This past weekend we celebrated John Cook’s retirement. We are thankful for the many ways he has been and continues to be a part of our community. This is a letter John wrote sharing about his time in this role and the transition.
My journey in L’Arche began 33 years ago when Michael Schaff approached me and
talked with me at a time when I was looking for home and family. I turn 66 this October,
and Michael will have been accompanying me on this journey in L’Arche for half of my
life. Guided and accompanied by Michael and others, L’Arche has become the home and
family I wanted. I now see myself living out my life in L’Arche.
My role in L’Arche has varied over the 33 years but has been that of Executive Director
for the past 21 years. Many people have not known me outside this role. I will complete
my time in this role – but not in L’Arche — at the end of 2016.
We’ve prepared well for this transition. Our leadership development efforts have
produced a cadre of leaders ready for greater responsibility. Our ongoing focus on our
spirituality has resulted in deepening commitments to L’Arche by many people. Our
annual fundraising campaigns produce a steady stream of revenue. All require ongoing
commitment, but all are working. Perhaps most importantly, many people pray for us and
help us remain rooted in prayer. Thank you for your part in getting us to this point and in
keeping us on track.
I’m excited about what’s ahead for me and for L’Arche. L’Arche will be doubling in size
over the next years with new homes and a new day activities program – both in
partnership with Georgetown University. Our existing homes will continue to be sources
of life for the people who live in them and for the hundreds of people who connect with
them each year. “I look forward to being involved (in a yet-to-be-determined capacity) and
hope you do, too.”