You can now read the Adopted Charter that was voted on during the 2023 Federation Assembly.
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It is a deeply significant moment for us, a Kairos moment, to begin our Charter process as we live the time of Jean’s passing. It is our responsibility now to continue to chart the course of our Mission by re-reading our experience and discerning the thread that holds our ‘beads’ in unity and diversity. I am really excited to embark on this journey with you.
I am a member of L’Arche Preston (UK) along with my family, Clare, Brendan and Aidan. I came to L’Arche Liverpool (UK) in 1986 for a year and then returned in 1990. I carried roles of Assistant, House Leader and Assistants’ Coordinator in Liverpool before moving with my family to help found the new community in Preston, my home city, in 1997. I carried the role of Community Leader in Preston until 2007 and I was the delegate coordinator for L’Arche in Uganda between 2006 and 2009. I served two terms as National Leader for L’Arche in the UK between 2007 and 2019.
My degree is in law, and I have also undertaken studies in philosophy, theology, counselling, management and organisational development. I participated in L’Arche International’s ‘Faith & Culture’ formation.
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I was born and grew up in France but my mother was German and my father, Dutch. I now live in Cork, Ireland and have been for the last 35 years with Tim and our 4 children. I started my L’Arche journey in Trosly, then went to L’Arche Kilkenny in Ireland and after that moved to L’Arche Cork (Ireland) where I have been the Assistants Coordinator for the last 7 years.
The charter process comes, I believe, at a crucial time in our history in L’Arche after Jean’s recent death and will, hopefully, create an opportunity for all communities across the Federation to articulate in a new fresh and engaging way our story, inspiration and values.
This process will create opportunities, too, for people across the Federation to spend time together, share, listen and take note of important moments we live in our communities where the spirit and mission of L’Arche are fully lived. I feel very privileged to have the opportunity to be part of this process in a very active way through this role of Assistant Leader.
I took part in the Charter process Laboratory in November 2018 helping a team to find creative ways to make the process accessible to as many as possible, as well as a formation for resource people in Trosly in May this year.
I was born in 1990 in Kenya. I love music. I first met L’Arche Kenya in 2009.
During my college holidays, I visited the community a number of times and was attracted to community life. After college, I joined L’Arche as a part time house assistant and cashier. In 2013 the community gave me an opportunity to have a one year experience in L’Arche Brecon (UK) as a house assistant. In 2015 I was appointed a house leader in L’Arche Kenya Effatha home. In 2017 I was called to the role of Community Life Facilitator. Through this experience I have come to understand the true meaning of service to humanity and finding fulfillment in it.
I liken the charter process to making a necklace; beautiful but fragile. In a Kenyan Samburu necklace, different colors symbolize the diversity of our federation. The fragility of the necklace is that it’s joined by a single thread. As a necklace maker, I listen to all voices (beads) and bring them together (thread), supporting the thread where it’s weakest.
I hope this process will enable me to slow down, reflect and (re)discover the value of each bead in the federation.
I was born in Mexico City in 1962 and am the eighth of nine brothers and sisters. My parents taught us to devote time to those who were in need. I married Maricruz 28 years ago and our family is made up of three children: Pablo, Isabel and Elena.
I discovered L’Arche at El Arca de México in 2002, 18 years after the community was founded. Since then, I have taken part in the community’s life as a member of the Board and I have been fortunate to be close to the community and create bonds with members of our dear community. L’Arche is a seedbed where values take root and can make us grow. The most significant values for me have been Inclusion and the value of Personal Relationships. I am very grateful for being part of L’Arche.
For me the Charter process is a moment of grace in the life of L’Arche since it will embody what unites us, what defines us and what identifies us.
Participating in the process team is an important responsibility due to what it represents for the Federation and for each community, and also, and above all, it is a privilege and a precious opportunity to learn more about L’Arche and continue to nurture what it means to be part of L’Arche.
I’ve been Community Leader of L’Arche Kapiti (New Zealand) for 5 years now. I’m from Canada and my first formative L’Arche communities were L’Arche Hamilton and L’Arche Cape Breton. I’ve also lived abroad a fair amount: Japan for 3 years, Sweden for 1 year, Kenya for a month. I hold a Masters of Divinity from Canada (focus on palliative care chaplaincy) and a Masters in Peace and Development from Sweden (focusing on mothers raising children with disabilities in the developing world).
Being on the Charter Process Team excites me, because I’m passionate about how the Federation can dream about its collective future and live well into it. The type of self-reflection needed in this process will help us to realize who we are today: what grounds us, what guides us and what gives us life and meaning. I’m excited to hear the breadth of voices and feelings throughout the Federation on this. My sincere hope is that in the aftermath of Jean’s passing, the Charter process would unite us in a timely and unique way, calling us again to be signs of hope in the world, perhaps in new and exciting ways!
Pádraig Ó Tuama
I’m from Ireland and I’m a friend of L’Arche. Most recently I came to the end of a term leading Corrymeela — Ireland’s oldest peace & reconciliation community. I have been associated with L’Arche for many years, knowing the community in Belfast, as well as in other places. I’ll be working as an external facilitator for the team who are listening to the stories, insights, feelings and experiences of L’Arche.
One of the things that I trust most is the power of human encounter. It can transform us, it can change us, and it can bring us into deep communion with each other. Encounter — when we are really listening — brings us into a way of being human with each other, and it deepens our ethics, our justice, our repentance, our stories and our practice of inclusion and power.
So my hope for the charter process is that it is a time when we get to hear stories of truth: that truth will include pain and promise, harm and hope, and our deepest hope is that the charter can be a document that is more fit to hold the love that L’Arche practices and yearns for.
For any questions or more information about the Charter Process, contact firstname.lastname@example.org