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A thought-provoking look at Hutterite community life from the early 60s. I wondered about the gender segregation at meals, then noticed the prayers before and after. Could it be that, as the literal fruit of their labour, mealtimes are acts of worship?

Comparing the first clip to this documentary made 50 years later, I was struck by the different tone. Some hard-nosed questions from Lynn Alleway, to be sure, and I question her ethics iro the runaway.

Perhaps the observation most troubling to me was their rationale for this way of life – at least one person implied it was the ‘way’ to the Kingdom. Is that really the raison d être? The challenge about journey versus destination is explored in the interesting case below…


TEDx DelrayBeach: Helen Turnbull on unconscious bias.

Interesting attempt at Arab-Israeli community life between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

Hello, Shalom, Salam.

We are happy to introduce Raida Aiashe-Khatib from Neve Shalom, a town that literally means “oasis of peace”. Neve Shalom, also known as Wāħat al-Salām, is a cooperative village jointly founded by Israeli Jews and Palestinian-Israeli Arabs in an attempt to show that the two peoples can live side by side peacefully, as well as to conduct educational work for peace, equality and understanding between the two peoples. The village is located midway between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
Neve Shalom, Wāħat al-Salām

* What I love about working with the volunteers:

The fact that young people come to volunteer, gives me motivation to work with them and feel that I, too, volunteer. I feel like I’m their family in Israel. It gives me satisfaction to feel like their mother. I am here for them. For each request, or problem, they turn to me and I try, as much as possible, to help them. There are a variety of people from many countries in which the English language actually unifies them. It makes me feel good to find an “adopting family” for the volunteers and connect them to the Jewish and Arab youth in our village, and that’s how they are absorbed into our village life. The first thing I do when they arrive, is to show them where I live and give them my contact. This gives them a very good feeling and a sense of belonging.
Raida Aiashe-Khatib

* An interesting fact about me:

I’ve always been interested in the volunteers, even when someone else was the coordinator, as I always appreciated the fact that they decided to come and volunteer. My home was always open to volunteers, as well as having meals together, and conducting many long conversations about our life in the village, that is shared by Arabs and Jews, together. While I was doing that, others in our village observed that, as well as other organizations. Since we have many German volunteers, the chairman of the Germany-Israel Friends Organization recommended me as the volunteers’ coordinator. They approached me, and I happily agreed.
Raida  in the oasis

* interesting anecdotes about our volunteers:

The volunteers feel at home in our village, they learn a lot about the various Arab and Jewish holidays, cooking’ and even medicinal herbs.

The residents of our village hold a strict convention built upon a dialogue, respect, and mutual trust. No side wants to live on account of the other. We believe that together we shall overcome all the hardships, and we do that by having meetings, talks, and conversations. Even if I do not agree with my neighbor’s opinion, we will still maintain a respectful discussion.

We aim at not fighting, yet enlightening the differences, and moving on, to live peacefully. The volunteers join our village meetings, and we translate our talks. At first, the volunteers feel as if they have the solution to our controversies, but one can’t really understand our way of life until one actually lives it with us. Eventually, the volunteers are left with a sense of understanding, respect, and appreciation for our way of life.

Usually the volunteers will work in the village guest house, construction, swimming pool, the Spiritual Interfaith Center, The School for Peace, the Friends Associations, and fund raising.
Neve Shalom, Jewish-Arab village

Most of the volunteers, come back to visit us long after they returned to their countries. They even come back with their own families. Due to their unique and complex encounter with our interesting way of living, many of the volunteers chose to continue on with Law studies, or International Relationships.
A house in Neve Shalom

The primary school, which is an integrative bilingual educational system from nursery to 6th grade, needs double the staff for each subject learned: Arabic, and Hebrew. That’s why it’s double the costs.

If you care to donate or just check Neve Shalom’s unique school:

Did you know this 20th century martyr studied ascetical theology?

According to his biographer, James Brockman, Romero’s spiritual journey had some of these characteristics:

  1. love for the Church of Rome, shown by his episcopal motto, “to be of one mind with the Church,” a phrase he took from St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises;
  2. a tendency to make a very deep examination of conscience;
  3. an emphasis on sincere piety;
  4. mortification and penance through his duties;
  5. providing protection for his chastity;
  6. spiritual direction (Romero said he “entrusted with great satisfaction the spiritual direction of my life and that of other priests” to priests of Opus Dei);
  7. “being one with the Church incarnated in this people which stands in need of liberation”;
  8. eagerness for contemplative prayer and finding God in others;
  9. fidelity to the will of God;
  10. self-offering to Jesus Christ.



The Henri Nouwen Story.

Intriguing thoughts on Christian community.


From Strangers to Neighbors

By Rev. Chris Rice

Dear Friends,

God has given us this day as a gift, and we dare not waste our time by not asking Him to lead us in doing His will. The Word of God tells us to “contribute to the needs of the saints” and “practice hospitality” (Rom. 12:13), and the Greek word for hospitality is philoxenia or literally “love for stranger”. The same word is used in Hebrews 13:2 which says, “Do not neglect hospitality, for in doing this some have entertained angels unawares.” I want to take some time to look deeply into who we are at NLEC, our mission, values, and expression, and then look at what it means to show hospitality and move from being strangers, to being neighbors in our community. But first, let’s pray:

“Look with pity, O heavenly Father, upon the people in this land who…

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Cabrini Ministries is a faith-based / community-based nonprofit organization working in the Lubombo lowveld of Swaziland. Its mission is to provide comprehensive care for those infected and affected by HIV, AIDS and TB in the rural chiefdoms of Ngcamphalala, Mamba, and Gamedze. Cabrini has been in these chiefdoms since 1971 responding to the most pressing needs of the communities. In 2002 all resources were refocused towards Healthcare and care of Orphans and Vulnerable Children.

British perspectives on small, intentional communities

May 2018
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