Jonny Is Coaching Us On How To Go to the Next Level in our Community

Jonny Is Coaching Us On How To Go to the Next Level in our Community

Jonathan T. Paszkiewicz (aka Jonny) is living with Robert and I in our Fayetteville dome home for the purpose of helping us move forward with our community vision. We are commuting to the Wellspring Community land from here. Enjoying the camraderie, sharing of meal preparation and chores, as well as a rich exchange of ideas which are being shaped into a vision is such a nurturing, growth-producing experience for all of us.

We are living harmoniously in community in a small space, fulfilling our value that the way we achieve a goal is as important as actually achieving it.

We have always known that in order to draw more people to Wellspring Community than just our wonderful family, we need to define our structure more clearly. Jonny is using his knowledge  of permaculture design, his experience with community living all around the world, his connections with people who have eagerly received his presence and gifts,  and his passion for loving people to be a catalyst, guide, coach, consultant, and friend in this process. He is doing an amazing job. We are blessed to have him with us! We are overjoyed to discover that he is really appreciating all the aspects of what we have done so far, and very hopeful about helping us create a beautiful future that he is a part of in some way to be defined.

Jonny and I are in the process of creating a proposal to present to Robert, Cliff and Chris, the other stewards of the land.  Mahriyanna, our daughter, just got married last Sunday and is now living with her husband, Josh, in a tiny house on Josh’s father’s land. This helps us define the decision makers on the land. Mahriyanna and Josh, of course, will be connected to our community in some way, and that is another relationship to define. One of the key aspects of creating community structure is to define zones of interactions and involvements. Jonny is really supporting us and inspiring us to define define these zones. Including:

  • People who work super closely together and are committed to living on the land permanently. Jesus Vegans Educational Center will be comprised of such a group, which we will call a think-tank  and family.
  • People who live on the land permanently, like my former husband Cliff and our son Chris who are stewards over about 7 acres of land, and who want to be involved in the community life but also enjoy their privacy. We hope we can employ both of them and their family members so that they don’t have to leave the land, and have a reason to be more involved.
  • Robert, my former husband and father of our daughter Mahriyanna,  has a passion for aquaponics and growing micro-algae including spirulina. He loves to teach people his skills as well as keep learning and growing. He also already has his own living space in the making and envisions lots of interaction with the many young people and people of all ages in his role of coordinator of the various essential areas that will really make community thrive.
  • People who come to volunteer like Woofers and interns. They will have their own living spaces where there is less privacy and temporarily more intense interaction with other volunteers as they live and work together.
  • Participants in workshops, work parties, retreats, who come for a day to a month to learn various skills of how to live in harmony with the earth, animals and others on  physical, spiritual, mental and emotional levels.
  • People who visit for gatherings such as worship, earth-creation Jesus-centered church-like services, Community: Connect! gatherings, neighborhood meetings and camp fires.
  • People who connect with us via our website and interact in various ways including online courses and learning from our writings, ebooks and more.
  • Since I was in the Bay Area for five months last spring and early summer, I have partnered with Barbara Hulley who is excited about creating a learning center and think tank which we are calling Jesus Vegans.  Jonny’s helped me get clear on how we can separate Jesus Vegans from the larger community, yet still stay connected. Robert is passionate about farming, especially aquaponics.
  • With Jonny’s help we figured out that Robert’s role in the community is overseeing the farming, sustainable energy production, physical infrastructure and implementation of the workshop/maker space activities.
  • Inventions that the Jesus Vegans team conceptualize can take shape in the physical realm because we can present our ideas to Robert who has the technical skills tools in the workshop to fabricate and develop the ideas. Of course all the amazing inventors and creators that some to work with Robert will add their insights, skills, tools and creativity as well.
  • Cliff and Chris will be coordinators of about one third of the land, since we co-own the land. We want to talk to them about naming their neck of the woods and defining what their purpose is. We know that Cliff is passionate about writing and helping with the farming side of the community. Chris wants to raise a family after he gets married, whenever that may be. He has many other interests and is discovering how he wants to make a living after getting a masters degree in communication.  They are both passionate about helping this world be the place where everyone can thrive–and in our Christian language–bringing the kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven.
  • Jonny is helping us design the entire property so we make sure that all the areas are defined for various purposes and when we continue our building process we have a big picture to refer to so our decision flow from the big vision and the needs that we have defined.

Here are some of the needs for structures we have defined so far:

  • Metal building with aquaponics and green houses on land below
  • Workshop/makers space attached to metal building
  • Storage areas for all kinds of stuff
  • Parking areas
  • Hugelkultur garden area which is already fenced in and was previously a garden. We have already started one bed and have plans for at least two more.
  • Larger hugelkultur garden areas which can be outside the fence to grow things that deer and other animals don’t like so much like potatoes, sweet potatoes, comfrey and more.
  • Large, beautiful bell tents which serve as temporary community spaces: dining room/kitchen gathering space for one,  and meditation/yoga/dancing/worship/prayer space for the other.
  • A campground where people who visit or who are starting to live here have their own space.
  • A totally isolated area where people can go for silent retreats–short or long–where they don’t have to hear any noises from people or community where they can recharge.
  • A wilderness area where we can have classes on wilderness living.
  • A large community building dome which will be available for public activities as well as learning center participants.
  • A co-housing community for permanent staff for the farm and maker’s space.
  • A place for interns and long term helpers
  • A sweat lodge
  • A swimming hole
  • volleyball court.
  • Campfire area for outdoor gatherings
  • Outdoor kitchen
  • Outhouse/shed
  • Bathhouse
  • Hottub
  • Jesus Vegans members living space and community center–to be designed
  • Housing and dining/meeting hall for learning center participants
  • Large cleared area for outdoor community gatherings and possible festivals.
  • Recording studio for podcasts and video
  • Areas around creek for recreation, ceremonies, prayer and meditation

We are happy that we are in the process of building two decks which will be the temporary platforms for two large bell tents which will most likely serve as community space. One for a kitchen, dining, working and socializing area. The other will be very open for meditation, yoga, dancing and other activities which need an open space. These tents are in the Wellspring Farm area.

