Oct 102014

We’re pleased to announce that the NICA 2014 Fall Gathering will be at Songaia Cohousing Community near Bothell, WA on Saturday, 11/8/2014 from 10:00am to 5:00pm.

Creating Community Anywhere

Many involved in the Intentional Communities movement use the phrase “community where you are” as a code phrase for community building outside of the context of residential intentional communities. We all live in community and we all benefit when our communities are more effective.

In this NICA gathering, we’ll step beyond Intentional Community and explore community building in all forms of community or groups, whether they be residential, within the workplace, churches, political action groups, clubs or any other group. At the 11/8/2014 NICA Fall Gathering, we’ll consider many subtopics within the broad sweep of this topic. Topics we choose to explore will be based on the interests and experiences of those who show up. As is our tradition, in preparation for the event, we pose a number of questions to help stimulate your thinking:

  1. What creates bonding, or the glue that connects and builds community?
  2. What challenges the building of community?
  3. How do you encourage participation in your community?
  4. How do communities weather the storms?
  5. What celebrations, events, or rituals help build community?
  6. What single event in the past year would you want a potential new resident to experience?
  7. If you were looking to join a community what kind of event would you want to experience?
  8. How do you build and strengthen the community bonds in groups you are now part of?
  9. How does working together on a community project or in your job help build community?
  10. How do challenges/tragedies/problems bring people together?

At the event itself, we’ll form subgroups and learn and teach with each other. Those with experience at NICA events know this will be a lively and engaging experience.

Do you have other ideas or questions that you’d like to see considered? Just log in and post them in the comments section below - or bring them to the event.


10:00am  Opening circle, announcements
10:30am  Group discussion about the topic
12:00pm  Potluck Lunch
1:00pm    Afternoon circle, song, Discussion
1:30pm    First set of Afternoon workshop/discussions
2:15pm    Break
2:30pm   Second First set of Afternoon workshop/discussions
3:15pm    Break
3:30pm   Final circle discussion and closing
4:00pm   Community Tour

What: 2014 NICA Fall Gathering, with Potluck lunch and Songaia tour

When: Saturday, November 8, 2014 from 10am to 5pm

Where: Songaia Cohousing Community22401 39th Ave. SE., Bothell, WA 98021 (map link)

Why: To learn, to teach, to do our part to grow a more vibrant, sustainable culture.

How: Bring yourself and food for the potluck lunch to Songaia for the event. Please label any dishes to help those with special dietary, e.g., vegan/vegetarian/omnivore, dairy/non-dairy, gluten-free, etc.

May 152014

Intentional Communities: sustaining and celebrating life! 

Saturday, June 21, 3 to 7:00pm    Free!
20715 Larch Way, Lynnwood WA (I-5 Exit 181)

Ananda Community hosts its annual Open House and Solstice Celebration in cooperation with other local intentional communities. All are welcome. Please come to all or part…

3:00 to 4:30pm

  • Tours of grounds, gardens, homes

3:00 to 5:00pm

  • Live Music
  • Art gallery
  • Refreshments
  • Demonstration of healing treatments
  • Products for sale and display
  • Activities for children


  • Solstice Celebration with guest speakers from local intentional communities

6:00 pm

  • Vegetarian dinner – free!

We hope to see you there!

Apr 292014


Calling all project leaders, teachers, facilitators, coaches, public engagement practitioners, non-profit board members, and others whose work involves empowering people to participate in groups, workplaces, and communities in a more dynamic and effective way!

We invite you to attend a professional development session where you will have the opportunity to:

  • Reflect on your practices
  • Share dilemmas with colleagues
  • Get support on upcoming meeting designs
  • Storyboard events (past and future) to identify opportunities for more effectively employing the patterns of excellent group process
  • Integrate exemplary patterns into your professional life (and start to speak the shared “pattern language” of facilitation)
  • Engage with others who care about these things

We’ll be using the deck Group Works: A Pattern Language for Bringing Life to Meetings and Other Gatherings as our lens. While familiarity with the deck will be helpful, it’s not essential–you’ll recognize the patterns from your own practice and pick it up quickly.  If you participated in the last workshop Group Pattern Language Project offered in BC, we expect this session will be sufficiently different to make it worth your while to join us again.

