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Sister Frances, like the other Shakers, always hoped new members would join the community and welcomed visitors. At one Sunday meeting two summers ago, she rose to her feet and beamed as she looked at between one and two dozen visitors.

“It is so gratifying to look around this room and see it filled with so many people,” she said. “You will always, always find a place of love here.”

Sister Frances Ann Carr, One of the Last Three Shakers, Dies at 89 - The New York Times

May you "shake" forever, Sister!

Dianne considered becoming a Roman Catholic nun; she married me instead.  And i admired her at least as much for her intention as i loved her for her choice.  Being a nun would have been easier, at least for the first 20+ years,  Intentional communities have always fascinated me and have earned my respect for trying to live an ideal social life in this fabricated illusion we choose to call the "real world"

Groups cannot survive the illusion unless they become institutionalized in which case they become too much a part of the illusion.  Intentional communities do not survive unless they are they are connected to and subservient to larger, more powerful organizations, usuallly religions. Groups that try to remain indepent usually have short lives.  Students of these so=called "cults" consider them successful if they last 25 years or more.

Sabbathday Lake, Maine, one of a dozen+ plus U.S. communities of the United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearance* was established in 1783.  Jesus is supposed to have said that wherever two or three are gathered together in his name, he would be there.  Well, one of the three is gone.  A seventy-eight-year-old woman and a man in his eighties remain.  Shake on Shakers!

* Evidently Christ did return in the late 18th century in the form of the neurotic, battered housewife, Ann Lee.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 7th, 2017 03:58 pm (UTC)
When I took the required class in US history as a high school junior our teacher, who was usually reliable about things*, said there were just two Shakers left, sisters in their seventies.

*Though he did say that Queen Anne (Stuart) spent her time closeted with a bottle.
Jan. 7th, 2017 05:21 pm (UTC)
Your teacher was probably as correct as he knew how to be. The Shakers seem to have this remarkable ability to not quite die out. However it does now appear that, unless the two remaining Shakers change the rules for membership, there will be on possibility of new members to replace them.

As a celebate religious group, they could, but no longer can adopt abandoned or orphaned children - and they no longer accept adult converts. So nearly all sources of new members are closed.
Jan. 7th, 2017 10:46 pm (UTC)
No adult converts! Well, that is a stopper!
Jan. 7th, 2017 11:01 pm (UTC)

The membership list and the documents required by prospective members have "been locked away forever." said the last formal leader of the group.
Jan. 8th, 2017 12:05 am (UTC)
Well, that's suicide, then.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )



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