Hopefully we can find a crew to erect the prefabricated 30 by 40 foot metal building, the parts of which were dropped off over 5 weeks ago. This will get us almost immediately ready to grow food because Robert has been collecting materials for aquaponics for years and he is raring to go!

We have almost all the parts for the solar system, and we will get that up and running as soon as possible. Robert has the technical expertise to do this along with so many things in his skill set that are so necessary for building the physical infrastructure of community.

If you want to hear more about our building project and other things that are happening, I have posted more on the http://www.Jesus Vegans.wordpress.com

Jonny is helping us realize that Wellspring Community is an umbrella for all the people and goals that are already existing on the land. One of the essential things that he reminded us of is that we need to create a legal structure like a Community Land Trust so that future generations can steward and their children’s children’s children can thrive on this land along with other people who share their values.

As I wrote that last sentence, I realize that one of our key goals is to make this a community where members’ children will joyfully and willingly want to stay. Our son wants to live here, and that is a testimony to our ability to create a healthy family structure that inspires our child to want to live close to us. We envision this being

 

State of Community

Wow! I have not written in this blog for a long time. So many other activities vying for my attention. But now that I have posted this website on Facebook and there is a possibility that people might want to read this, I feel inspired.

One of the rich times of the evening is when our community gathers on the phone. About 4-5 times a week, 3, 4, or 5 of us share our praise reports and prayer requests, and then we pray together. This has been a wonderful way to stay connected, and to witness the awesome things that God is doing in our lives.

About two months, maybe more, went by without us all meeting in person.  We all got very busy with wonderful activities, but I was really missing our camaraderie. I am glad to say that more than ever, we interact with each other regularly. I go to the farmer’s market with Cliff every Saturday.

Robert, Mahriyanna and I meet once or twice weekly for various reasons. Mahriyanna and I often get a night and morning together. Chris and I try to get together at least everyone other week to catch up. Cliff and Robert work together on Cliff’s home. Chris and Mahriyanna serve and worship together regularly up at the Faithful Servants Ministries in Huntsville.

Robert and I have gotten together to attend church services and work on his house. He is often helping me with some project. We are supporting each other on creating a course on downsizing,de-cluttering and organizing.

So I feel happy with all the great cooperation that is happening. Yet I still long to have us all together more. Our family/community circle continues to be the warmest, safest place for me to be. We have all gone through so many trials, coming through them stronger than ever–individually and collectively. I feel grateful to Jesus–he really does a great job of continually bringing us all together under his beautiful leadership and friendship.

It has been difficult to find a night when everyone could get together, but we figured out that every other Sunday night will be a good time to gather. We had our first gathering last Sunday, Nov. 15, and I am so glad. We created a safe space for each of us to be vulnerable and to encourage each other. Yay for community!

As each one of us relates to the larger community in our respective spheres of influence, we bring back to our community the richness and beauty that these experiences hold for us. Even though we have not spent as much time together, now, when we are together, we have so much to celebrate and share.

I look forward to a time when we can be even more intentional about using our varied gifts to serve as a more cohesive unit. We want to have a Land Trust on our 27 acres, and that will definitely help a lot. Learn more about land trusts here: http://sol-stellaloufarm.com/wp/community-land-trust-2/ecological-land-use/community-land-trust

 

 

 

 

 

Our community helps do community gatherings in Fayetteville

I am remembering how wonderful it was when we worked together to make these happen. Chris helped me with the slide show. I love our community. I am rekindling this dream–I actually got to facilitate a community gathering in San Diego and it was very successful.

http://www.communitygathering.blogspot.com/2007/09/my-vision-slide-show-of-community.html

 

and here is more about what we actually did:

http://www.communitygathering.wordpress.com

Looking at governance and decision making in community

I read with interest about two communities that changed from consensus decision making to alternatives that they think work better. I visited both of these communities which made the issue even more relevant.  I  have in the past been a devout advocate of consensus decision making, but this article is inspiring me to take a second look.  http://www.ic.org/radical-governance-changes-in-two-north-american-ecovillages/

A new friend is inspired by our community

I’m in San Diego right now and having all kinds of adventures, on of them being working for a variety of people.  One of these people, I am going to call him John,  told me that he looked on this community website, and that he was inspired.  I shared with him how happy I am that Robert and Cliff, my two former husbands, were willing to work out the conflicts we faced because they knew that it was important for the children to be with both their mother and fathers.  I felt very encouraged and satisfied when John said that he felt inspired and thought that what we were doing was setting a valuable and good example for others.

I love to talk positively about our community. I deeply enjoy extolling the virtues of Cliff and Robert, and celebrating with others how much I appreciate them and their commitment to family and community. 

I feel sad when I hear the horror stories of how people get divorced and the kids are in the middle of a battle ground. Life has been far from perfect for Mahriyanna and Chris, but they see over and over again how we keep working things out. Now they, as young adults, help resolve the conflicts in constructive ways. 

I hope we can serve as a role model for people who have divorced, and give hope to people that they can still be harmonious.  I delight in knowing that we are contributing to the well being of others in this way. And I hope that in the near future we can start adding to our group people who value what we are doing and who share our values.