Abode Village View – Month of September

Abode Village View – Month of September

Letter from Board Chair – Gabriel Steadman

Dear Friends of the Abode,


The calendar says it is still summer but anyone who has ever lived year round at the Abode or been to a Labor Day retreat knows that September brings another reality. Our warm days of summer are waning to be followed by cooler fall weather, then winter, and so on. Year after year, four seasons each with their own personality and purpose. Some traditions hold all sentient beings are like the seasons on this wheel of life, death and rebirth. Others take a different view. Sufis embrace each and cherish what they have to teach.


The Abode is in the midst of its Annual Summer Appeal and needs your contribution to maintain that which we have built over these past forty years on the slopes of Mt. Lebanon. All that it has been, is, and will be, is dependent on having sufficient funds to weather another winter when residency and programs decline; to have seed money for starting up in the spring; to have enough for the unexpected during our summer programming season; and to prepare for the coming year when autumn’s cool nights and brisk days remind us of what comes next.


Whether you subscribe to a cyclical or progressive dynamic, or something in between, the Abode has been here for you as a place of refuge and retreat, of comfort and shelter, of nature and nurture. Now the Abode needs your financial help to get through another year. Without donations the Abode will simply be unable to continue year after year, or progress to its potential. Please give as generously as you can so we may do both.


Thank you for your support.

Letter from our Executive DirectorAl Bellenchia

Dear Friends,


As I compose this letter, the Abode community is engaged in quiet but meaningful activity and planning, working in these pre-Labor Day days to advance our campus restoration projects.


Paving the road forward

A road crew from the Town of New Lebanon is finishing paving a significant portion of Shaker Road leading into the Abode and down Chair Factory Road, which is a blessing indeed, and complements the work we are engaged in to revivify the current entrance to our campus.

The guests coming to the Abode this fall will be witness to many wonderful changes in progress, thanks to our staff, residents, volunteers and your ongoing support.

Work has begun, under the guidance of our Maintenance Manager, Wajid Jackson, on rebuilding the overhang on Razzaq’s second floor entryway, in advance of repainting the building later this fall.

Volunteers will be similarly working on our Vakil administrative office building this weekend to further the restoration of the main entryway we call Abode Road One.

Rehabilitating and repurposing of structures (the Barn, Inayat Manzil, residences) for more flexible use by our community and programs, is also in initial stages.


Programs and progress

As I write this, we are preparing to hold Universal Worship and a community brunch on the Mountain – weather permitting. For all who have been to our Mountain Camp can attest, this second Abode campus has palpable spirituality that radiates throughout its paths, structures and forests, as well as its sacred sites.

Utilizing the Mountain more often is one of the pillars of our operating plan for growing activity at the Abode.  This year, we have invested in rehabilitating many of the cabins and huts, as well as other structures, to ensure that they are secure and hospitable.  In 2017, the Mountain saw nearly a 50% increase in activity. We will be making additional investments in upgrading the facilities on the Mountain, to attract more programs throughout the operating season.

We have recently added programs to the main campus this fall, including a Sufi Qawwali concert with Fanna-fi-Allah, Healers Retreat and concert, and a farm-ecology discussion on “Dirt and the Soul of Soil.”


Honoring our Community

In October, we will be holding our second annual Abode Weekend, a celebration of our heritage and community, and all who work to continue the vision of our founders in building a sanctuary for those seeking a better world.

The revival and renewal of the Abode is still very much a work in progress, and still not a certain success.  We depend on your financial support to help us build the bridge to a sustainable future.

Please donate today to our Summer Appeal, as we move into the last month of our annual fundraising effort.


Blessings to all,

Abode Weekly Village View

Tuesday September 5
6:00pm Community Dinner – Razzaq (Rezak) Dining Room

Wednesday September 6
5:00pm Ziraat Full Moon Lodge – Abode Herb Garden
7:00pm Healing Class and Circle with Regina Jemila Walther and Nizam Ash – Abode Library

Thursday September 7
6:00pm Community Dinner – Razzaq (Rezak) Dining Room
7:00pm Message Class – Quddus (Meditation Hall)

Sunday September 10
11:00am Universal Worship with Aimée Brodeur Johnson – Quddus (Meditation Hall)
12:30pm Sunday Brunch – Razzaq (Rezak) Dining Room