What is the Fellowship Community?
The Fellowship Community, founded in 1966 by Ann and Paul Scharff, is a dynamic, work-based,
intergenerational community centered on the care of the elderly.
Approximately 140 elder members, co-workers, and their children live together in the rural setting of a farm, with woods and orchards, located 30 miles northwest of New York City. It is a place for people who are interested in self-development, by working and learning in service to others and caring for the earth. Everyone here at The Fellowship, young and old, is working and learning to become her or his truest self, to best serve the human community. For over 50 years we have proudly helped hundreds of elderly members enjoy purpose and meaning in the later years of their lives.
Our mission is to cultivate a community surrounding the care of the elderly by:
Nurturing the body, soul, and spirit of the human being through all phases of life
Creating and maintaining a social process worthy of our common humanity
Caring responsibly for the earth upon which we live
Old and young alike place a strong focus on:
Human-centered, long-term care for the elderly that can be a model for society in general
Individualized therapeutic and medical support and services
Meaningful and fulfilling work in service
Continuing education that includes cooperation with the neighboring institutions of the Threefold Community
We are working together for the renewal of social, economic, and cultural life by:
The recognition of individual human rights based in equality
Fostering an economic life based on brotherhood and sisterhood
The growth of spiritual values and cultural life in freedom
Caring for the land with biodynamic agricultural methods
Paul and Ann Scharff founded the Fellowship Community in 1966, to address the question of eldercare in the context of Anthroposophy and community life.
Dr. Scharff had experienced early in his medical career how medicine was becoming less "human" and more routinized, industrialized and rigid, especially in its approach to eldercare. He looked to Anthroposophy to help address the aging human being and supporting its development by caring for the body, mind and spirit. Through the development of a community that provided great care of individual medical/physical needs, stimulating cultural and personal experiences through music, movement, and intergenerational interplay of young and old, and spiritual explorations of philosophy in study and meaningful work activities, he saw a community that would support not only the older person, but also those that rendered support; coworkers and volunteers, young and old. This is the basis of the work of the Fellowship Community to this day.
Paul W. Scharff Online Archive
Over the years, Dr. Scharff studied the esoteric works of Rudolf Steiner and applied his findings to new ways of approaching eldercare and all areas of practical life, including agriculture, medicine, and social forms.
The online archive is a gift from his family to the world, cataloging and highlighting lectures and other works developed over a lifetime of work and study.