Village View – Week of February 7
“Life’s picture is constantly undergoing change. The spirit beholds a new world every moment.”
The Abode continues to change and evolve as it moves toward its vision of Sacred Hospitality.
As with many other organizations during this global health crisis, the Abode has been forced to remain closed to normal operations. While running with fixed costs and minimal income, there are sufficient reserves to see us in all probability through this current crisis. Management is also aware that when it is possible to begin hosting retreats and programs, the Abode needs to be ready. To do this effectively will require a reimagining of resources and structures in advance of opening.
To help achieve this, Abode leadership is going bold, and sooner rather than later. To allow for additional resources to be utilized to address our vision, we will be recasting the Abode management team. I am excited to announce that effective March 1st, Michael Khaldun Sturm has accepted a position as Interim Executive Director. Khaldun has been with us on staff and working with Al and the Board over the past five years and as such has familiarity with much of the inner workings of the Abode. Those that have worked with Khaldun, I will venture to say will have recognized both his strength and character.
Khaldun came to the Abode through the Khidmat volunteer program in 2011, and his relationship with the Abode has grown and evolved over the past ten years. Since 2016, Khaldun has held several staff roles, and most recently has been focused on developing the Abode’s retreat and volunteering initiatives. He is a coordinator in the Inayatiyya, graduate of Suluk, and has led Message classes, Zikr, and other activities. He holds a graduate degree in social work from Columbia University and has experience working in social service organizations in both direct
practice and administrative capacities.
Effective March 1st, Al Bellenchia has accepted the great opportunity to be the Executive Director and CEO of Columbia County Habitat for Humanity. This is a wonderful organization and all of us on the Board are happy for him. We also will not be saying goodbye! As part of ensuring continuity, arrangements have been made for Al to remain on as part of the Abode management team in a consulting capacity.
The spirit of the Abode is held in the hearts of those many that have in some manner or form been touched by it. The continuing transformation in its structure is at work to help secure its life and prosperity.
Mahbub – Blair Davis
Chair, Abode Board of Trustees
The Abode is a retreat and spiritual center situated in an 19th century Shaker Village on Mount Lebanon, NY. Each year, the Abode welcomes visitors to its historic campus for contemplative and rejuvenating activities.
The Abode service team is a group of dedicated people helping to tend a facility and land that have been considered sacred since the land’s earliest known stewards, the Mahicans. The Abode’s spiritual and service focus is the basis for offering sacred hospitality to all who cross our threshold.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the Abode has been closed to guests, and has been working on a rejuvenation of its campus structures and facilities.
As 2021 arrives, and we plan for a Spring opening, we are seeking to recruit experienced maintenance and facilities folks to help us undertake day-to-day care and upkeep and to facilitate upgrades. If you are looking to apply your skills and experience to preserving and rehabilitating something worthwhile, and to belong to a service-oriented team, please see the position descriptions below and connect with us!
Thursday, February 14 | 7:00 PM EDT
Join us for this week’s Message Class! This week’s Message Class, led by Yaqin, will focus on the fifth Copper Rule: My conscientious self, do not look down upon the one who looks up to you.
All are welcome to join in the class!
Classes are held via Zoom every Thursday with password: 119393