Twelve Tribes Community in Rutland

Last updated: February 29, 2012 (4 years ago)

Listing created on: December 31, 1999

Twelve Tribes Community in Rutland

(Rutland, Vermont, United States)

Mission Statement:

Establish the Twelve Tribes

Community Description:

Here in Rutland we are a small community nestled in the Green Mountains of Vermont. Rutland is a city that’s just small enough to not lose touch with the natural beauty all around. Here in our community we have a café and juice bar called the Back Home Again (see

This restaurant is the setting for us to work together and share our life together with other interested people while at the same time we can provide good, health-giving food for our customers.

Upstairs we are opening a hostel to house hikers on the Appalachian Trail and Vermont’s Long Trail, as well as other weary travelers. In this way, many people will be able to stay with us, by working in our café or paying a small fee.

Next door to the café, we have a store to sell shoes and natural fiber clothing similar to some of our other communities’. We also have a bakery we have started through our cafe, which sells spelt breads and focaccias made with our homegrown spelt flour from our own Basin Farm in Bellows Falls, Vermont. This bakery is focusing on sourdough, natural leavened products, and products using primarily organic ingredients. The farmers’ markets in Vermont have become our main selling places and we hope to do street vending in Burlington and Manchester, Vermont, through the winter.

Across town we have three houses where we all live together in harmony and grow vegetables in the summer in our terraced garden. Our houses adjoin in the back giving us a very large backyard to gather together in and for our children to enjoy themselves in.

Feel free to visit us here in our “cluster,” as we call it. Or come to our restaurant to see our community function together as a unit. The life we share is one of joy and purpose. As we see it, nothing else comes close. We would love to share our common life with you and tell you about the wonderful hope of a new start that we have found in Yahshua the Messiah. We are looking forward to meeting you!

Child Rearing Practice of the Twelve Tribes Communities

We train our children according to the Word of God as recorded in the Bible. Part of this training is correcting our little ones for errant behavior. Setting boundaries for our children is an integral part of building good character into them at a young age. Loving protection for children is of supreme importance to us. We do not tolerate violence or abuse, whether physical, psychological, or verbal, nor do we condone disrespectful or rebellious behavior. We believe it is the God-given right and responsibility of parents to discipline their children if they are disobedient or disrespectful to parental guidance.

God is love. He loves children and His word is clear on what it means to love your child as Proverbs 13:24 says: “Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.” Proverbs 23:13-14 makes it clear that spanking is an act of love to save your children from the destruction of their souls, and restore them to the way they should go. “Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod … you will save his soul from destruction.” And Proverbs 22:6 states that if you “train up a child in the way he should go, when he is old he will not depart from it.”

The Bible does not describe the rod itself, but surely God did not intend something that would damage a child. We use a thin, reed-like rod, which stings but causes no damage or injury. We have purposefully chosen this method, inspired by God’s love, as part of our child rearing practices because His Word commands us. We see the good fruit in our children, which is recognized all over the world, even by those who don’t understand it.

Because we love our children, we discipline them only for attitudes and actions they know to be wrong, and only after the child admits to wrongdoing and is willing to receive discipline. Godly discipline is always followed by forgiveness, reconciliation, and encouragement.

For a fuller statement about our thinking about Child Discipline, please visit:

Publisher’s Note: FIC has a policy of not listing communities in our Directory that advocate violent practices, and there is controversy over whether the Twelve Tribes Child Discipline practice crosses that line. While we are convinced of the sincerity of their belief that their practice is not violent, we are also aware of visitors and ex-members who hold that it is. In recognition of this controversy, the Twelve Tribes leadership agreed to have this note referenced as a regular part of each community’s listing, so that users of the Directory could be more fully informed and make their own decision about this important matter.


  • Type(s): Spiritual or Religious Community or Organization, Commune (organized around sharing almost everything)


  • Area: 3 acres
  • Current Number of Residences: 3
  • Land owned by: Individual community member(s)


  • Adult Members: 45
  • Child Members: 21
  • Percent Women: 50%
  • Percent Men: 50%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process: Call us to work out the details.
  • Open to new Members: Yes


  • Decision Making: By a board, council, group of elders, or leadership group
  • Identified Leader: No
  • Leadership Core Group: Yes


  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: No
  • Shared Income: 100%
  • Required Labor Contribution per Week: 0
  • Additional Comments: full time hours/month

Sustainability Practices

  • Current food produced: Up to 25%


  • Shared meals: Approximately all meals
  • Dietary Practice: Omnivorous (plants and animals)
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: Somewhat important – there are some dietary restrictions or customs.
  • Alcohol Use: No~ this community does not permit alcohol use.
  • Tobacco Use: No~ this community does not permit tobacco use.
  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Other
  • Education Style(s): Home Schooling

Photo Gallery

Community Network or Organization Affiliations

Twelve Tribes

Community Affiliations

Twelve Tribes Community at The Woolshed, Picton, Twelve Tribes Community in Katoomba, Blue Mountains, Twelve Tribes Community at Peppercorn Creek Farm

We happily link to the following organizations, all of whom share our strong commitment to promoting community and a more cooperative world:
Cohousing The Federation of Egalitarian Communities - Communes Coop Community Cooperative Sustainable Intentional North American Students of Cooperation Global Ecovillage Network