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    Regeneration: The Plough Writers’ Weekend 2021

    Building Back Human


    Friday, August 6

    11:30-1:30 Arrivals and rolling lunch
    1:30-2:00 Welcomes
    2:00-3:00 Keynote: Stanley Hauerwas on The Future of the Good Life (against liberalism)
    Responses by Pater Edmund Waldstein & Zena Hitz, moderated by Peter Mommsen
    3:00-3:30 Break
    3:30-4:15 Breakout Conversations:
    The Future of Writing: Phil Christman & Zito Madu
    The Future of Classics: Anika Prather & Mary Townsend
    The Future of Inclusion & Disability: Maureen Swinger & Leah Libresco
    Bruderhof Basics: Phil & Jenny Gneiting
    4:15-5:15 Harvest vegetables for weekend meals in Fox Hill garden
    5:15-6:30 Break: take walks, personal conversation, downtime
    6:30-7:15 Welcome Dinner
    7:15-7:45 Dinner Conversation: Whit Stillman, Anika Prather, and Jennifer Frey on The Future of Christian Humanism, moderated by Susannah Black
    8:00-9:30 Convivial Reception on the Patio

    Saturday, August 7

    8:30-9:00 Breakfast
    9:00-9:30 Breakfast Conversation: Ashley Lucas & others TBA on Prison, Black Panthers & Family (The Making of a Plough Article), moderated by Peter Mommsen
    9:30-9:40 Morning Prayer with Paul Winter, elder of the Bruderhof communities
    9:40-10:00 Break
    10:00-11:30 Keynote: Russell Moore on The Future of the Church: Building Integrity
    Responses by Stanley Hauerwas, Heinrich Arnold, Sr. Dominic Mary Heath, & Eugene F. Rivers III, moderated by John Huleatt
    11:45-12:30 Lunch
    12:30-1:30 Keynote: Ross Douthat & Abigail Tucker on The Future of Kids, moderated by Caitrin Keiper Followed by Q&A
    1:30-1:45 Break
    Breakout Conversations:
    The Future of Public Conversation: Shadi Hamid, Ian Marcus Corbin
    The Future of the Domestic Church: Leah Libresco, Brandon McGinley
    The Future of Community: Pater Edmund Waldstein, Clare Stober
    The Future of the Technological Self: Tara Isabella Burton, Jake Meador
    Summerfest with Fox Hill community, with activities for the whole family
    5:00-6:30 Break: take walks, personal conversation, downtime
    6:30-7:30 Barbecue (meat and vegan) with Bruderhof beer
    7:30-9:00 Bonfire with songs & s'mores
    9:15 Pleiades & Cigars (optional)

    Sunday, August 8

    8:30-9:30 Breakfast with Fox Hill host families
    10:15-11:00 Concluding Service with Fox Hill community (family worship service)
    11:30 Departures & farewells


    • Fox Hill is a Bruderhof community where 280 people live in a kind of village surrounded by fields and woods, with a school, community buildings, family dwellings, a medical clinic, a farm, a furniture workshop, and Plough’s main office.
    • To get a sense of Fox Hill, see our website for a quick video tour or these photos by Plough contributor Danny Burrows: Jason & Maureen’s yard,  some hay fields, the dining hall where we’ll mostly meet, and another random shot.


    • For those flying in, the closest airports are SWF Stewart, 15 minutes from Fox Hill, or White Plains HPN, 1 hour 10 minutes away. Or use the NYC airports (approximately 90-minute train ride or 120-minute drive).
    • The train connection from NYC is Grand Central to Beacon, New York (25 minutes away), with taxi and Uber options from there to Fox Hill.
    • For those driving or using cab service, our address is: 80 Coleman Rd, Montgomery, NY 12549.


