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Anthroposophic Medicine Has Been Central to the Fellowship Community Since its Inception

by Ann Scharff, Fellowship Community co-Founder

Anthroposophic Medicine came to this continent by way of Dr. Christoph Linder, who was sent by Dr. Ita Wegman with the mission to bring the practice to the United States. Early on in his mission, Paul and I became acquainted with Dr. Linder in New York City, when Paul’s brother Carl had surgery done there. They had hoped to help him with his lifelong epilepsy. After that, Paul continued his friendship with Dr. Linder throughout his life.

In 1959, Paul (age 29) and I (age 27) moved to the Threefold Community, and lived in Garden House. There we raised our family and built a medical practice, while Paul continued his training in medicine and psychiatry.

Paul had a little office near the living room of Garden House. In 1960, the Rudolf Steiner Fellowship Foundation was incorporated and by July 3, 1966 the Hilltop House expansion with thirteen rooms was dedicated, and the Fellowship Community came into being.

As the Fellowship grew, and throughout its history, Anthroposophic Medicine has been used to treat the elder Members and the entire community. By 1970 there was additional construction at Hilltop House with the addition of the Circle Room and Activities Room. Meadow Wood Lodge was built as a place for Co-workers and independent Members to live, and the first spaces were included for eurythmy therapy and massage. In 1973 Weleda moved out of New York City into the Fellowship Community, using the Red Barn (Hand & Hoe) and the Churchill carport (now the Foundation Office and Mercury Press).

As Dr. Linder got older, he had a stroke and he and his wife moved to Chestnut Ridge. They lived in the house on Hungry Hollow Road next to Green Meadow Waldof School. Paul took care of him for a few years during that time. When Dr. Linder was dying, he was wide awake and very consciously addressing different people. He spoke to his daughters and passed on the responsibilities he carried to each of them. To Paul, he said, “I came here with a mandate to bring Anthroposophic Medicine to America, and now I’m passing that on to you.”

Today, over 50 years since it’s founding, the Fellowship Community still carries the torch that was passed to Paul, by practicing Anthroposophic Medicine in the treatment of its Members, and through the work of the doctors and nurses of the Fellowship Community Associates medical practice.

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