A Group of Friends: The Goodenough Community was formed 28 years ago by a group of friends who were convinced of the value of community in helping people mature, form healthy and lasting relationships, and learn the skills of leadership. We have learned that living in community can both transform individual lives and bring about social change. Our community has a strong interfaith spiritual core growing from the Perennial Wisdom. The community has not focused on residential living exclusively, rather on living collaboratively in all aspects of our lives. Members and friends currently live mostly in the Puget Sound region and many are in shared living. Some live part or full time at the Sahale Learning Center & EcoVillage, a 65-acre rural retreat and educational center near the Hood Canal.
Members of the Goodenough Community live and practice within a village without walls: Members believe that if ever there was a time to offer to the public the value of community, now is that time. The Goodenough Community mission is to demonstrate the many layers of culture and organization required for the development of mature human beings over a lifetime and to accomplish this with good humor by using learning games. Our world needs adults able to cooperate and collaborate with others to create a sustainable and healthy world now and for future generations. With all the unsettling aspects of economy, climate change, and general societal shifts, the collaborative and supportive work of those with a communitarian perspective is needed. Through involvement in the projects listed below (see Goodenough Community History), members of the Goodenough Community live and practice within a village without walls. This village represents culture, housing, small businesses, resources for mental and spiritual health, and an educational environment for personal and social change. Members are supported to offer their service within their larger neighborhoods and other organizations.
Our demonstration of ways of living, Lifeways, is based on a profound freedom and the responsibility of each individual to play their unique role in the world. Through intentional, experiential learning, we deepen self- knowledge and awareness of our impact on others, thus increasing our ability to be a positive influence in our relationships, families, communities and society. We intend this demonstration of social creativity and service to inspire others, even as we receive inspiration from other culturally creative people. Knowing that happiness comes from learning and serving, we are doing our part for a better world by supporting the development of mature adults able to both lead and follow in good will.
The Goodenough Community offers consultation services to other communities, co-housing groups, and other groups forming around a shared purpose. Consultants are trained and experienced leaders and teachers who have studied community organization and group dynamics for decades, as members and leaders in the Goodenough Community and elsewhere in their professional careers.
Goodenough Community History: The Goodenough Community was created as the first demonstration project of the American Association for the Furtherance of Community (incorporated 1981). This non-profit educational organization traces its beginnings to a collaboration among leaders of the human potential movement in the Northwest. For many years the primary expression of this collaboration was the annual Human Relations Laboratory that to this day gathers people together to learn, grow, and play (its 40th year will be August 2009). For a week each summer, people experience a way of life based on freedom, respect, and the value of personal growth. The Goodenough Community came into being as participants sought a way to continue that experience throughout the year. They discovered that a network of friends and colleagues was essential for sustaining an authentically improving life. Other projects of the Association include Convocation: a Church and Ministry (incorporated 1987), the Village School for Human Development (founded 1986), the Northwest Center for the Living Arts (founded 2003), Sahale Learning Center & EcoVillage (established 2001) and the Village Without Walls, a collaborative venture with other communities (www.aboutcommunity.org.)
History of the Sahale Learning Center & EcoVillage: Retreat property in Mason County less than 2 hours west of Seattle was acquired in 2001. Sahale Learning Center is shared by members and is also used for a variety of retreats and educational and training workshops. Sahale is on 65 acres of cultivated and forested land, with a river, orchards, wide vistas, and an abundance of wild life. As a second stage of development, design work is focused on incorporating more residents at Sahale whose interest lies in ecological living, practicing communitarian lifeways, developing “cottage industries,” and education about permaculture that includes human permaculture.
Members of the community, some already living together in residences in Seattle, continue several years of development work in seeking the right property for a larger shared, multi-generational residence and larger community center in the Seattle area.
The Goodenough Community is seeking people: We seek people to join the efforts of an intentional demonstration community—an on-going human relations laboratory for developing knowledge about community and leadership training for service to communities.
Individuals and families who are interested in one or more aspects of the community’s work are encouraged to contact the community. Possibilities include joining the EcoVillage and internships at Sahale or in Seattle.
The Goodenough Community Covenant:
We are a people in covenant to be our best, to lean into lifelong learning.
As a member of the Goodenough Community, I commit to being the best version of my self:
-By entering fully into life's experiences;
-By giving my self fully to the process of transformation through the expression of love;
-By trusting the good intentions of each one of us;
-By relating to others with respect and acceptance;
-By making and keeping agreements with great care;
-By being constant through conflict;
-By honoring leadership in others as a method to develop the leader in myself;
-By taking responsibility for my unique and significant role in the world;
-By acknowledging the inner and interconnectedness of all creation, thus being safe and at home in the universe.