Spring Valley Community • Farmington, PA

About Us:
The Bruderhof founded the Spring Valley settlement as a sister community to New Meadow Run when it became time to expand. Our community is a mix of families and singles, young and old, who live, work, and worship together. Bruderhof children attend our elementary school, while adults work within the community, including for a workshop from the Community Playthings and Rifton Equipment businesses. The Spring Valley and New Meadow Run settlements are just across the highway from each other, and members travel the pedestrian tunnel beneath the highway to see each other. 

Setting:
We are located along a stream in the rural and picturesque Laurel Highlands of southwestern Pennsylvania on National Pike/Route 40. Visitors to this area frequent Fort Necessity National Battlefield, the site of George Washington’s first battle; Falling Water, architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece house; and Ohiopyle State Park for whitewater rafting. Our settlement, at a two-thousand-foot elevation, has apartment buildings, an elementary school, dining hall, workshop, and sweeping lawns and gardens. While New Meadow Run and Spring Valley each have a full set of facilities, members often work and take meals at the other location, and the communities have many combined activities and meetings.

Connecting with Neighbors:
We regularly welcome friends and neighbors for communal dinner on Saturday evenings, and we host seasonal, public events throughout the year. Local outreach and community service is integrated into our daily work and schedule, as we feel it’s important to connect with people and initiatives in our region that promote community building. Outreach is also integral to our children’s educational experience. We participate in the local food bank, join local churches in their events, and network with other intentional communities in the area. We also enjoy visiting with our homebound neighbors.

Point of Interest:
In 1987, when the New Meadow Run settlement was looking to expand, our Spring Valley property came up for sale. It was already very familiar to New Meadow Run because the neighbors ran it as a sort of game preserve, and our children had always enjoyed visiting the property to see the exotic deer, game birds, trout hatchery – even bears and a roaring lion!

Meet some of the people who live at Spring Valley:
Matthew Domer

Matthew: We all need some syncopation in our lives – that variety of rhythms played together, which makes a tune or piece of music off-beat. I’m Matthew, and I’ve lived at Spring Valley for four years.

This intentional community’s rural setting in the lovely Laurel Highlands of southwestern Pennsylvania gives ample opportunity for me to explore its off-beat places – mountain streams, rhododendron glades, hidden lakes, beaver creeks – habitats that can feel like standing at the “dawn of Creation!” I work in sales and customer service for the Rifton product line for people with special needs. So I take every opportunity to hit the road for places off the beaten track. Did you say “birding hotspots?” I’ll join you, whether a young new birder or an “old pro,” at running up a year list of migrants or resident species. Hope you didn’t miss last spring’s Prothonotary Warbler who lit up our valley stream with splashy antics!

My vivacious wife, Sonna, and I spent five years in the mission field in various states, and we were often asked, “What’s the best part of living together in Christian community?” Without skipping a beat we always answered in unison, “The people!”

Recently Brunnhilde joined our communal household. She weighs a ton, stands nine feet long, and has a voice that may literally “shatter glass” – a true Wagnerian! She’s the new grand piano in our fellowship hall. Like our life together, she accommodates a wide variety of styles, from Bach to the Beatles and a whole lot more. What’s your rhythm? Rachmaninoff or rag-time? Buxtehude or boogie-woogie? She’ll give her best, whether accompanying children’s voices in “Where are the froggies?” or the communal choir belting out “Worthy is the Lamb!” Any choral combo suits her fine.

Life lived so closely together gives plenty of evidence that some march to the beat of a different drummer, while others just polka. Do you resonate to Shostakovich or Sinatra? You see, as Pablo Casals reminds us, “Music is a divine thing, a gift from God, like all nature.” And what better way to bring people together than lifting every voice to sing? Even if at times discordant dissonance creeps in and we hit many blue notes, there’s a magically forgiving modulation that brings us back to full harmony, following the score more faithfully to the great composer’s intentions.

