Friday, June 23rd


Trust is about taking responsibility: for ourselves, each other, our society and our planet. How can we listen to the voice of each on the great questions of our world? 

L’Arche does not have the answer, but we look for ways for each person to be heard.

Celebrating in the middle of a war zone

When is the best time to celebrate? When life’s a ball? When you sleep easy in your own bed, knowing that tomorrow promises more of the same? Is that the best time? No! A celebration really takes off at the end of a long day in a boiling hot caravan under the Iraqi sun, after you have just been chased from your home by bullets and bombs, and you are now living in a refugee camp with neighbours you scarcely know. And as for the future… well, who knows, there might not be a future. All you have is the present. So the present is the best, the only, moment to really let your hair down, dance, sing…

This is the celebration Widad Bisher described in a Federation Assembly workshop this morning. For those of us who have never lived in a war zone, it might sound bizarre. But Widad has been there, and witnessed the reality. And thanks to her workshop today, now 20 more of us know that somewhere in a refugee camp in Northern Iraq, 200 members of the Joy and Charity communities get together and celebrate like it is going out of fashion.

The pure gold of the 50+ workshops is that a person shares their real life experience. Through them, our eyes are opened to a bigger reality.

And now, thanks to the miracle of communication technology, you too know it is possible to celebrate in the middle of a war. Pass it on!

» Download Spanish Version

From why include to how to include?

There is no ghetto called L'Arche, no castle called L'Arche, no faith called L'Arche. But there is a community called L'Arche. And today, we see more and more that for a community to truly live its identity, we cannot just stay in our own comfort zone: we need to create bridges of inclusion wherever and whenever we can, with all manner of people. 
A bridge is simply a tool that helps people to meet each other: bridges overcome barriers of all sorts. And this week at the Federation Assembly, we have seen how people love walking over many creative bridges of inclusion: mimes, simple cartoon pictures, photos, gestures, colourful materials, clear facial expressions, and simply listening – not just with ears, but with one’s heart. Often with laughter. Sometimes with tears. But always with the intention of meeting on the bridge and honouring the truth of each.
This afternoon, the colour-groups brought together many nationalities. And we listened to each other’s dreams. This is Johan from Belgium: “We are very big dreamers in L'Arche. Our group’s dream is that we are one, and that we reach out to the world.” And this is Syd from Inverness, Scotland:  “everyone’s in the boat – hey, we need a bigger boat!”
At each Federation Assembly, L'Arche takes a step forwards. This year, we are learning to build bridges of inclusion, so that everyone, literally everyone, can walk over and be heard. There is a community called L'Arche, and this is what we do.

» Download the Spanish version