Starcross CommunityStarcross Community
    A lay monastic family,  questing for  the sacred,  and advocating for children.  
 

Life@Starcross

How good and how pleasant it is when people live in Unity. Psalm 133Because we are small and often responding to the needs of others, or of the farm, we rarely have an actual ordinary day. But we think that is how most of the world lives! True, we may have to modify our contemplative life to fix broken water pipes in an olive field, but friends in cities also wake up with a plan for a peaceful day and find themselves blindsided by some circumstance of modern life.

What we can share here are our goals as reflected in the daily schedule, our response to the seasons, choices we make to keep life simple (hopefully), our sense of sacred space, stewardship of the land, and a picture tour of Starcross.

Our Day

It is said that if you wish to know a monastic community you must first look at its daily schedule. It is "the life" itself which is the chief defining influence on a community. When it comes to Starcross it is hard to decide what a "typical" day is. We are required to respond to many needs which cause modifications in our schedule. What follows is the desired schedule for an ordinary weekday in the summer - the reality is usually not too far from the hope.

Dawning of a new day at Starcross

6:30 AM - The New Day

This is a quiet time which is used for meditation, walking, exercise, awareness, reflection, haiku, drawing and the like.

7:30 AM Lauds (Morning Meditation)

We meet in the chapel to sing psalms, listen to readings, the sounds of creation, and meditate.

Starcross Chapel and Bell

8:00 AM - Breakfast

We, including children and friends, prepare and eat breakfast and talk of the activities of the day.

9:00 AM - Morning Work Period

It could be anything and everything: office work, picking apples and canning, mowing the fields, weeding 1800 olive trees, gathering wood for winter, writing, meetings on African AIDS orphans, being available for someone in spiritual need who has contacted us, answering mail or e-mail, preparing a newsletter, tutoring children, work on self-support projects such as making bows for the wreaths we sell at Christmas, doctor visits, etc., etc., etc.

Morning Work at Starcross Community

12:30 PM - Lunch

1:15 PM - A Rest Time

This is usually a time for a nap but it can also an opportunity for music, or reflection, or reading the paper.

2:00 PM - Afternoon Work Period

This can be a continuation of the morning work or a special activity with the children or each other. A couple of times a week it is simply space for simple enrichment in many different ways. For those who are older this is sometimes referred to as "our retirement time".

4:00 PM - Time Before Vespers

This is a time for celebrating each other. In the summer the pool is almost always open now. We are fortunate in having children who love to cook. When they are here, we help them out. When they are not, we wish they were!

Preparing Dinner at Starcross

5:30 PM Vespers (Evening Meditation)

We might take a short walk before Vespers and often stroll through the olive grove where we meet for a glass of wine. With us out of the house, this is often a time for the teenagers to make or listen to pretty exuberant music. When we gather in the chapel it ends the active part of the day. We sing, read, and sit in quiet meditation. This is the time we read aloud from our memorial books the names and a short reflection on the lives of those loved ones our friends have asked us to remember each year. We usually end with a simple communion service.

6:00 PM - Dinner

This is the main meal of the day and the beginning of our exclusively family time.

7:00 PM - Family Time

We usually do things together. Reading books aloud is one of the favorite activities. At times we watch television. The last half hour is frequently a time to share a cup of tea together.

10:00 PM - The Time of Quiet

Without being rigid we manage to maintain a spirit of stillness through the night, unless there is sickness or some unusual situation. With the children, and their cell-phones or iPods, this may be a bit modified! But sometimes they are asleep before the adults. Also, it is not unusual to walk out together to see the night sky. At some point we bid each other goodnight and go to our rooms. Most of us read for a while or listen to music.

Nightfall over Starcross

For a virtual tour of Starcross, click here.

 
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