When: Saturday May 24, 10:30am to 4:30pm. A simple soup/salad/bread lunch (vegan & gluten-free) will be provided.

Where: Cranberry Commons Cohousing, 4274 Albert St (at Madison just north of Hastings), Burnaby BC.

Cost: Sliding scale $25-$150.

Registration: Please register in advance so your hosts can plan appropriately; sign up at http://groupworksdeck.org/event_reg/GPL_Reg.php. If you have any further questions contact Daniel Lindenberger at daniel@smallboxcms.com.

Pre- and post-event Work Sessions: The day before and the day after the workshop we’ll be hosting work sessions for those committed to supporting this work:  growing the language, articulating potential new applications, and promoting and nurturing the project. Some of the issues we’ll be exploring are developing curricula for self-guided study of how to use the cards,  new “e-versions” of Group Works, and outreach activities to spread the word. If you’d like to participate or learn more about this, please email Dave (dave.pollard@gmail.com).

Led by: Sue Woerhlin, Daniel Lindenberger, & Tree Bressen. To learn more about them, check out the following:
Sue  http://www.antiochseattle.edu/contacts/sue-woehrlin
Daniel  http://sourcefacilitation.com/our-team/daniel-lindenberger/
Tree  treegroup.info/services

Come participate! and let others know too: This should be a great networking and peer learning opportunity. Hope to see you there!  Please forward this invitation to other people you think might be interested in attending.

­-Daniel Lindenberger and Dave Pollard
Group Pattern Language Project

Mar 242014

Food in Community

growing, buying, cooking, sharing and bonding

NICA is pleased to offer another intentional community gathering. This highly interactive event begins with the full group sharing, followed by a potluck lunch. Given the topic, you won’t be surprised to learn that some of the food will be created at different communities,. After lunch are two breakout sessions on the topics we select before lunch. We will then gather and close together.

Breakout sessions will be based on our interests – some questions…

  • How often does your community have shared meals?
  • Are you comfortable cooking for 20?
  • Why do we bond so much over eating together?
  • How do communities share cleanup? cooking? buying?
  • What is the balance between healthy food and comfort food? Kale vs ice cream?
  • How do communities use food to celebrate special events, like birthdays, holidays, etc?
  • How do we balance meals for kids and adults?


PRAG House (on Capitol Hill near Aloha)

747 16th Ave E
Seattle WA 98103

Time: 10am to 5pm

Food: Please bring a dish to share – include a label showing ingredients.

Suggested donation: $10 for the day

Parking: Free street parking is available, but time limits vary. Near Prag House, on 16th Ave E, there is a four hour time limit and you’ll need to re-park it during the day. A little farther away, one block North on 16th, between Aloha and Prospect, there is no time limit. If this block is full, you can find street parking one block east or west on either 15th Ave E or 17th Ave E on the same block north of Aloha.

Bus Routes:

  • Bus #10 from downtown stops at the corner of 15th E and Aloha (1 block from our house)
  • Bus #43 and #48 from the U-District stop about 7 blocks away at 23rd Ave E and Aloha

About PRAG house

Prag House, located on Capitol Hill in Seattle, was originally purchased in 1972 by a collective of University of Washington graduate students and professors of sociology. They put the property into Trust in 1976 to maintain it as a cooperative house in perpetuity. The purposes of Prag House are to encourage communal living as a viable alternative to private ownership of property and to encourage the growth of cooperating communities and non-polluting technologies.

We are a multigenerational community of individuals ranging in age from 5-65. Our interests and occupations include cooking, gardening, sailing, camping, pottery, and art. We enjoy sharing meals, watching movies together and maintaining the wonderful home we live in.

Currently we are working on some long term planning and projects, the most visible of which is our yard. We hope to be starting a blog soon to share our effort to steward our property in ways that reflect the values of our Trust Agreement and Use Agreement with the Evergreen Land Trust while also reflecting our personal tastes and values. Other long term projects are more structurally oriented.

