by Renaissance Girl  

It’s here.  The holiday for eating turkey and pie and gathering with family you haven’t seen in a long time, and falling asleep after dinner in your chair. The first “unofficial” Thanksgiving feast was celebrated 391 years ago near what is now Plymouth, MA. A small gathering of men and women who had survived their first winter in the “New World” and successfully harvested their first corn, thanks to the Native Americans who taught them what they needed to survive. Only half of the original Mayflower crew survived — half. That’s roughly 50 people! They planted their feet here, and planted their corn….and here we are today. In a country, and particularly a state, with such a great legacy of perseverance and triumph and complete dependence on God. And amazingly, almost 400 years later, we continue to celebrate this day — this act — of giving thanks. I feel moved by that this year — perhaps on the heels of Hurricane Sandy, and the Presidential election, and the obvious need our country has right now for firm soil and trust in God. Or perhaps (with all due respect and love to my family) I’m old enough now that the turkey and pumpkin pie and laughter around the table doesn’t seem like the end of the story. My small gratitude’s of a warm home and friends to share with, are part of an eternal song of thanks. I’m adding my notes to the melody the Pilgrims added to, the song in the air that reminds us. “In everything give thanks, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  1Thessalonians 5:18
Happy Thanksgiving!


See I Am Making All Things New

by Blus Brother  

For a while, as I’ve crisscrossed the paths of our community, I’ve been quite struck by how completely everything has changed over the years. Gardens, lawns, driveways, homes, retreat houses, maintenance buildings, even trails in the woods — nothing is the same as it was. Everything has undergone some sort of change over the years. Often behind that first thought, is something I heard many years ago: that Christ will eventually make everything in our lives new, if we allow him to.  Everything. That, of course, is good news.  Really fantastic news.

Rebuilding the Walls

Over the past months I’ve had the pleasure of watching from my office as a major renovation of the “Jerusalem” house has taken place.  Jerusalem was one of the earliest Community households, and one where many members have lived over the years, so there is anticipation as its “renewal” nears completion, and also grateful memories of life lived there over time.  Privately I’ve dubbed the project “rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem” which of course summons biblical references to Jesus’ return and to prophecy of the final days.  There is clearly an element of joy tinged with waiting, watching, remembering. 

Barn Renovations

The brothers have been hard at work renovating our cow barn. These are really great times for us, all working together to get a big job done. It’s a time when older brothers pass on skills to younger brothers: like digging out, forming up, and pouring a foundation footing; or mixing mortar and laying concrete block; or putting in a new drainage system; plus all the quirky carpentry for retrofitting an old barn. A number of us have spent years working in this barn caring for the animals, going back to the early 70’s when it housed a horse and a herd of goats.  It’s part of our history, and we hope it will be with us for many years to come.

Proud To Be An American

 I had the privilege of marching with Spirit of America Band in two 4th of July parades on Wed.

The band was comprised of present members and alumni from the past 10 years.  For many of us “oldies” (I’m 63), marching in parades was in our blood. It all came back, and there was tons of grace for us to give our all.  I heard a comment from the sidelines….a man said “They really exemplify the Spirit of America….there’s a difference with this group!”  I was so proud to be a part of it, and hope in some small way, we made a difference.


New Isn’t Always Better

Our animal barn is undergoing some much needed renovation. The barn was built in the very early days of our community, more than 30 years ago when several of the brothers were younger than I am now. The entire building has been lifted and all the exterior siding and roofing will be replaced, as well as all of the drainage, and much of the interior. Even now, with much work still to be done, one can already tell it will be a much improved home for the animals. My job was to help Br. Peter install a new dry well.  Actually it wasn’t “new”, but had to be dug up and moved over a few feet for the renovations.  The metal was in good shape, but some of the blocks had cracked. We could have tried to get a new drain, but the old one had served well for 20+ yrs, and will hold up for many more years.  Br. Peter had installed this drain originally, and a generation later, we were working along aside each other, using the original materials given to us. It is exciting to see the new and improved building going up…. but I’m glad for the parts of the history that are being left as reminders of the lives that have gone before us.