Welcome to Open Circle! Please check back soon, as we are working on creating a website for our community. In the meantime, feel free to review our info in the Communities Directory maintained by Fellowship for Intentional Community.
Our intentional community is based on personal affinity, which means that persons and relationships come first and everything else follows from that.
Who We Are
Our intentional community is based on personal affinity, which means that persons and relationships come first and everything else follows from that. We are experimental and we embrace change. We have been working at this (under various names) for more than 40 years. We find that the community spirit is powerful and alive and needs to be nurtured every day with caring attention to each other, our feelings, and our needs. We meet every morning for this purpose and to coordinate our action for the day.
We feel that sharing is essential to group living. Some of us share everything – income, expenses, assets, and liabilities. We make group decisions and go up or down together accordingly. We recognize that some people are not ready for total sharing right away and some may never want this. So we have a variety of economic relationships within our community, which we create (and adjust) to suit the needs of those who want to join us. We are open to many economic arrangements. We expect every member to make appropriate gifts of time and money so that we all stay in balance.
Our small-town place is a three-story mixed-use building in Culpeper, Virginia, and we currently occupy the 3rd floor and penthouse. We have rooms, offices, kitchens, gathering spaces, a studio, a library, and plenty of guest spaces. Our roof garden and patio have a great view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. We grow sweet potatoes on the roof and lots of veggies in garden beds all around the building.
Our country place is 90 acres of beautiful mountain land bordering on Shenandoah National Park at the base of Old Rag Mountain. We have a rustic cabin, a hand-built studio/loft, and many wonderful sites for tent camping. We grow our food crops in a medium-size garden. Most of the land is a mixed-growth forest with streams, springs, and lots of wildlife.
We are interested in: permaculture, caring for our environment, natural building, growing food, music, fabric arts, personal growth, play, communication tools, Non-Violent Communication, travel, mutual support relationships with persons and with other communities, and laughter.
We are seeking to grow. We are open to all ages from the very young to the very experienced. We do not want to attract a big crowd in a hurry. We would rather move slowly and build solid relationships. When we engage with new persons, we want to give the time and space for us to get to know each other well, as we take incremental steps toward sharing our lives together. When our numbers grow sufficiently, we will probably form multiple sub-groups based on affinity. We continue to evolve based on the ideas of everyone in the community, which could include you, if you join us.
Open Circle welcomes visitors who share our zest for learning and adventure. We would enjoy hearing from you—if you are friendly, open minded, and resourceful. Let’s start with an email. If you send us your phone number, we’ll be happy to call you.
Full-time members: 6
Part-time members: 2
We use a style of group decision making based on trust and personal affinity. We rely on the strength of the relationships we build over time based on affinity, committment, communication, and actions.
Some of us share our income and assets. All members contribute to the pool by taking initiative to find income opportunities. Currently, our members create income by providing services to persons outside the community. We’re open to connection on different levels.
We expect every member to make labor contributions each according to their resources and abilities. We aim for balance and harmony, rather than a set number of hours.
We expect every member to contribute financially to the pool, each according to their resources and abilities. We aim for a balanced financial relationship, rather than specific fees or dues.
Percentage of Food Grown: 21-50%
Nearly all meals are shared.
Diet is up to each individual (We aim for a healthy diet.)
You must go outside to smoke.
Everyone is free to follow their own spiritual path.
We believe in life-long learning through self-education.