Jan 022014
Click on image to view on Amazon.com

Click image to view on Amazon.com

At long last, Songaia, An Unfolding Dream, a “community autobiography” drawn together by NICA past president Fred Lanphear, has been published and is now available for purchase on Amazon.com.

Here’s additional information:

About Songaia, An Unfolding Dream

On a gently sloping 11 acre stretch of land just north of Seattle a remarkable group of people has grown from a simple idea into a thriving cohousing community. Nurtured by an inspiring vision of possibility, a rich spirit life and a creative culture of cooperation, they are living their dream and re-defining what it means to co-habitate sustainably. Songaia: An Unfolding Dream walks us through the early years of planning and construction, the momentous move-in and the subsequent years of evolving together as a close-knit, multi-generational neighborhood. Weaving together personal stories from a number of community members, it recounts the challenges, victories and learnings that continue to shape the community today. Examining twenty years of living together, the book discusses personal relationships, sustainability, sacred space, health, aging and death, group process, social context and relating to neighbors and the broader community network. Written by a community pioneer and elder who spent more than half his life living and facilitating community around the world, this is an invaluable book for anyone interested in community and cohousing.

About Fred Lanphear


Click image to view other writings by Fred on his Memorial Site

Fred Lanphear, a passionate communitarian, spent the last 40 years of his life engaged in building community. It was his Great Work and he left an indelible mark on the growing communities movement. He began writing Songaia: An Unfolding Dream soon after he was diagnosed with ALS, knowing this would be the closing chapter to his life.

Where to Purchase

The book is available now for $10 at Community Bookshelf of the Fellowship for Intentional Community.

Oct 042013

Sharingwood Cohousing Community has graciously offered to host this year’s NICA Fall Gathering, with the theme, “Living in Community.”


  • What:  NICA Fall Gathering, focusing on “Living in Community”
  • Date:  Saturday, Nov 2,  2013
  • Time: 10am to 5pm
  • Where: Sharingwood Cohousing Community (22105 E Lost Lake Rd  Snohomish, WA 98296, about 20 minutes east of Woodinville)
  • Who: People interested in the intentional community lifestyle, both people from IC’s and those wanting to explore the many new directions of IC’s.
  • Cost: Suggested donation of $10
  • Food: Coffee, tea, and soup will be provided – please bring something to share for a potluck lunch
  • More Information: Call Frances Parks, 206-390-5855

Join us as we explore some of the following questions:

  • What is it like living in a community?
  • What kinds of people do well in community?
  • What are the qualities of a good communitarian?
  • Why do community residents like living in community?
  • What is the balance of privacy and community?
  • What are the important annual events/celebrations in your community?
  • What qualities are communities looking for in new members?
  • How does a community transfer its vision, history, and culture to new members?
  • If you live in a community, how did you discover it?
  • If you live in a community, what was your entry process like?


For directions from your specific location, click on the marker and select “Directions to.”

Sharingwood is about 10 minutes past Woodinville, northeast of Seattle, about 30 minutes from Microsoft or 40 min from Seattle with no traffic. If there is heavy traffic it may take up to another 20 minutes.

From Seattle or Bellevue

  1. Take Hwy 520 or I-90 to I-405 (north)
  2. Go NORTH on I-405 (EVERETT)
  3. Take EXIT 23 to HIGHWAY 522 EAST bound towards MONROE (stay on right side of exit).
  4. Move to middle lane of HIGHWAY 522 and continue. After the highway become single lane, go straight through the first stoplight at Paradise Lake Road (hwy 524) past Texaco/Chevron.
  5. At the second stoplight, turn RIGHT onto ECHO LAKE ROAD. This is a mile past the “mile 18″ marker. There is a double yellow flashing sign just before this turn. This is half a mile past the “18 mile” marker.
  6. Stay on ECHO LAKE ROAD for 1.8 miles. Go past Echo Lake golf course, and past Rainbow Grocery General Store (on the left), and go about half a mile.
  7. Turn LEFT on LOST LAKE ROAD. There is yellow sign on the right-side before the turn, which you can see clearly at night. The actual turn is hard to see at night.
  8. Continue on LOST LAKE ROAD for 1.9 miles. The road takes a sharp 10 m.p.h. hair-pin curve becoming W. LOST LAKE ROAD for another half mile. You’ll see the lake to your right if it’s daytime.
  9. The main road turns sharply to the left just past a 15mph yellow sign. At this point, turn RIGHT onto EAST LOST LAKE ROAD (which has a DEAD-END sign clearly visible) and follow it to the end of the road – half a mile.
  10. You’ll hit a speed bump. Slow down there. In a few yards you will enter the Sharingwood Community. The common house is on your left when you get to the first Y in the road.
Sep 022013

