There are many activities that take place here. We share dinners cooked by teams of residents and also have potlucks in our common house. We usually have a few common meals each month. We also meet as a large group for our monthly general meeting, where we discuss community issues, although much of the real work gets done in small groups which meet as needed. We regularly fine-tune our large group meeting process with the goal of making sure decisions are inclusive, cooperative, creative, and in the best interest of the Sharingwood community.
We use a mixture of decision making processes, usually seeking consensus on most things, but prioritizing and voting when it’s appropriate to do so. Our general goal is to seek all the wisdom of the members before making a decision and we encourage all members to contribute without making it mandatory.
We ask that each adult resident participate in a community team and work at least two hours each month on community tasks, which include building maintenance, gardening and outdoor work, social and children’s events, shopping and bulk food management, and administrative tasks. Children are encouraged to also participate in our work system.
There are many spontaneous parties, we tell stories around the campfire, buy bulk food, help each other watch and educate the children, work together on community projects, and generally hang out and socialize a lot. The gifts of community are often small and personal, like when a neighbor brings you a hot steaming bowl of homemade chicken soup when you are ill, a “love note” from a four year old, or always having an someone to talk to about your joys and troubles.
At Sharingwood, the blend of social intimacy and privacy is defined by each individual and is not imposed by the community. Beyond attending monthly meetings, there are no formal social requirements. Community dinner, potlucks, and parties in the common house or outdoors are our main social events. Groups of members often get together informally and share mutual interests.
We have no common religious or political ideology. Religion, relationships, politics, and family are considered your private business and you can share as much of these things as you want.