Abode Village View – Month of March

Abode Village View – Month of March

Update from the Executive Director – Al Bellenchia

Dear Friends,


The seasons are changing.  We have passed from winter to spring, at least meteorologically, and The Abode is awakening from its annual seasonal slumber.

While the environmental signs of renewal are still gestational, there are many physical actions and activities in full flower:


  • Our Ecology “tree crew” has taken advantage of our late February thaw to begin work on pruning and removing trees around campus, to maintain a safe and secure environment for all.
  • We have this week completed work on mitigating long-standing moisture issues in Quddus (our Meditation Hall) and Fattah, thanks to generous gifts from two organizations with a history of supporting the Abode. Both buildings should now be more hospitable, environmentally stable and welcoming to all.
  • We are preparing to move Guest Services and our Welcome Center from Vakil to the Barn, which will shift traffic away from the central courtyard, so we can renew and better maintain that area. The new locus of welcoming visitors and guests at the Abode will be at the upper portion of campus.  The new welcome space will hold an expanded store, reception and seating area, and other amenities.
  • The creation of a new café, directly across from the Barn, is underway, with an anticipated opening around May 1.
  • We are building an active calendar of Sufi retreats, workshops and visiting teachers. Please check our calendar and programs pages for more information.  Teachers scheduled at present include Pir Zia, Taj Inayat, Himayat Inayati, Muinuddin Smith and Kainat Norton Smith, and Wahhab and Batina Sheets with others in progress.
  • We also have already booked a more active calendar of events at our Mountain Camp than in recent years. Utilizing the Mountain Camp more often is one of our key goals for 2018 and beyond.
  • Members of the Shaker Village Work Group will return to campus. We are delighted to be welcoming back our predecessors for a reunion at “South Family” in September.


The progress we are making is the work of many hands and hearts, as it has always been.  We are especially grateful for a small number of benefactors who have further assisted us in building a bridge to the future.

As we have written and spoken about over the past months, our financial situation remains challenging.  We are pursuing initiatives that are designed to provide the focus, direction and purpose we need to call others to our community and create the sustainability we need to achieve.  We look forward to sharing these plans with you later this month and will be holding a Town Hall community meeting on Thursday, March 22 at 7:00 pm.  The meeting will be held at the Abode and will be streamed live online.  Please mark your calendars.  Details will be coming in the near future.


With gratitude and in appreciation,


Update from Ecology & Grounds – Evan Thaler-Null

It’s maple season! Cold nights and warm days bring sweet maple sap and Mt. Lebanon Gold Maple Syrup — produced by Wali McIlvane in collaboration with the Abode forests, myself, and a handful neighborhood helpers all tending the fire. Check out this year’s crop in the front office!

Elsewhere on campus, much needed tree work is being attended to. Evan Young and I have been removing dying, dangerous, and nuisance trees from around the Retreat Field and Main campus. Many beautiful views, trails, and fields are being opened up while simultaneously producing great firewood which will be marketed to our local community.

The chickens are laying lots of eggs! Longer and warmer days have provided a big boost in egg laying, and we have loads of delicious farm eggs for sale in Rezak!

Update from Maintenance Wajid Jackson

As Spring rapidly approaches the Maintenance department will be focused on projects to make ready for our upcoming season. Finishing jobs put on hold for the winter, upgrades and repairs, fixing damage associated with moving snow and ice, another upgrade on Razzaq basement cooler, creating conveyage for diesel to run our generator for the Mtn Camp, getting the spare diesel generator up and running for emergencies, as well as, repairs on our dear Khidr the truck. Gotta get back to work. Be well out there and come see us!

Update from the Kitchen – Evan Young

The kitchen continues to be as active as ever through the last weeks of winter. We’ve been enjoying lots of Abode Farm veggies and fresh eggs from our hens. If you haven’t heard, our Eggs are now available for purchase. For now, you can find the eggs in the top shelf of the little cooler in the Rezak dinning room. Please pay by cash or check into the little box on top of cooler. Eggs are $6/dozen and we appreciate your egg carton donations.

Update from Programs – Topaz Ross Kelso

Over the past month we added a new program to the calendar and finished most of the back-end work necessary for rolling out the 2018 programs. We continue to plan smaller community-based events alongside our rentals and larger programs, so let us know if you want to get involved! We hope to see more local and community-sourced events this summer, and we hope to see you at them.

Abode Weekly Village View

Upcoming Week’s Events

Tuesday, March 6
– 6:00pm Community Dinner – Razzaq Dining Room
– 7:00pm Philosophy of Spirituality Discussion Group – Razzaq Library

Thursday, March 8
– 6:00pm Community Dinner – Razzaq Dining Room
– 7:00pm Message Class with Yaqin – Meditation Hall (Quddus)

Sunday, March 11
– 11:00am Universal Worship with Nur – Meditation Hall (Quddus)
– 12:30pm Sunday Brunch – Razzaq Dining Room


Upcoming Programs

Celebrate the Holy: Passover with Aziz Kommel, Retreat with Yaqin Aubert and María Christina Fernandez, Easter Sunday

Friday, March 30 – Sunday, April 1


Retreat with Yaqin Aubert and María Christina Fernandez

Saturday, March 31

In this one day retreat we will explore the lives of Moses, Miriam, Mary and Jesus through spiritual practices of contemplation, stories, sacred sound and the power of the breath. We will go into the effacing of the “little self”, so that the “True Self” may more fully be realized, and share the practice of “Remembrance”, zikr.


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!