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Click on the carrots to learn more about Bluestone Farm and Living Arts Center, our Farm Companion program and events on the farm. Click here to see the video "The Nuns of Bluestone Farm".

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The past meets the present in the work of the Community

Over fifty years ago Sr. Ruth and Sr. Edith Margaret had the courage to break with tradition and begin a new religious community in the Episcopal Church. Listening carefully to the mid-twentieth-century needs of the people around them, they founded schools to provide excellent education for young children, regardless of ethnic background. Today we are faced with an even greater challenge:  responding to the cry of all creation. Our educational path breaks tradition with conventional models, understanding that true learning comes not from the head of another but from the heart of the Whole.

The action of the Holy Spirit has brought us to the awareness that humankind has broken covenant with the sacred trust given by God to respect the entire created order and to live in harmony with all beings. Though many are tempted to despair in these days of climate change, economic uncertainty and growing energy crises, we find ourselves well-placed to offer hope for the future. The essential drive of all creation is to thrive, and by combining the wisdom of our classical religious tradition with extensive study and practice, we hope to share with others the many ways in which humanity can not only survive in hard times, but can move joyfully into new ways of living — sustainably, justly, locally resilient and spiritually fulfilled.

Teaching others requires learning well.  Every day, we are learning lessons, big and small, from God that help us to understand ways that we can best protect all that we on Earth have been given and, as witness to that, ways we can bring that understanding to others.

Lessons from the Melrose Convent

At the Bluestone Farm and Living Arts Center at Melrose we have learned much by listening to God,  and in learning from the Earth itself. Because weather patterns are already noticeably changing, the pepper crop this year was almost non-existent. Even so, we gathered the fruits of a few hearty plants to preserve and enjoy throughout the cold winter ahead. We made hot pepper sauce with the bright yellow (and very hot!) Limons; we dried some Italian Roasters and a few cayenne that will be powdered for spicing up our winter cooking; we roasted Pimentos and pickled them; and we learned how to preserve using a lacto-fermentation process, which not only yields delicious pickled peppers but keeps the food more nutritious and does not require any fossil fuels or electricity to produce or store. We are discovering what it means to live in harmony with Earth by helping to heal the soil and living within the limitations set by the seasons. We take time to sit quietly and observe the beauty and wonder of the land in our care, and we invite you to join us by visiting our photo albums.

As we continue to learn in God's classroom at Bluestone Farm, we need to make some physical changes in order to deepen and widen our ministry here.  We have been working with an engineer to determine what the changes might be, and you will be hearing from us soon with more details about where we think these changes can lead us in service to God’s sacred creation.

Lessons from St. Hilda’s House

To stand as an example of environmental consciousness, the new convent must be built with and include elements that have either a positive or, at the very least, a neutral impact on our fragile ecosystem.  Elements such as rainwater collection, natural lighting, roof gardens and sustainably produced flooring are essential, but have proved to be more expensive than we planned. They now stand to be sacrificed if we are unable to afford the costs required to include them.  Your support can help us ensure that the new St. Hilda's will be all we've dreamed and prayed for--it will enable us to make the vision a reality.

Please continue to hold the Community in your prayers. Your support of our Community and its mission makes possible our service to God. If you have any questions or would like to participate in furthering our work through our annual appeal, please contact the Community Council.