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The PERIODIC TABLE and FRESH VEGGIES at the Community of the Holy Spirit

Spent two weeks with The Community of the Holy Spirit in Brewster, New York, a community of Episcopalian sisters and their resident companions including Episcopal priest Suzanne Guthrie, and her husband Bill Consiglio.

As their website says, "the CHS sisters strive to live a life reflecting sustainable living, social justice, and spiritual fulfillment. Daily life involves organic farming, (maple sugaring, planting, tending, gathering and preserving food), singing the monastic offices (Lauds, Noonday Prayers, Vespers, Compline), fellowship, "eucharistic living," service to others, and individual artistic pursuits."

The community has done a remarkable job of becoming nearly self sufficient off the land. Huge gardens, egg laying chickens, meat chickens, and the occasional unfortunate deer that has the bad luck to wonder onto their property when Bill is in a hunting mood, provide their sources of food. The vegetables are so fresh and alive, they look ready to leap out of the bowl. And if you have any doubt about the creativity of this community, go to Suzanne Guthrie's rendition of "The Prayer Book is a Girl's Best Friend," with apologies to Marilyn Monroe.


I gave a program for the Community and the board of the Melrose School, a K-8 school on the community property, on "Awakening to the Universe and the New Story." The Community was very excited to share with the Melrose board the cosmic story and ways to teach subjects inside the story. One sister later said that she had teared up when I showed them how to teach the cosmic story through the Periodic Table. She said that if she had been taught chemistry that way, her whole life would have been different, she might have gone into medicine. The door to chemistry opened for her in way she had never seen before.

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