Re: Question: Religious/spiritual practices
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2018 11:10:50 -0700 (PDT)
Thank you to Kathy for writing such a nice statement (copied below). I think it 
should be preserved somewhere for new communities to adopt. We came to the same 
thing after a few years of contention. Holiday celebrations depend on a person 
to organize them but all holiday celebrations are welcome.

> I'm particularly interested in how this related to common meals given the
> practice in many religions of praying prior to eating.

Praying before eating comes closer to observing religious practices in “public” 
like the experience we had with Quaker and Friday night Shabbat services. We 
have an open CH so all these are taking place while other people get their 
mail, go to the kids room, cook dinner, etc. I don’t know how many people felt 
this way but some felt uncomfortable walking by a religious service and not 
participating or acknowledging it. At least whispering or not talking at 
all—and this isn’t normal in the CH. Both groups stopped meeting there — 
perhaps they were uncomfortable too.

Praying can be done quietly, even silently. We have had residents who routinely 
bowed their heads a moment before eating. One couple who clasped hands. Both 
were quick and hardly noticeable.

Having been raised in the protestant tradition, I stop whatever I’m doing when 
people are praying. To not do so would feel disrespectful. But at the same 
time, I would not like to be frozen by a long prayer, amens, and obvious hand 
clasping in air.

I think the best way to explore this is what are other people supposed to do 
while you pray, and are they comfortable doing that? Is it possible to ignore 
you? Does it go on so long that everything else has to stop for an obvious 
period of time? Are you imposing on others? How do Jewish members feel about 
being subjected to Christian prayers. Two women organized a lovely celebratory 
Christmas dinner, except that they passed out hymns that were too obviously 
Christian. Everyone is welcome at all of the celebrations but they usually 
don’t require doing anything that requires worship.

I’m reminded of discussions here in the 1990s about polyamory and making it 
obvious in the CH. I think it is fortunate that that seems to have passed on.

Takoma Village

> On Sep 5, 2018, at 1:01 PM, Kathy Tymoczko <kathy.tymoczko [at]> 
> wrote:
> We don't have any official policy at Daybreak, but we celebrate any
> holidays, traditions, etc. that anyone wants to celebrate.  One of the
> statements in our Vision Statement says "Welcoming, honoring and sharing a
> diversity of experience, wisdom, heritage, beliefs and spiritual paths".
> We've had Passover seders (with readings), Chinese New Year dinners, a
> sukkah on the lawn with dinners held inside it, Thanksgiving, Easter, and
> Christmas potlucks.  We always have an expedition to cut down a Christmas
> tree for the Common House, and then an afternoon of cookie baking,
> decorating, eating, tree decoration making, tree decorating, carol
> singing.  We usually have a menorah or two in the great room in our Common
> House during Hanukkah.  We've had a Swedish midsummer celebration with
> flower wreaths and maypole and Swedish food.  We always do a winter
> solstice dinner with a light extinguishing/relighting ceremony where people
> talk about the endings and beginnings in their lives.  It's pretty much up
> to individuals who care about a tradition to organize whatever events they
> care about.
> On Tue, Sep 4, 2018 at 1:41 PM, Muriel Kranowski <murielk [at]> wrote:
>> It just doesn't come up / isn't addressed here. From a practical
>> standpoint, since there's a good-sized contingent of people going to church
>> on Sunday morning, it's very rare for anything to be scheduled on Sunday
>> morning or midday, but I don't think that's the kind of thing you're asking
>> about.
>>    Muriel @ Shadowlake Village
>> On Tue, Sep 4, 2018 at 10:44 AM, Karen Gimnig <gimnig [at]> wrote:
>>> This is a "help with content for the new website" request.
>>> Given that most cohousing communities include members from a variety of
>>> religious and spiritual traditions, I'm curious how these are expressed,
>>> honored, addressed.
>>> I'm particularly interested in how this related to common meals given the
>>> practice in many religions of praying prior to eating. Happy to gather
>>> thoughts on other aspects of religious or spiritual practice as well.
>>> Hoping to get a variety of stories and examples.
>>> In Community,
>>> Karen Gimnig
>>> Professional Facilitator
>>> 678-705-9007
>>> _________________________________________________________________
>>> Cohousing-L mailing list -- Unsubscribe, archives and other info at:
>> _________________________________________________________________
>> Cohousing-L mailing list -- Unsubscribe, archives and other info at:
> -- 
> Kathy Tymoczko
> Daybreak Cohousing <>
> Portland, Oregon
> 765-307-1083
> _________________________________________________________________
> Cohousing-L mailing list -- Unsubscribe, archives and other info at:

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