I went for a few days’ break at the Rocky Cape Christian Community, which was a nice change & nothing like church.
I got to pick up some eggs, helped to slaughter some turkeys, did some woodwork, went for a walk along the creek to the beach, & saw a Platypus.
Break from doing nothing? Well, even that gets wearing, & as well as a change of scenery & people, I got to do some useful stuff (such as untangling a computer which had somehow been set to boot from just about every device attached to it, so started v-e-r-y slowly) & chat on completely random topics with some very knowledgeable people, including folks from Holland, Germany, the USA & Canada.
These people are immensely practical in their faith, & not nailed down to some remote authority. It reminds me a great deal of Open Source: whatever works is accepted, modulo some very minor quibbling.
I watched them help a pair who had arranged to have a baby together, but didn’t like each other (what a combination!) & the bird was messing the bloke around no end. The Community people helped him to remain as quiet, practical & stable as he could (no mean achievement!) & also managed to care for the baby for a few days while surviving many police and social-worker visits.
All of this while remaining civil & courteous with myself and their other guests — most of whome were stabilising from unenviable social situations — & running a chookery, a turkeyry (sp? :-), gardens, woodwork shop, & raising about a dozen happy, well-balanced, thoughtful children.
I don’t know if there’s a scale for measuring the success of communities, but these guys definitely have something concrete going for them. Very impressive.