Skip to comments.The Only Two Shakers Left Live in Maine Community
Posted on 01/06/2017 8:31:50 PM PST by nickcarraway
Shakers are on the endangered list.
There are now only two living members left of the Shaker Church in Maine after one died Monday. Sister Frances Carr passed away from cancer at 89.
The United Society of Believers in Christs Second Appearing a mouthful, to be sure was a Quaker sect that broke from the Society of Friends in the 18th century. At their height, the group was said to have about 5,000 members across the country.
The Shakers, as they were called because of their trembling during worship, focus on hard work and simplicity, and lead a strong agricultural lifestyle.
The current Shaker community, called Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village, is in Maine, where the two remaining members live.
Although often confused with the Amish, unlike that group, Shakers are happy to use modern technology they even have an informational video on their website.
The groups dwindling numbers may have been, ahem, pre-ordained, as the Shakers are known for their celibacy.
Rather than building families the members of the Christian sect dont even get married instead, they built communities and relied on conversion and adoption to increase their numbers.
Celibacy, communal life, and confession of sin are the basic religious tenets of the Shakers, explains the website for Hancock Shaker Village, a former Shaker village in Hancock, Massachusetts, thats now home to a museum.
There may be other residents of the Sabbathday Lake community who have shown interest in joining the group, but it takes five years to gain full Shaker status, as an Al Jazeera profile on the group reported last year.
Shakers are also known for being innovative with regard to tools and methods; miminalist furniture, including the ladder back chair; and having invented the circular saw, the flat bottomed broom, and the clothespin.
Brother Arnold Hadd, 60, and Sister June Carpenter, 78, are the last two Shaker members, but Carr held out hope they wouldnt be the last of their kind.
Funeral services for Sister Carr will be held this Saturday.
wow I thought the sect was dead because 20 years ago we talked bout the sect in a sociology class and there were only a couple left and the age of the membership was in the 80s....
The United Society of Believers in Christs Second Appearing...
Their pins and caps must be YUGE.
Shakers had a low birth rate. Below replacement.
But they knew how to shake it. And made decent furniture in calmer moments.
I wonder if acceptance of birth control and abortion did them in. Less orphans?
Well God did instruct us to be fruitful and multiply.
They don’t mate much— and therefore have no “increase” despite exhortations in the Bible to “go forth, be fruitful and multiply”.
Shakers are so “gifted with simplicity”... they forget sex, or tabooed it.
Let’s hope the same extinction comes soon to scientology and islam.
That is what the eventual outcome is of a society that is committed to celibacy. 8>)
Like your furniture, can’t wrap my head around your theology.
It is sad that a peaceful group like the Shakers trails off, and the muslims are breeding like rabbits.
Shaker prayer meeting chant:
“Shake, shake, shake along, Daniel,
“Shake out of me all things carnal.
No fun in that, IMO.
The Shakers were a pretty significant social and economic force in the time of their flourishing. I’m a little surprised that they’re not gaining some members, given the great interest these days in simple living, a small carbon footprint, being “spiritual but not churchgoing,” and so on.
Perhaps one reason they’re not gaining members - even temporary, “give it a try a couple of years” members - is their location in freezing Maine. If one of their communities in, say, Tennessee had endured ...
I wonder what % of their members came from taking in orphans/foundlings or the children of unwed mothers? I have to think that would have decreased drastically as birth control and abortion were accepted, also the scandal of getting pregnant without being married becoming less of a big deal. Maybe the advent welfare state probably made the Shakers less attractive as people didn’t look at as a place were at least you would get fed.
I don't recall seeing any numbers, but the children reared by the Shakers had an open door to depart when they reached adulthood.
The Shaker movement was a product of its times, but it seems to me that it could work for our times, too. People seek security in times of economic and social uncertainty.
Isn’t there are sect of Shakers around Danville, KY?
Most Shaker communities were adopted orphanages. At a certain age, the orphans were allowed to leave if they chose to leave. Some remained. Unlike the Amish or Mennonites, Quakers and Shakers weren't adverse to technology. William Penn was a wealthy Quaker who led the pioneering of what is now called Pennsylvania. The Rotary Saw was a Shaker invention. Like most denominations, Shakers lasted about 200-300 years. Shakers evolved from the Quakers, because they would congregate, dance, then "shake" out their sins. Quakers or Religious Society of Friends, were named from George Fox circa 1650 when Church of England magistrates charged them with blasphemy. Fox is reported to have warned the magistrates they should quake before the Word of God, while the magistrates warned Fox he would quake before their rule of the law. They were then identified as Quakers associated with their more leaning on mystical qualities of spiritualism, than Protestantism had become. Puritans in the colonies considered them heretics because the Quakers believed every human had an inner light which could commune with God, while the Calvinist tradition held to the total depravity of the natural man.
It does not appear that this terrific-looking historic site is home to any actual Shakers.
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