this weekend the community visited the "great outdoors". it was melissa's birthday so we stayed in a yurt in swartswood state park. it was my first time sleeping in a yurt and it was pretty great. what wasn't great was that what should have been a 2 hour drive to this state park became almost 5 hours! with the friday traffic and getting lost a few times we (i) almost gave up and turned around. but in the end we had a wonderful time.
on saturday morning we headed to bellvale community (bruderhof) in new york. they were hosting a day of workshops, conversation, dance, music and food focusing on "bringing it back home". in an increasingly chaotic and disconnected (homeless) world the point was to focus on simple (subversive) things like gardening, weaving, taking care of our children and families, tree tending and caring for animals (chickens, sheep, goats etc) that give us a sense of home - and DIY.
i always feel... well, at home when i'm at one of these communities. yeah, people dress weird and have funny accents (just kidding) but their sense of community, of belonging to a people, is so radical and so comforting that by the end i hate to leave. i cannot stress enough how wonderful and even life changing it is to visit these communities. do it!
church communities international, formerly known as the bruderhof, began in nazi germany and were eventually kicked out because they wouldn't allow themselves to be penetrated by the third reich. they were pacifists and barred the nazi's from the classrooms they taught in. no country would taken them until finally paraguay did. they have since settled all over the world in rural and urban communities. they are anabaptist in denomination and nature and the way they follow jesus is astounding. they would be embarrassed reading this.
anyway, read "homage to a broken man" for their full story and for goodness sake, go visit them!