Community Center Building Report

The building that will serve as the first community center has the foundation completed which is a great accomplishment during the winter since freezing temperatures can prevent concrete pouring. Two weeks of hard work  by Bryan, Chris, and Robert plus above freezing weather during the day has made this possible.

A dining room and kitchen area plus a porch will also serve as a co-working space for about ten people. We have plans for a much bigger community center, but this is a good start. There will also be a small workshop, and a two room apartment on the second story where, most likely, Robert and I will live.

Robert hasn’t told me an estimated time for the building to be completed, but I am going to be praying that in a month we will have a warm, cozy community building and apartment where we can move to and live on the land so that it will be easier to work there, and not have such a long commute (we are about an hour from Fayetteville.)

Send some prayers our way, okay? Thanks!

This Is How I Want to Lead…Like Jesus

This article, Jesus, CEO of the World, inspires me to study Jesus leadership style and emulate it. Reading this both encouraged me and challenged me. In some ways, I already have some of the qualities that are described. In other ways, especially following God’s lead and not pushing things too fast, I often fail. If you read this article, you will know how I want to lead as the coordinator of Jesus Vegans Project.

I have been a leader since I became Treasurer of the Associated Student Body in the 9th grade. Maybe I was a leader before that, but that is when I first remember being able and willing to step into the role. I do remember growing up feeling very shy, but something happened to me to awaken me to what I now see is my destiny–to be a servant leader.

I have done my best as a leader, which includes being a mom, to be a servant leader, respectful of those who are under my influence. Authoritarian parenting and leadership is something I abhorred from an early age. I remember even at the young age of 10 thinking, “I don’t want to have kids because I don’t want to boss them around like my parents boss me around.” I hadn’t experienced any other kind of parenting, so I was pretty discouraged.

When I was in the 8th grade, I was selling soft drinks during some kind of sporting event. As a lowly member of the Refreshment Committee, I perceived that I could set the cups out the way that I saw fit. Bruce, president of the ASB, ordered me to put the cups another way. I did not like his demands, and I yelled at him when he did not retreat. I got fired from the refreshment committee, and I vowed that I would do two things:

  • I would get into a place of power and leadership where I could have more control.
  • I would never treat anyone like Bruce treated me. I would respect their creativity and judgment and do my best not to micro-manage.

I have learned more from leaders I have served under how not to lead. Sadly, I have experienced few leaders who are facilitating those they lead in ways that really work. I’ve read lots of books, studied Nonviolent communication, and simply treat others as I would like to be treated. I continue to learn how to lead effectively, and feel hopeful that with the article that I just read, which inspires me to lead like Jesus did, I can be the leader I have always wanted to be.

I define leadership as being an effective facilitator who can empower and inspire others to be effective leader/facilitators. I am so happy that my children are leader/facilitators. I feel overjoyed that there are an increasing number of people who are drawn to Jesus Vegans Project who feel nurtured by my leadership. Barbara Hulley, co-founder of Jesus Vegans Project, has been immensely inspiring and encouraging to help me continually refine my role as a leader.

I have learned from Sociocracy 3.0 that everyone can be a leader in their own right, and that it is even possible not to need to identify a coordinator of a group because of the way that the structure is set up so that an organization can really flow effortlessly and efficiently. I dream that some day Jesus Vegans Project will be in such a flow, and I won’t have the name of coordinator because we are all coordinating our part of the beautiful community and project that we are joyfully and best suited for. And we are working together as one, lead by the Holy Spirit, connecting to the Father, walking side by side with Jesus–who is ultimately our CEO.

A Book That Could Be A Powerful Guide for Our Spiritual Life In Community

I just read a few sample chapters of Your Best Life in Jesus Easy Yoke  and I feel very inspired. I have ready a number of books on spiritual formation, been inspired at first, and I have not stayed with them.

What I love about the potential of this book is that it focuses on having a deep and abiding relationship with Jesus who loves each of us so much. The practical, time-tested spiritual practices and tools are described clearly. The book can be a study guide for encouraging a group to practice the teachings as well as open up to each other in vulnerability.

I have been seeking a way to overcome my worry, fear, and anxiety moment to moment. We are asked by Jesus to abide in him always. Paul says to pray unceasingly. There are many directives in the Bible that tell us that if we will just connect with Jesus all the time, all will be well. But how to do that? I think this book might hold some powerful keys.

