Abode Village View – Month of December

Abode Village View – Month of December

Update from the Executive Director – Al Bellenchia

Dear Friends,


November was an active month on many levels.

As we began preparing for the off-season, we also welcomed visiting spiritual leaders on two occasions during the month, extending our interspiritual dialogues and enriching our community and guests.

The Abrahamic Reunion was an event of great power, as Sheik Ghasan and Rabbi Mordechai shared stories, prayers and great love.  Grandmother Sasa, who visited just after Thanksgiving, again blessed us with wisdom, prayer and practice.  Both visits were literal blessings.  We expect further visits from these wonderful teachers in 2019.

We also began realigning operationally during the month, to prepare for a deeper hibernation this winter, while creating new approaches to serve us for the next year and beyond, and enable us to welcome and hold more guests throughout the year.  More on that in the New Year.

We accomplished much in 2018, from the creation of the Pir Vilayat Center and Rumi’s Café, to the regeneration of our volunteer and residency programs, to the welcoming of new events and programs, and the continued revitalization of grounds and structures.   We spruced up, cleaned out and made more folks feel welcomed with fresh spirit and energy.

There is, of course, much more to do.  As we look to 2019, our plans include further development of retreats and “rest and relaxation” opportunities; new programs and offerings, and other activities that will attract more seekers all year long.  As we enter our 44th year, it is critical that the Abode continue to evolve: to create new lovers and supporters and provide more opportunities for new and old friends alike to immerse themselves in the energy and beauty that exists on our sacred site.

We will end the year with the New Years Eve retreat led by Aziza Scott and Yaqin Aubert.  There are several options to participate, so please check out our programs page here, to choose and register.


Blessings of peace and light,


Update from the Abode Board – Aimée Brodeur Johnson

Based on feedback from residents at a meeting held last month that the workings of the Abode Board were a “mystery” to many, we have committed to posting an update in the Village View about what the Board is up to.

Perhaps a little background to begin with: the Abode of the Message is a 501 (c) 3 religious non-profit organization and as such is required by law to have a Board of Trustees. The members of the Abode Board of Trustees are: Gabriel Christopher Steadman, Chair; Nasreen Linda Moyeadi, Vice Chair; Mahbub Blair Davis, Treasurer; Aimée Brodeur Johnson, clerk; Sarfaraz Susan Dawdy, member; Huzar Nawaz John German, member. Al Bellenchia attends as the Executive Director of the Abode. The financial well-being of the Abode is the responsibility of the Board both legally and ethically. And to this end we had to make some difficult decisions recently regarding the projected budget deficit, which led to our presenting this decision to the residents and thus to the question of the Board’s functioning, and now to this monthly update.

We generally hold monthly meetings by Zoom, with additional meetings as needed. Our last meeting was November 13th, with all members except Huzur Nawaz present, and our next meeting will be on December 13th. We always begin our meetings with the Invocation and generally end with the Prayer for the Universel.

A major topic of discussion was a recap of the meetings with staff and residents about the furloughs and details about staffing for the winter months. We were very pleased about how well staff and residents handled this very difficult and sensitive change, and at the support that was offered. We feel the needs of the Abode and the community will be well-taken care of during this time.

We discussed ways in which we are working to make the coming year a success with both outreach and marketing for programs and development of a robust and supportive residential community. We are grateful that the Abode has sustained a residential community with a focus on service of the Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan to the wider world, and look for ways to spread this message far and wide. Several Board members (Sarfaraz, Gabriel and Aimée) are long-time residents of the Abode, and all of us value our residential community and our volunteers.

In closing, we want residents and extended community members alike to know that we are available to listen to your suggestions and concerns and welcome your input and support. We are all in this endeavor together!


Aimée for the Abode Board

Abode Weekly Village View

Upcoming Week’s Events

Tara Circle at the Abode

The Tara Circle at the Abode is taking a couple of months off in December and January as the holidays intervene and Aimee is also travelling. Look for its return on the last Sunday of February. Also save the dates June 9 – 14, when Prema Dasara and others will be at the Abode for an intensive Tara retreat. More information forthcoming!


Monday, December 10

– Community Lunch – Razzaq Dining Hall – 12:30 pm


Tuesday, December 11

– Community Breakfast – Razzaq Dining Hall – 8:00 am

– Community Dinner – Razzaq Dining Hall – 6:00 pm


Wednesday, December 12

– Community Lunch – Razzaq Dining Hall – 12:30 pm


Thursday, December 13

– Community Lunch – Razzaq Dining Hall – 12:30 pm

– Community Dinner – Razzaq Dining Hall – 6:00 pm

– Message Class with Yaqin – Quddus Meditation Hall – 7:00 pm


Sunday, December 16

– Meditation Class with Shakur – Quddus Meditation Hall – 10:00 am

– Universal Worship with Aimée – Quddus Meditation Hall – 11:00 am

– Brunch – Razzaq Dining Hall – 12:30 pm

Rumi’s Urs Celebration – Quddus Meditation Hall – 2:00 pm


Upcoming Programs

Meditation Classes | Sundays | 10:00 AM | Quddus Meditation Hall | You are invited to join us for meditations Sunday at 10:00 AM in the Quddus Meditation Hall. For December, the leaders form the Inayati Center at the Abode are: December 9 – Nur, December 16 – Shakur, December 23 – Atayna


December Message Classes | Thursdays | 7:00 PM | Quddus Meditation Hall | Throughout the month of December Yaqin will lead weekly message classes on the theme of Jalaluddin Rumi, the great mystic and poet. From 7-7:30 will be discussion, sharing and settling in, then at 7:30 we will share Rumi’s poems, zikr, chanting, a dance or two. On December 20th Gayatri will come and demonstrate “the turn,” which is best known from the popular phrase “whirling dervishes,” and we will practice the turn. Come and bring a Rumi poem to share. Drummers and musicians are encouraged to come.


Rumi’s Urs Celebration | December 16 | 2:00 PM | Quddus Meditation Hall | Please come help us celebrate Rumi’s Urs on Sunday, December 16th at 2:00 pm in the Abode Meditation Hall. Jalal ad-Din Rumi was a 13th Century Persian poet, an Islamic dervish, and a Sufi Mystic. He is the most read and known poet in the world. We will enjoy a celebration of Music, poetry, Zikr, readings, and sharing of this wonderful Mystic Jalal ad-Din Rumi. All are welcome to come share in this wonderful gathering!


New Years Eve Retreat with Aziza Scott and Yaqin Aubert | December 28-31 | Begin the New Year with a sacred journey under Aziza Scott’s gentle guidance. This time will offer an opportunity to cleanse the heart and mind; to hearken to the call of the soul; to experience the peace that comes from turning within; to return to the struggles and joys of life with energy and a broader perspective. Aziza establishes an atmosphere of sacredness and emotional safety that is healing and energizing. Her humor and common sense provide a grounded approach to spirituality that helps in personal problem solving, inner realization and spiritual growth. Yaqin Aubert will lead the early morning and evening sessions, and will welcome retreatants on Thursday evening. Registration available at theabode.org/programs/582


New Years Eve Celebration | December 31 | 7:30 PM-12:00 AM | All are invited to join us to welcome in the New Year!


Please check our calendar and programs pages for an extended look at upcoming events and happenings. We look forward to being with you soon at the Abode!