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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Here you will find answers to frequently asked questions about the Charter Process. Many questions about the process are answered in the Charter Process Guide:
Why do we need a new Charter and how will it be different than our Identity & Mission statement?
Our understanding of the essence of L’Arche develops over time. Our current Charter was written in 1993 and it expressed what we believed and knew then. Later, we developed our Identity & