Sharing material goods, in Hutterite eyes, is the highest form of Christian love. They seek to follow the example of the early church described in the Book of Acts, where members of the church reportedly had all things in common (Hutterites need driver’s licence photos: top court 1). At baptism, members relinquish any claim to colony property. Those who abandon colony life may take only the clothes they are wearing and а few personal items as they embark into the larger world.
Apart from а few personal items clothes, knick-knacks, dishes, books, and the like individual Hutterites do not own private property. Everyone works without pay. Some colonies provide а monthly allowance of $5 to $10 for personal effects, but others do not (Hutterites exempt from driver’s licence photos: Appeal Court 1-2). In some colonies, parents receive $20 for each child to buy Christmas gifts (Maende 1). Individuals receive an allotment of clothing from the colony manager roughly once per year. А family may have а few personal belongings as well as some furniture, but the larger household items are owned by the colony.
The colony is а legal corporation that buys and sells products, often in large quantities, on the public market and with other colonies. The corporation pays taxes and owns the title to land and equipment. Colonies are somewhat self-sufficient with their own gardens, orchards, poultry, and cattle as well as their own shoemakers, tailors, and electricians. Nevertheless, many supplies and equipment are purchased from outside distributors. Bartering of furniture, toys, vegetables, clothing, and antiques sometimes occurs within colonies, between colonies, and between colonists and outsiders (Gould 1-4).
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