Last night I had the crazy idea of contacting Twin Oaks to see if someone might like to mentor me in my efforts to create an egalitarian Christian community. I mentioned the name of someone I had met there when I visited thirteen years ago. I was so excited to see in my inbox, less than 24 hours later, a wonderfully detailed response from that same woman. She has not committed to being my mentor as of yet–but she did share some great information which has given me great hope as well as concrete things to do in order to find others who are like-minded.
I think this is a clear and enriching example of how people with different spiritual beliefs can help each other. She has lived at Twin Oaks for twenty years, and has a wealth of experience in community living. Even though Twin Oaks does not have a common spiritual belief system, they have learned how to live in harmony and how to create more time and resources so that those who choose can serve in the wider community.
That is one of the main reasons I want to create a community. For way too long I have been run ragged trying to support my family and be a good home schooling mom as well as pursuing my own interests. Following Jesus is part of all that I do–but I don’t think I do that as well as I would like because of my busy-ness. When I lived at East Wind, the sister community of Twin Oaks, I had more free time than I had ever had as well as opportunities to connect deeply with people. How I long for that life again–only with Christ at the center.
Here is a description of Twin Oaks from their website which is chock full of great information about how they are structured.
Twin Oaks is an intentional community in rural central Virginia, made up of around 90 adult members and 15 children. Since the community’s beginning in 1967, our way of life has reflected our values of cooperation, sharing, nonviolence, equality, and ecology. We welcome you to schedule a visit.
We do not have a group religion; our beliefs are diverse. We do not have a central leader; we govern ourselves by a form of democracy with responsibility shared among various managers, planners, and committees. We are self-supporting economically, and partly self-sufficient. We are income-sharing. Each member works 42 hours a week in the community’s business and domestic areas. Each member receives housing, food, healthcare, and personal spending money from the community.