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08Dec 13

Lessons from A Charlie Brown Christmas

Each year, per tradition, my family watches Charles Schulz’s A Charlie Brown Christmas. And even though the special originally aired almost 50 years ago, I am continually surprised by how salient and relevant its messages still are today. In case you haven’t seen the special, the story features a disheartened Charlie Brown who is trying to find the true meaning of Christmas. He is surrounded by selfish desires and rampant commercialism. In hopes of finding meaning, Charlie Brown becomes the director of the Christmas play. After having a rough time as director, he goes to get a Christmas tree for the play. Out of all of the metallic, shiny and strong Christmas trees, Charlie Brown picks one that is nothing more than a weak, young sapling. Inevitably, when Charlie presents the tree to the cast of the play, they all ridicule him. But Linus sees something different in the tree.…

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31Oct 13

One year after Sandy

One year ago this week Hurricane Sandy slammed into the East Coast of the United States. Sandy has been the second most costly hurricane in U.S. history and was the deadliest Atlantic hurricane of 2012. One year later, staff of the Episcopal Service Corp on Staten Island (including Erin Stumbras, UW-Madison and Pres House alum) share reflections below about where things are today. Pres House will be traveling to Staten Island and New York City this coming Spring Break to assist in relief efforts. Visit here for more information about our trip.  After Hurricane Sandy ripped through Staten Island, destroying about a quarter of the Island, there was an enormous outpouring of kindness and compassion from the community.  Thousands of people whose homes were spared the destruction of Sandy came to the aid of their neighbors who lost everything. Young and old showed up to help clean streets, homes, beaches…

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27Sep 13

How to put together a micro-community

Interested in living with a group of friends in the PH Apartments next year (2014-15)? Want to learn about something new or participate in some kind of project? Want to get a scholarship towards rent and fund for your program ideas? The Micro-Community Grant Program at PH Apartments gives you all these opportunities. Applications are due October 15. Not sure how to put one together? Current student and micro-community member, Cece Olin, describes the process below to help you out: The best way to connect with people for a micro-community is to find a group of like-minded people who connect intellectually.  It is key that these are people who you are willing to talk to openly and honestly with, so before you put a group together or join one, make sure everyone meets and is comfortable with each other. Then comes the hard part, deciding what to focus on.  It has…

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26Sep 13

Why should you go on fall retreat????!

The Pres House Fall Retreat is one of the best weekends of fall semester. You don't want to miss it! Register online today. Check out these frequently asked questions and click here for more information. And be sure to watch this great little promo video! When and where are we going? We will leave Friday late afternoon/evening (there will be different cars leaving based on when people are done with class/work) and return on Sunday by noon. We'll be staying at the Green Lake Conference Center (www.glcc.org) again this year in dorm like lodging. It has great facilities and beautiful scenery. Who is the Fall Retreat for? Undergraduate and graduate students, alumni and post-grad folks, anyone who wants to come and have a great weekend away!  What's there to do at the center? Hike in the hills, sit on the beach by the lake, play ultimate frisbee or other sports (golf, basketball, etc.), arts and crafts, shop for fair…

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09Sep 13

Natalie in Kenya

Natalie Strait, one of the student members and leaders from Pres House is living and studying in Nairobi, Kenya this semester. While we miss her we are excited that she is learning new things and we have the opportunity to hear about her adventures through her blog. Today she wrote about missing being at worship at Pres House but about how she has found a new church family for the time being in Nairobi. Last week she described a crazy story about traveling in Kenya that you won't want to miss! Bookmark her blog and learn from her experiences vicariously. Pray for her adventures on mopeds when you are taking the 80 bus on campus. Think about where you might want to go someday or remember fondly the places that you've been. Let her stories inspire you. Note: Do you or someone you know have a blog that you'd like…

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29Jul 13

Parting thoughts from Student Intern Hannah Weinberg-Kinsey

What an amazing year it has been as the Pres House faith community’s Student Intern! I leave this position with a full heart—full of gratitude for the love this great community has bestowed on me during my service here. At the center of Pres House’s vision is a thriving and welcoming Christian community. With Pres House as the center of my internship, I felt like I had a chance to be a part of and live into that vision. This was truly an honor. This year has shown me that this vision of living and loving together is also my own. This internship has affirmed my calling to work toward a world of true relationships, founded on care, love, and plenty of fun; relationships that are strong and supportive through struggles, challenges, and doubts; and most importantly relationships constantly demanding the openness and inclusivity of others. From the moment I…

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