Aurora Borealis over a winter lake

Winter 2009 Newsletter

volume two, issue two

Welcome to the Community Resource Foundation Newsletter

We have lots of interesting news to share - from this past summer's reunion to next year's reunions (yes, there will be 2 of them), along with updates about the money and resources you have contributed to the foundation, and the impact this has made. For those of you who don't know, The Community Resource Foundation (CRF) is a charitable foundation started by former members of the Brotherhood of the Spirit/Renaissance Community for the benefit of former members with a financial emergency.   Twice yearly we hope to send a similar newsletter with the primary intent of helping us all stay connected and updating you on the foundation as well as other activities of interest.  We hope you enjoy this issue; send us your feedback and perhaps contribute something to be included in the next issue.

Reunion Report

The reunion at Brian's house last summer was a success on many levels, and the feedback on the Circle of Friends group and on Facebook was great.  There was more of everything than expected.  More people.  More fun.  More food.  More music.  More slide show(s).  More dancing - til 1 a.m.!.  More meditation isn't quite the right description - perhaps it would be best to say that the silence was audible and the spirit tangible.  In fact, there were several requests for a longer meditation next year.   

There were a couple of comments from people wishing for more one-on-one time; this is understandable.  Showing up for a few hours during the most crowded and noisy times can be a bit overwhelming.  Those who came early and/or stayed late seemed to find the time for more meaningful conversations; thus, we recommend that people stay longer at future reunions. 

Knowing who attended is a fun way to share memories.  Here is the list as best as we can remember - with apologies to anyone left out.  Alaina Snipper, Alan & Jane Harris, Alan Tschetter, Annie Hassett, Betsy Sullivan, Brian McCue, Bruce Geisler, Bunni Vaughn & Kenny Lennon, Carey (Lamarre) Dubay, Carol (Chi Chi) Carson, Cathy Drew, Cheryl Termo, Cindy Odess & Jeff Lister, Cindy (Cameron) Prince, Dale & Iris Sluter, Dan Brown, Dan Redak, David Ward, Don & Judy Campbell, Doug Taylor, Jackie Odess-Gillett & Warren Gillett, Jacquie Bloom, Jacquie Metelica Brzezinski, Jim Baker, Jim Day, Jim Grant, Joel Taunton & daughter Lila, John Carpini & Eric Hardendorf, Jonathan Haber, Judy (Baylies) French & Carl French, Julie Howard, Larry Raffel & Maddy Webster, Laura (Tova) Sieser, Mark Holland, Melvin Weiner, Michael (Klondike) Van Camp, Mitch Sieser, Nancy Holland, Nantricia Chapman, Phil Dowling, Rachel (Bonnie Goldstein) Miller, Reena (Saperstein) Stuckey, Rob Hincks, Roberta Green, Robin Paris, Sammy Wolf, Sid & Colleen Jensen, Steve Barry, Ted Casey, Teri Kashner, Ted Slipchinsky, Win Ridabock (flute player and honorary member) and 10 to 20 assorted 'kids' (now adults) and friends.  In addition several people joined us via Skype (video phone) on two computers.  These were Rick Crum, Steve Wolfson, Amy Thompson, Kathy Moss, Scott Porter, Marty Liebmann and possibly one or two others.

There were meaningful conversations, fun exchanges, and lots of hugs.  Love was definitely in the air.  In fact, that's what people talked about on Facebook and in the Circle of Friends group - the amount of love that they felt. 

While the planning was done by the board members of the Community Resource Foundation, there was lots of help from lots of people.  Thank you all very much.

And from rick crum

Technology came to GeezerFest 2009 - at least a little -

This year we thought it might be nice to experiment with a computer connection for those that were unable to make the trek to Franklin County.  Brian McCue was [always and forever] kind enough to allow this to be sorted out, hooked up & tested.  Alaina & Nantricia made their computers available & worked with me on many occasions to make this all happen.  Personally, I enjoyed my virtual attendance from over 5,000 miles away through 6 time zones.  I talked to Julie, Michael Van Camp, Cindy Prince, Jim Grant, Ted Casey, Bunni [yay], Cindy Odess, Mark Holland, Nantricia Chapman, Alaina, Brian, Melvin, Cathy Drew, Maddy Webster, & Dan Redak.  Both Ken Lennon & Dan Brown took the opportunity to flip me the virtual bird, too.  

It was great to see so many of you & catch up on life.  I hope that it was fun for everyone that took part.  

Mahalo to both Alaina & Nantricia; their efforts & perseverance made it happen. 

If you'd like to use Skype someday but are put off by the technology, call or email & I'll be happy to assist.              ph. 808.782.5540

We also continue to encourage uploads to our photo site for photographs, from your own archives, personal adventures or our group gatherings.  Scott Porter has reminded me of the address:


Aid Available

We are truly grateful for your continued financial support, Your contributions during last year's holiday season, at the summer reunion, and throughout 2009 have provided timely assistance to former community members with a critical need.  This has included medical expenses (doctors, dentists, glasses), critical house repairs, a hot water heater, auto repairs, and rent or other living expenses.

