert I frequently struggle with asking questions or asking for help. I tend to fear the question has an obvious answer so I hold it inside and think it through if I can. I am learning from my newfound friends in room 126 of MCHLC that questions are good and curiosity is even better. Some parts of me already knew this but something about the folks in the room or the room itself drives me to recognize my own curiosity and allow it to flourish in the public sphere. Room 126 is where I find consistent opportunities for growth in relationships with others, God, and myself. It truly is the room where it happens and I undoubtedly want to be there.”

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