Homemaking, Community Building: Inner & Outer Aspects of Home Life

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In January 2020 the Camphill Academy hosted a Continuing Education workshop in partnership with the Camphill Association. This year’s Homemaking, Community Building workshop explored the inner and outer aspects of home life in the Camphill movement and beyond. There were 40 participants in the 3-day workshop with a broad range of experience in the task of homemaking and community building.

I asked 3 young men in my house what living in a house community means to them. The answers I received were:
“We all take care of each other.”
“It means to be a part of it.”
“It is my home.”
For the young volunteer experiencing a life-sharing house community for the first time–I know it was like this for me–your first thought in the morning might not be about yourself, but about the other…You might grow into being able to see the world from their perspective, you gain empathy….

The House becomes a home if I become invested in it.

…To work towards a future I need to lift my head up – take in what is around me, engage with the other, make room for experiences , recognize my relationship and responsibility to my earthly and spiritual existence.

Sabine Steen, “Whose House it in Anyways?” Presentation given at Homemaking, Community Building: Inner & Outer Aspects of Homelife. January 2020, Hudson NY.

Over three days, participants explored topics as diverse as:

  • Homemaking and Community building in an urban setting
  • The importance of biography
  • Homemaking as a social and spiritual deed
  • and the central question that lives with so many in the world today: “whose home is this anyways?”

The workshop concluded with sharing best practices from the perspective of homemaking & community building as a vocation.

“We work together. We make stars for the Holy Nights. We clean dishes and floors and we play chess. We are a household.”
Glimpses of the homemaking, community building impulse in a shared apartment.

Many thanks to Camphill Communities Triform for hosting us during this wonderful event.

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