18th Ave Peace House in Portland

9 Aug


In Portland we visited 18th Ave Peace House. Here we met a very inspiring man, John Schwiebert.

When John was our age he lived in a commune just like many other people did in the sixties and seventies. At some point he realized that he wanted to live with people that wanted to commit even more to community. He gathered a group of people that was ready to commit their whole life and income in a shared community and they bought the house on 18th Ave.

Click ‘continue reading’ to read more.

John and his wife Pat was, and still is, very active in military resistance and refuses to pay military taxes. That is only one of many aspects in which John and the people in 18th Ave Peace House have taken political stands. Some issues were so important to them that they sometimes served short periods of time in jail. Lately the people from 18th Ave Peace House have been very active in the Occupy Portland movement also serving as an inspiration for other occupants that want to start alternative communities.


 Another important aspect of 18th Ave Peace house is that it is a religious community. For a long time it was the house of a church congregation. Now the two institutions separated, but the people of the house still meet every day for morning prayer in which they discuss their personal lives, relationships with each other and their role in society. John defines christianity in his own way. He believes in the religion of creation, in humanity, hospitality and charity and he denounce the religion of empire, hierarchy and people ruling over other people.

In the audio clip below you can listen to the highlights from our talk with John. He elaborates on how to start up a community and talks about hospitality, religion, decision making and leadership in a community like the 18th Ave Peace House.


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