What new sound can you bring to these days of miracle and wonder? From tafelmusik to tango, Janacek to Jelly-Roll Morton, I’ll bet Brunnhilde will bring out the best in you!

Samuel Zimmerman

Samuel: Hi, I’m Sam. I live at Spring Valley, in the beautiful mountains of southwest Pennsylvania, with my wife Heather and our three lovely little girls. I grew up in Connecticut and later moved to New York, where I started working for our business, Rifton Equipment. From as young as I can remember, I knew I wanted to be a welder, and I was happy to get into the field as a young man, welding rehab equipment for disabled kids, along with the occasional farm equipment repair or maple sap evaporator.

When I was nineteen I volunteered for a half-year stint at an orphanage in the steep hills above Beirut, Lebanon. That was definitely an experience that opened my mind and heart, and I still think about it just about every day. After returning home, I stayed with my welding career for the next ten years, until I married an optometrist who was setting up a new clinic in Pennsylvania. Now I work in the design branch of Rifton Equipment, which is also interesting and rewarding work, although there are still days when I really miss the welding helmet!

I've picked up another helmet though: I'm a volunteer firefighter with our local department, which I enjoy a lot. I think it's a great way to contribute to the neighborhood, and it puts me in touch with the kind of guys who would get up at 2:00 a.m. to help someone else. It's a kind of close-knit community too, and I feel privileged to be a part of it.

All in all, I feel the importance of living a life where all aspects work together towards the same goal: bringing God's love to the people around me through whatever means he provides.

Cassidy Maendel

Cassidy: Hi, my name is Cassidy Maendel. Since graduating from The Mount Academy in June 2020, I have been living and working at Spring Valley, a Bruderhof in Farmington, Pennsylvania. Spring Valley is an intentional Christian community with close to 350 residents, which is located in a gorgeous valley. Our surrounding area also offers great rail trails to bike and lakes and ponds to drop a line into. 

I have mostly spent my time working with the kids here and that has been by far the best thing I’ve done here. I love being with the kids because, not only do I help them learn and grow, but they also help me by pointing out little things in nature like the beauty in the flowers that most adults would just walk by, or just showing unconditional love to whoever they meet.

Other than that, I enjoy hanging out with our youth group whether we are camping, splitting wood for the local fire department, cleaning an apartment for a new family, or playing a really competitive volleyball game. Some memorable things I’ve done since moving here include practicing up and performing a concert of uplifting songs with our youth group, and performing a play of C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe on an outdoor stage.

Kelvin & Brigitte

Kelvin & Brigitte: Having a three-year-old son and one-year-old twin daughters makes for a busy household! That's one reason we’re glad to live in a supportive Christian community. 

Hi, we're Kelvin and Brigitte. Born into the Bruderhof community, we both grew up in New York state. Since our wedding we've made our home here in Southwest Pennsylvania, in the “twin” large communities of New Meadow Run and, currently, Spring Valley. God gave us three children and we find ourselves quite busy and fulfilled in rearing them. 

One blessing of living in intentional community is the integration of generations not commonly found today. For instance, we are lucky to share an apartment building with our parents on both sides, who enjoy living right next to their grandchildren. 

During the week I work in IT, and Brigitte splits her time between the laundry and communal workshop. In off-hours not spent with the kids, I love to get in the woods and be quiet in God's creation; birdwatching in the spring or bow-hunting in the fall. Brigitte prefers wide open spaces to the woods, so we sometimes take family outings to a local large reservoir or scenic overlook with giant windmills, which is also a favorite attraction for our three-year-old son, Joshua!

We both love to meet new people and discuss many topics of life, so please look us up if you come here for a visit. We’ll be sure to make time for a chat, in between milk spills and runny noses!

Contact Information

Spring Valley
100 Spring Valley Rd.
Farmington, PA 15437
United States
Tel: 724-329-1100
Email:  springvalley@bruderhof.com

Established: 1987

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