Impact is a theme in our community this year and who knows about the impact of L’Arche better than people who have been part of our community? So we reached out to current and former community members to hear about their stories and relationships, and how L’Arche GWDC has impacted them. This is the fifth in a series of interviews with current and former community members of L’Arche GWDC titled: #LarcheImpact. You can find the first interview here.
When were you at L’Arche GWDC and what were your role(s)?
I’ve been in L’Arche GWDC since the summer of 2014. Sonny and I accompanied one another for about a year before I became the Home Life Leader of Euclid House. I’ve been doing the HLL gig since Jan. 2015
What brought you to L’Arche?
Henri Nouwen and dinner at L’Arche St. Louis. I was positive I wanted to go to a seminary after college for years. Then, I had theological questions, and I wasn’t so certain of that path. In an uncertain period in my life, Nouwen’s writings about L’Arche helped me see I needed to be somewhere where I could acknowledge more deeply my desire to be known and loved…and somewhere where I could freely be myself. My first encounter in L’Arche was with L’Arche community in St. Louis. There, I was able to witness one of the core people freely being himself. Mid-meal, he got up and walked to the corner of the room so that he could pass some gas. He stayed there for a bit, giggled, then returned to his seat with a smile. When I saw this I thought to myself, “wow, he is really free and happy here! Maybe this is the place for me.”
What’s one of your favorite memories at L’Arche?
Traveling with Sonny to France. I’ll never forget it – Specifically, on our last day, watching him perform “Let it Be” with all that was in him at a Talent Show. He brought a few hundred people to their feet. It was really quite mystical.
What encouragement/advice do you have for people who are considering L’Arche?
Come and see. I think being here paints the clearest picture of the joys and challenges that we experience together in L’Arche.
How did you grow in your time at L’Arche?
I’ve grown immensely in becoming more accepting of who I am – both my strengths and weaknesses. Claiming my own gifts has been a very liberating experience for me…it has freed me to rejoice in others’ gifts, rather than listen to the voice says I am “less than” when I see others’ giftedness. I really, really cherish the act of naming gifts in one another that we have in L’Arche.
How does your time at L’Arche impact you today?
It continues to give me a sense of connectedness – of being in touch and in-tune with other people – I don’t use that word much, but it’s the word that comes to mind!
Do you have a favorite picture of your time at L’Arche you could share with us?
We invite you to share your own responses to the “#LarcheImpact” questions. Your responses can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
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