To the Next Generation: A Radical, Nonviolent Call

The Agape Community Needs You Come and explore, answer this call:

The Agape Community is a lay Catholic residential community, interfaith in prayer, practice, and outreach. We are actively seeking Community members to steward Nipmuc land where Agape members reside.

Are you interested in living out your faith in community by practicing Gospel nonviolence? Are you looking for an inclusive, interfaith grouping committed to sustainability and justice, simplicity and service, rituals of music, arts, and contemplative prayer?

Who are we looking for?

We are searching for individuals who have had experience in community life and are strongly drawn to shared living.

For the past 41 years Agape has been engaged in an education ministry focusing on Christian Nonviolence, which includes ecumenical and interfaith commitments.

We are searching for people who may be interested in teaching and leading retreats on the many dimensions of nonviolence, both Christian and interfaith. Experience in high school and college teaching in Theology, with an emphasis on Peace and Justice, will find a vocation at Agape.

We are not able to house families at the present time, but we hope that this will not discourage families from inquiring. We plan for new building projects and reconfiguring our present housing.

People of diverse cultures, ethnicities and backgrounds have resided and visited here.

A group of Agape youth participants at our 41st Anniversary

Agape at a Glance:

Community Programs and Residential Responsibilities.

  • Agape’s co-founders and Agape’s Mission Council will honor searcher’s gifts that may uniquely reshape and reimagine the community legacy as outlined below.
  • Resting on 34 acres of wooded, originally Nipmuc land near the Quabbin Reservoir in Central Massachusetts, Agape offers community members a sacred land-based context to grow in connection to the earth and all its inhabitants.
  • Founded in 1982, hundreds of hands collaborated to build the two Agape residences from the ground up on donations and interest free loans.
  • Agape is 60% solar run. We are a vegan community, largely fed by our vegetable garden, providing an ecological and sustainable lifestyle, as a response to climate change and factory farms.
  • Agape’s legacy of Gospel Nonviolence runs deep, with direct connections to the Catholic Worker Movement, Just Faith, Quakers, Pax Christi, the Bruderhof Community, as well as interfaith communities and centers.
  • Agape is grounded in contemplative prayer, scripture study, music, and silence. We rely on the Spirit to guide the community in its creativity and inclusivity.

Reimagining Agape for the Next Ten Years

After these many beautiful and tireless years of cultivating Agape, co-founders Brayton Shanley and Suzanne Belote Shanley are ready to enjoy their role as elders, passing the torch on to younger community members who will shepherd Agape into the future.

Suzanne and Brayton will be guided in this process by Agape’s co-founders, Steve, and Nancy James, (former Baptist Missionary doctor and nurse in Haiti) and Fr. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy, Melkite priest, life-long practitioner, and teacher of Christian Nonviolence, and extended long-term, non-resident community members.

The Essence of Agape’s Ministry

  1. Maintain Francis House and Brigid House and surrounding outbuildings (such as the Hermitage) and grounds.
  2. Assist in the Agape Garden while facilitating volunteers. 
  3. Organize firewood for use in both houses and facilitate volunteers.
  4. Offer Hospitality:  Welcome and direct guests and interns (students, extended community members, visitors) for events which have occurred annually six times a year.
  5. Manage Agape’s office including the publication of Agape’s journal, Servant Song. 
  6. Assist with emails and mailings which help inform the wider community of Agape activities and requests for donations.
  7. Facilitate Daily Prayer with community readings, silence, and song.
  8. Participate in prophetic Witness which includes protests, resistance, and prayer.

If you feel called to Agape’s vision and in helping to lead the Agape Community into the future, we would love to hear from you! 

Please email us at [email protected] or call (413-967-9369) to arrange a zoom, a visit or the learn steps toward entering the Agape Community.  

Please share this call as you are inclined.  We hope to hear from you.