We regularly meet twice a week to discuss community issues and check in with members. Meetings usually last about an hour and a half. Every member has an equal chance to be heard. Visitors may attend meetings, and we encourage all members to attend and participate fully in community responsibilities.
Our Sunday community meeting is for discussing and making decisions on proposals from members about money and land usage. Our Thursday meeting is a community meeting where we get together to discuss our interpersonal relationships and coordinate events, projects, and visions for the future.
We make our decisions by a version of formal consensus. Formal consensus was codified by C. T. Butler and Amy Rothstein in their book “On Conflict and Consensus“, which is available to read online.
The way that we use consensus:
1. A member makes a proposal, or brings a topic or problem to the community for discussion.
2. Others give feedback and voice their concerns.
3. Concerns are addressed and discussed by the group.
4. A new proposal is created which addresses those concerns. This usually passes to the next week’s community meeting, unless it is an urgent decision.
5. People give feedback and voice concerns about the new proposal, and more discussion ensues.
6. When there are no more concerns, the proposal passes.
Every member must agree to a proposal for it to be passed, or a compromise must be made that everyone is comfortable with. A member may choose to “stand aside” in a decision if they do not want to accept a proposal but do not feel comfortable blocking it. Full members may “block” a proposal, while provisional members may not. Provisional members’ input, however, is taken into consideration as much as a full member during the consensus process.