I have long respected Dallas Willard, who mentored and inspired the author of this book, and thus even more credibility has been established. I’ve looked over the website and sense a connection and camaraderie with the couple who oversees the ministry, http://www.Soul

I just started glancing at the blog…and I am definitely captivated. Here is an excerpt from a blog post I am reading entitled “Jesus, CEO of the World”

“Imagine what our world would be like today if CEO’s, bankers, pastors, politicians, executives, sales directors, attorneys, doctors, police officers, school teachers, and other leaders were “rooted and built up in [Christ]” (Col. 2:7), learning how to do their work as Jesus would do it if he were they. Imagine leaders who are honest, humble, compassionate, hard-working, and fair. Imagine leaders who love their neighbor as themselves.

It starts with you and me happily coming under the authority of Christ! “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10). Jesus’ prayer is meant to be answered — not only in a far off age and place, but today. Little by little, through Christ are being “transformed with ever-increasing glory” (2 Cor. 3:18).”

I hope you will check this out and see how you feel about this book and website. I would love to hear your feedback.

Relax…And Say The Jesus Apprentice Prayer

I have been a bit stressed out lately because I want Jesus Vegans Community to be a reality where people are living together and working on all of our dreams. I long for even the simple things like sharing chores and meals. Right now, my main job is coordinating the various efforts and making sure that Robert has his needs taken care of so he can continue to pour his energy into supervising the building of the physical infrastructure of Jesus Vegans Community. I feel grateful for the many ways that we are moving forward as people become more interested and engaged in our endeavors. Yet still, I have struggled with feelings of discontent.

I realize that worry and stress are a message that I need to do something different. Yes, having the wonderful aspects of community that I long for will help me with my joy, but since the reality is that my dream continues to be delayed, my question has been “how can I be at peace now?”  I think the answer may have come to me in the form of this prayer. I hope it is helpful to you. I have a feeling this may be a daily group prayer that we say as a community in our morning devotions.

Sky, Barbara, Jonny and Patricia Connect At Last

What an inspiring, motivating, and loving call that four of us who are very involved in Jesus Vegans Project had yesterday. I feel so grateful to each of these people who mean so much to me.

Jonny, our good friend who visited us and helped with Jesus Vegans project, in December 2016, is now staying with family in Florida.

Sky, who I met in San Diego when I stayed there for a summer three years ago who is as passionate about living in healthy community as I am, and with whom I have been working on various projects ever since I left.

Barbara, my beloved co-creator of this project who is supporting the project on many levels, including supporting me emotionally, spiritually, and physically. We are best friends and so compatible in every way.

The way that this call transpired is a picture of how we are flowing with the Jesus Vegans Project. Jonny and I have been re-connecting, and we figured out that since Sky is visiting Barbara in the Bay Area, it would be pretty easy for us to set up a call. We figured out that there was only one day that all three of had open which just happened to be the day of the new moon.

I have used new moon energy since before I surrendered my life to Christ, and the fact that the moon influences tides and plants and so much more tells me that this beautiful creation can influence our thoughts and feelings as well. When the new moon is present, it is supposed to be a good time to start projects and initiate new dreams. I loved that the four of us gathered at this time…and we didn’t even plan the timing of it.

I spent about 15 minutes planning and agenda and sent it out for approval. I was pleased to see that other people had their own ideas, and as so often is the case with JVP interactions, we were able to offer our suggestions harmoniously and it seemed like everyone’s needs and requests were met. I was happy to facilitate the meeting in a relaxed manner. I think others were happy that I could let go of my agenda as well! We didn’t have much time in advance to discuss the agenda, and we didn’t want to take much of the precious hour that we had to figure out how to proceed…so the fact that things flowed was very encouraging.

Here are some of thing topics we covered:

We started with a beautiful prayer by Jonny

Jonny introduced himself to Sky, and vice versa. They had never met, but were curious about each other. I loved getting to know them better through their introductions. And they connected through that process immediately.

Barbara shared about a radio show she is getting to moderate, and she asked Jonny if she could interview him for one about permaculture. Of course he said yes!

Patricia gave some updates on Jesus Vegans Project. She surprised even herself by keeping it to about 2 minutes!

Jonny shared his experience while he was at Jesus Vegans Community land, and I felt re-inspired to hear how happy he was to connect with the beautiful land we are so honored to steward.

We each shared a “future prayer” where we envisioned ourselves in the future doing things we wanted to do, speaking as if the reality was happening. I was very touched that each person put themselves in the setting of being involved with the Jesus Vegans Project.

We ended with each of us sharing a brief reflection and gratitude for our time together, then Sky saying a prayer. I sensed deep connection, love, harmony and gratitude among us all.

I feel grateful to Jesus because he just keeps facilitating these powerful, beautiful meetings. Now, our tribe is strengthened through the four of us meeting. The seeds have been sown for even more love to grow and flourish.