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    rolling hills under a cloudy sky

    Plough Writers Weekend 2023

    The Future of the Common Good: Practices for Staying Human

    An invitation-only event for Plough contributors, collaborators, and friends.


    Thursday, July 20

    2:005:00 Arrivals, registration, hotel check-in
    4:30 Shuttle from hotel
    5:30 Welcome Words and Blessing: Heinrich Arnold
    6:00 Welcome Dinner
    6:307:30 Keynote: The Future of the Liberal Arts by Jennifer Frey with responses by Mary Townsend, Nathan Beacom, and John Huleatt, moderated by Peter Mommsen
    7:459:00 Convivial Reception on the patio
    9:009:30 Informal Closing Gathering
    9:30 Shuttles to Hotel

    Friday, July 21

    8:00 Shuttle from hotel
    8:308:45 Breakfast
    8:459:15 Breakfast Conversation: The Church in China by Qinghua Zhao and Bob Fumoderated by Sam Hine
    9:3010:30 Keynote Panel: A World that Welcomes Children by Jennifer Banks, Erika Bachiochi, Brandon McGinley, and Caitrin Keiper, moderated by Maureen Swinger
    10:4512:00 Breakout Conversations:
    The Future of the Self: Tara Isabella Burton, Susannah Black Roberts, Katherine Dee, Clare Stober
    Small Magazines: Jane Clark Scharl, Matthew Walther, Jon Baskin, Ari Schulman, Peter Mommsen
    The Future of the Pro-Life Movement: Erika Bachiochi, Alexander Raikin, Marianne Wright
    More or Less than Human: Mastery, Technology, and the Image of God: King-Ho Leung, Vincent Lloyd, Madoc Cairns
    12:301:30 Lunch
    12:45 Informal Lunch Conversation: Political Friendships by Jake Meador, Leah Libresco Sargeant, Susannah Black Roberts, moderated by Shana Goodwin
    2:003:00 PloughCast Discussion: Faith in the Public Square by Tara Isabella Burton, Brandon McGinley, Ian Marcus Corbin, and Ryan Anderson, moderated by Peter Mommsen and Susannah Black Roberts
    3:005:00 Fox Hill Community Summerfest with activities for the whole family
    Bruderhof tour (45 minutes): meet Coretta Thomson in the lobby
    Farm Tour with James Rebanks
    5:456:45 Evening Keynote: The Future of Farming by James Rebanks with responses by Prince Michael zu Salm-Salm, Norman Wirzba, and Logan Barth, moderated by Peter Mommsen
    6:457:30 Barbecue Dinner (meat and vegan) with Bruderhof beer
    7:309:00 Campfire, s’mores, songs, poetry, and fellowship
    9:15 Pleiades & cigars (optional)
    9:30 Shuttles to Hotel

    Saturday, July 22

    8:00 Shuttle from hotel
    8:308:45 Breakfast
    8:459:15 Breakfast Conversation: Poetry for Everyday Life by A.M. Juster and Jane Clark Scharl, moderated by Joy Marie Clarkson

    Breakout Conversations:
    Keeping Work Human: Madoc Cairns, Jason Swinger, Dhananjay Jagannathan
    The Stories We Live By: Joy Marie Clarkson, Abbie Storch, Lisabeth Button
    Christian Humanism and Christian Unity: Susannah Black Roberts, Prince Michael zu Salm Salm, Paul Button, Samuel Kimbriel

    10:4511:45 Panel Discussion: The Future of Tech by Ari Schulman, Katherine Dee, and John Rhodes, moderated by Leah Libresco Sargeant
    12:15–1:15 Lunch and Final Words
    1:30 Shuttles to Hotel and Station


    • Fox Hill is a Bruderhof community where 250 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.


    • 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!

    Other Lodging


    • Meals will be provided starting with dinner on Thursday, July 20 through lunch on Saturday, July 22.
    • Important: Please let us know as soon as possible if you have particular dietary preferences (vegetarian, gluten free, 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.

    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 Alan Koppschall 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 over the formal event sessions.
    • 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 10, 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 Friday Summerfest?

    • This event will be relaxed, outdoors, and family-oriented. Think: lines in front of the soft ice cream machine, burgers off the grill, fresh-air activities for the kids (running games, pony rides, petting zoo, and more), fellowship, food, and 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 Alan Koppschall with any questions or RSVP details.