Federation Assembly June 2023

L’Arche members from around the world are gathering for the International Federation Assembly, between the 20th and 24th of June 2023.


Together in the world  

Together in the world! This is what we hope to live during the Assembly. After years where so many good, but also hard things have happened, let’s come together: to share, listen, dance, pray. Let’s take responsibility for L’Arche together.

But L’Arche is not an island: we are fully part of this world. Our friendships with people in our neighbourhood, town or city and our connection with our environment help keep L’Arche grounded.

During these few days of the Federation Assembly, we can live our community lives being closer to one another within our communities and as a world-wide Federation. Through sessions online and in our community, we will look back at our experience as a Federation since the last IFA in Belfast in 2017 and decide together how to go forward.


What is the Federation Assembly? 

According to the constitution of the International Federation, once every 5 years, L’Arche needs to call a big meeting of representatives of all the communities in the Federation. This is called the International Federation Assembly (IFA for short!). This meeting has the authority to make big decisions that affect the whole Federation. For instance, at the IFA 2023, Community Delegates will be voting on the new draft Charter.

This year, rather than meeting in a particular place, as was done previously, (e.g. in Belfast in 2017), the IFA is happening in 3 separate ways: within communities, between groups of communities, and all together across the Federation. Each of these different ways is playing an important role. Much is online, with live events, as well as pre-recorded videos that can be downloaded and watched at a time that suits your community.


This choice to hold an online Assembly has two big advantages: first it means that all our communities in the federation now have an opportunity to be present for this assembly, as there are none of the visa problems that have often prevented some communities from attending. And secondly, it means that all the members of our communities also have an opportunity to take part, rather than just sending a few named delegates.

Even so, each community’s delegates do have a very special role to play during the IFA.

Meeting up with old friends and making new ones has always been part of the magic of L’Arche: the International Federation Assembly 2023 is a great opportunity for both. The formal and legal aspects are necessary, but in another way, so is connecting with people on the other side of the planet, and realizing – perhaps for the first time – that you really feel in tune with them. That each of us is truly part of a larger family beyond our borders, and that the mutual relationships we speak about in L’Arche, don’t just take place in our own community, but are a beautiful act of peace-making across our diverse world.

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