If you are in need of emergency assistance or know of any former member in need, please encourage him or her to complete a financial aid application.  You may download it from our website at, and mail to Julie Howard, 27 Buttonwood St., Lambertville, NJ 08530, for review by our Aid Committee. Julie can also be reached at 609-439-2624 if you don't have internet access and need an application mailed to you directly.

Next Year's Reunion: August 20th - 22nd, 2010

Next year's reunion will be Friday Aug. 20th through Sunday Aug. 22nd.   Please mark your calendars now.  We don't have an agenda set, but based on this year's reunion we expect that there'll be a potluck supper and dance party on Saturday night, and a Sunday morning meditation and meeting - followed by lunch.  Music, slide shows and / or other activities will be announced later. 

It's at Brian's castle again.  This year he is making his house available beginning on Friday night for a ‘drop in' evening.  It has been a few years since we included Friday night and this affords people who want longer, more meaningful time together to have it.  This extra day also gives people, traveling from large distances, more of a reason to attend.  People will be welcome at Brian's house Friday evening and all day Saturday and Sunday.  All food will be pot luck; except lunch Sunday will be provided by the Community Resource Foundation.

As in the past, people are on their own for accommodations, and most people have been able to stay with former members who live in the area.  This situation has spawned ‘mini reunions' at various homes over the years - or at restaurants, pubs, meditation centers and even for bike rides.

Please begin spreading the word about this to anyone and everyone - especially those that don't use computers.  Also, if you change e-mail addresses, please let either Rick or Melvin know so that we can update our list.  We are in touch with over 200 former members. 

Kids Reunion:  May 1st & 2nd, 2010

Sean O'Connor and Zach Vaughn are hosting a 'Kids Reunion' May 1st and 2nd, 2010 at Zach's house in Hinsdale, NH.  On Saturday it is just going to be kids who lived in the commune.  No "adults", just those who were born at or had a childhood experience while living at the commune.  This first day will be an opportunity to reconnect and share in a comfortable environment.  On Sunday, it will be open to a somewhat broader audience including families and friends - i.e. spouses, partners and children (again, no "adults".).  The menu will be pot luck and a BBQ, nothing fancy.  There will be amps, drums and a PA for those who want to share music or jam a bit so bring your instruments.  Bring any photos or memories that you would like to share.  There are hotels / motels nearby and plenty of room on the property for camping.  Please spread the word to any "kids" and contact Sean at if you are considering going or need more info.

From Sean:  "All we are trying to do is to provide a place for kids of the commune to rekindle friendships, share common experiences, and support each other in our challenges.  This has nothing whatsoever to do with the commune's vision, religion, cult-aspects, or whatever else all the people who signed on there were trying to do.  We want this to be a safe environment for us "kids" to share how their experience of growing up in the commune has affected their lives - good and/or bad.  We are happy to open this up to "all the kids", we just don't want "fringe people" who are coming to sight-see or those whose presence would prevent people from coming or participating.  Though we are planning on having a good time, we are hoping this can be somewhat therapeutic for the attendees.  As for "Adults", not this time.  This is just for the kids - those of us who didn't join the commune but lived there none-the-less.  Sunday would be for friends, spouses and kids of the "kids" but (again) no "parents".  Zach and I will be working on details over the next few months and will come out with an official announcement with details.  For now, if you would pass the word that we are putting something together, people can start to figure out if they are interested in attending."  

Note, one way that we "adults" can support this is by telling our 'kids' about this - perhaps by forwarding this e-mail.  After all, they are all invited - and many of them are actually in touch with each other on Facebook.  This could be a wonderful time and experience; we wish it much success.

 Community Resource Foundation

The Community Resource Foundation receives contributions from former members of the Renaissance Community / Brotherhood of the Spirit Commune, and provides financial assistance to former members, who can use it.  Over the past 3 years we have provided over $12,000, all donated by former community members, to help those who needed emergency assistance.  At the reunion and from last summer's newsletter, you have given over $3,500. 

The reunion and these mailings are our only formal fundraisers, although some people give throughout the year.  Thus, please consider this an opportunity to give a helping hand.  Donations are tax deductible.  You can read more about us, donate on line, or download an application for financial assistance at .  Or you can send checks (made out to the Community Resource Foundation) to Jim Baker, our treasurer, at Box 40, Newton Junction, NH 03859.  We, and your brothers and sisters, appreciate this support. 

The board of directors of the Community Resource Foundation welcomes our newest member Cindy Prince (Cameron); she has been a great supporter since the beginning.  We wish to thank Susan Sutphin (Spica) who is leaving the board to focus more on family needs.  She joins Nick Carson and Gwen Hotaling (Wynne Burns) as past board members.  We appreciate all of their hard work and assistance in helping to shape this foundation into an organization that matters to many.  At CRF, board members receive no money for their efforts; all work is 100% voluntary

We want to thank everyone who has contributed financially and in other ways.  Because of your efforts, vital assistance and resources have continued during the economic downturn.  We wish you the best for the holiday season ahead, and we look forward to seeing you next summer.  

~ Julie Howard, President; Rob Hincks, Vice President; Brian McCue, Secretary; Jim Baker, Treasurer; Rick Crum, Cindy Prince, Melvin Weiner