The Clearing

The Clearing is a household that received its name when a visiting couple said being there was like coming to a “clearing in the woods.”

The household began in 1972 when Julius and Peggy Belser and their family, a single mom and kids, and two singles moved in together.  (There is some debate over who was part of the original group, but there is agreement that six teenagers were part of it.)  Julius and Peggy have stayed at the Clearing through the years to this day, while many others have lived there for a time, then moved on.  Several others have settled at the Clearing with the Belsers without plans to leave.

The Clearing has well established routines, including 19 scheduled meals together a week. Mealtimes are the central part of the Clearing household life, and household members make it high priority to be present, particularly for the evening meals. Members who are able participate in the household chores of cooking, dishwashing, cleaning, etc.

The household has devotions every morning, using Common Prayer:  A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals.

Presently there are 12 people living at the Clearing.  With the exception of the Belsers, everyone is single and has his/her own room.  The household also has a guest room and frequently hosts guests.

The Clearing is an intergenerational household – the youngest member is 30 and the oldest member is 90.  One household member has muscular dystrophy and uses a power wheelchair. Some other members receive free room and board in exchange for working as his caregivers.

The Clearing is an RPF household, though membership in RPF is not an expectation for living at the Clearing. For more info, contact David Hovde at