Re: Work participation success stories
From: Elizabeth Magill (
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 2020 08:28:10 -0800 (PST)
It's a fascinating way to handle the question of work.

Honestly, everything except our meals and common house cleaning is done by
the "we all should do stuff to make this work" method.

That method was a failure on the building maintenance and so some folk got
themselves together and wrote an rfp and hired a contractor and a volunteer
manages the contractor. So that appears to be working fine, it took 10
years to get there, which is short enough time that there probably isn't
lasting damage to our buildings, although some homeowners were frustrated
with the time it took to get stuff that was built wrong repaired, and some
things will cost us more to fix than if we'd got to it right away.

Everything else we do (landscaping, mowing, hot tub, painting and
decorating common spaces, garden, socials, parties, meetings, etc.) is done
with the "everyone should help" strategy. And it works.
The trick to that working is to not get upset if something that you think
should be done, but don't want to do, doesn't get done. Also can't get
upset that other people don't help you with a task you feel is important.
So it works for me and there are people who feel it doesn't work.

It is hardest on the people who are upset that someone *else* isn't doing
as much as they "should" be. (Which was my personality until I had a
concussion and couldn't do anything for a year and lo-and-behold the world
didn't fall apart without me doing all-the-things and I became, in one
small way, a new person.)

Mosaic Commons Cohousing in Berlin, MA

On Wed, Dec 30, 2020 at 11:08 AM Martie Weatherly <mhweatherly [at]>

> My community Liberty Village in Frederick MD has used volunteer work for
> 20 years. One of our agreements from the very beginning was to have few
> rules and to work together as a community. We expect everyone to contribute
> to the community in the way they can. Our Community Facilities team has
> workdays periodically where everyone who can participates. We never charge
> for meals but buy and cook when it is our turn and eat freely otherwise. So
> far it has worked.
> Martie Weatherly
> Health and Wellness Coach
> Consensus Coach
> -----Original Message-----
> >From: Allison Tom <allisonrtom [at]>
> >Sent: Dec 29, 2020 12:53 PM
> >To: cohousing-l [at]
> >Subject: [C-L]_ Work participation success stories
> >
> >Good morning,
> >
> >I am responsible for pulling together reading materials for my community's
> >reading and discussion group.  This week (yikes! I'm behind!) we will be
> >discussing the challenges of work participation.  So far, I have a good
> >collection of stories about participation gone wrong and about systems for
> >managing and tracking participation
> >
> >Are there any stories about participation going well without management
> and
> >tracking?  Are there communities where the work gets done without much
> >hassle, supervision, or dissent?
> >
> >I would really appreciate hearing from anyone with a work participation
> >story to share with my in-construction community (Driftwood Village
> >Cohousing, North Vancouver).  I'm particularly interested in experiences
> in
> >communities where there is an assumption that people will pitch in and the
> >work gets done, but I'm open to any stories you care to share.
> >
> >Thank you, Allison Tom
> >_________________________________________________________________
> >Cohousing-L mailing list -- Unsubscribe, archives and other info at:
> >
> >
> >
> >
> _________________________________________________________________
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(The Rev. Dr.) Elizabeth Mae Magill
Pastor, Ashburnham Community Church
Minister to the Affiliates, Ecclesia Ministries

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