Thanks to the 25 folks who joined members of the NICA Board at East West Bookshop on August 21  for a presentation and discussion with Diana Leaf Christian on “Three Aspects of a Healthy, Thriving Community.”

The three aspects are:

  1. Community Glue: taking time to do shared enjoyable activities that tend to generate feelings of gratitude and trust
  2. Good Process and Communication Skills: the ways members gather together specifically to get to know each other better, consider ideas, understand each others’ emotions or upsets, or discuss and resolve conflicts and the ways people talk with each other, both in groups and meetings and one on one
  3. Effective Project Management: the ways a community creates and maintains its legal entity(s); the ways it finances, purchases, and physically develops its property; organizes and tracks its internal community finances and member labor requirements; attracts, processes, and orients new members; and maintains the community’s documents, policies, and decisions

Effective community governance, according to Diana, is at the center of all three aspects of healthy community — and benefits and enhances all three.

She was also kind enough to provide a printed summary of her talk (excerpted above), which can be downloaded from the following  link:

[download id="495" template="button"]

Diana is writing a series of articles in Communities Magazine on sociocracy and will be returning to British Columbia in February. Watch for future updates; we may be able to catch her on her way through again.

Aug 122013

Click on image to visit event site

Ananda College and the Northwest Intentional Communities Association (NICA) are cosponsoring the Fall 2013 Cooperative Communities & Sustainability Conference, November 15-17, 2013, on the Ananda College campus.

Gain more knowledge for your community, join the networking fun, and learn the latest trends and directions for all types of communities.

Conference Highlights

  • Keynote speaker Laird Schaub of Sandhill Farm community leading sessions on consensus & decision making in communities
  • Eco-village design presentations & hands-on workshop
  • Latest in co-housing, eco-villages, urban communities & spiritual communities
  • Permaculture & sustainable agriculture, cob building demo & more
  • Organic vegetarian meals available, optional yoga classes, fun events & more

To register or to reserve a display booth, contact: admissions@anandauniversity.org

For more detailed information on workshops and speakers, including accommodations, see the event page on the Ananda College Web site.

Map & Directions

Aug 022013

0821Diana_ChristianDiana Leafe Christian, author of Creating a Life Together: Practical Tools to Grow Ecovillages and Intentional Communities and Finding Community and current publisher of the Ecovillages.
newsletter will be presenting a talk on “Intentional Communities: Finding Community” at Seattle’s East West Bookshop, August 21, 2013.

For more information, see the East West Bookshop event announcement and Diana’s Web site.
The event is free and open to the public.


  • Event: “Intentional Communities: Finding Community” a talk by Diana Leafe Christian
  • Date: Wednesday, August 21, 2013
  • Time: 7:00 to 8:30 pm
  • Venue: East West Bookshop (6500 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115)
  • Cost: Free


Jun 202013

The Ananda Community of Lynnwood welcomes everyone to an Open House and Solstice celebration from 1pm to 7pm on Saturday, June 22, 2013.

There will be tours, presentations, and opportunities to ask questions about this thriving intentional spiritual community. There will be booths of various Ananda projects, food and entertainment, and tours of the community. The afternoon concludes with a Solstice Celebration gathering from 6 to 7 pm, featuring speakers from other Intentional communities, and a spaghetti dinner.


  • Event: Open House and Solstice Celebration
  • Date: Saturday, June 22, 2013
  • Time: 1 to 7 pm
  • Venue: Ananda Community of Lynnwood (20715 Larch Way, Lynnwood WA 98036, (425) 778-4628)
  • Cost: Free