    • Because of limited guest apartments in Fox Hill community, most participants will be staying at the Holiday Inn in Montgomery, New York, five minutes down the road. Plough will cover the cost of your accommodation, and provide a regular shuttle to Fox Hill. If you haven’t yet booked your hotel room, please contact us for details as soon as possible.
    • Would you strongly prefer to stay at the Fox Hill community? Let us know ASAP. Though we can’t guarantee this, there is limited availability for guest rooms within the community.
    • Air conditioning: August in the Hudson Valley can be hot and humid. The main event venue will be air-conditioned, but many apartments and other spaces in Fox Hill are not. Please bear this in mind as you plan what to wear, and feel free to get in touch if this is a concern.


    • Not your typical formal conference attire! Please wear what makes you comfortable for activities outdoors as well as in (including for the dinner and reception). Bear in mind that while the main event venue will be air-conditioned, most other indoor spaces on the community won't be.
    • You will be surrounded by friendly Fox Hill residents in modest, informal attire. Please know that guests are not expected to adhere to the Bruderhof dress code. Visitors are welcome as they are.


    • There will be the option of camping on-site beside Fox Hill's beautiful six-acre lake, just a minute’s walk from the main event building. Anyone is welcome to opt for a lake-side weekend! Some of the Plough staff residents of Fox Hill will be joining the campers for a couple nights under the stars as well.
    • For those bringing children, the campsite will absolutely be family-friendly.
    • Tents and thin camping mats will be provided; bring your own sleeping bag.
    • There will be facilities at the campsite with toilets, running water, and showers.
    • The campsite also has gorgeous shade trees and fire pits for campfires.
    • All meals will be provided in the main event area. No need for outdoor cooking, unless of course you’re up for some lakeside s’mores roasting in the evening!


    • Meals will be provided starting with lunch on Friday the 6ththrough breakfast on Sunday the 8th.
    • Important: Please let us know as soon as possible if you have particular dietary preferences (vegetarian, GF, kosher, etc.).

    Media policy

    • The Writers’ Weekend is being held in the spirit of a private Plough family reunion, not a public media event. So as a general policy, we request that guests (including the journalists among us!) attend this weekend simply as participants, not as reporters.
    • That said, if you particularly would like to write for publication about the event, we ask that you work with us in advance, and also get the permission of any fellow participants whom you’d like to quote or whose images you’d like to include. Apart from any such individual arrangements, any discussions or conversations during the weekend should be considered subject to the Chatham House Rule.

    COVID safety considerations

    • Regarding COVID-19, we strongly endorse and encourage vaccination, but are not requiring it for any of our guests. (Our own population over age 12 will have been almost completely vaccinated by June 2021.)  However, guests who have not yet been vaccinated may be asked to have a nasal swab (rapid antigen test) on arrival at Fox Hill, and will also be asked to wear a mask when indoors. Finally, we do request that any guest who has any concerning symptoms such as cough or cold or fever, or loss of taste or smell, etc. reschedule for another date, when feeling better.

    For Parents

    We will be able to accommodate a limited number of children; those bringing children have already confirmed with event organizers. If you have any questions or still wish to discuss bringing a child, contact Shannon McPherson at

    What will my kids do during event sessions?

    • There will be staffed child-friendly spaces for different ages. Parents can drop off their kids there for 60-90 minute periods or so, over event sessions, and other conference activities.
    • Please note that we are not able to offer drop-off daycare for regulatory and liability reasons – this will be a more informal arrangement.

    What about meals and toileting?

    • Parents are responsible for feeding infants and younger children at mealtimes and for any diaper changing. Children are welcome to join in mealtimes together with their parents; please let us know of any special dietary requirements by July 15, or bring any needed supplies. When you drop off your child at a child-friendly space, please leave your mobile number with the staff so we can contact you if anything comes up.

    Will there be changing tables and a place to drop off supplies where the day events are being held in Fox Hill?

    • Yes.

    What are the highlights of the Saturday afternoon kids’ event?

    • This event will be relaxed, outdoors and family-oriented. Think: lines in front of the soft ice cream machine, burgers off the grill, running games and fresh-air activities for the kids, pony rides, barn animals, fellowship, food, sunshine. And plenty of time to converse and connect. Children and parents from the Fox Hill community will be there too.


    Please feel free to get to Shannon McPherson with any questions or RSVP details.