Read Paul Born's latest book:
Read Paul Born's latest book:
When Paul Born asked me to blog I was surprised but ready to accept the challenge. He advised me to “find my voice” in order to write engaging pieces. Finding your voice he said is developing an understanding and appreciation for the various aspects that shape your personality, thought process and values.
I’ve given some thought to what my voice is, trying to determine the perspective my blogs. I suppose all of my blogs are part of the journey in which the “voice” is developed and I hope that, while my voice becomes clearer, the journey never ends as we explore new ideas and look at old ideas with different angles.
I will start at the beginning. I was born and raised in an intentional community (another term is commune, but I tend to avoid using it because of the many negative connotations). The community is called Jubilee Partners and is a Christian service community in Georgia (the state) and I lived for 16 years there. Its main area of emphasis is assisting refugee from war torn countries transition into life in the United States. The backbone endevours include teaching English and introducing the newcomers to the new culture and environment.
Of course any organization could facilitate such a programme but what makes Jubilee special is the intentionality of the work. The members of the community live on the same property as the refugees and we share together: weekly meals, work in the garden, games of soccer and volleyball, parties, worship and other communal activities.
Jubilee is not solely focused on work though. To nurture the personal lives of all involved, Jubilee tries to create the strongest community possible. Without becoming too long winded I will describe a few characteristics and logistics of Jubilee’s form of intentional community:
There are is no salary. Rather, resources are pooled to provide each individual and family with everything needed for a fulfilling life (which is largely not material in my own experience). Lunch and supper are both communal and held in a large central building. All vehicles are shared and one may simply sign one out on a chalk board. Every family or individual has their own house or apartment. Work is divided according to particular interests and skills but all take turns cooking and cleaning. Some days a morning is set aside for the whole community to work together whether that be in the garden together or assembling, stamping and addressing newsletters.
In short, the intentionality, strong sense of common purpose and simple lifestyle at Jubilee are at the base of the formation of my “voice”. This description of the community just barely begins to peel back the layers that are the onion-like life of intentional community. I could go on for pages more, but I shall spare you my nostalgic musings. Please feel free to ask any questions you like about Jubilee or share your own experiences.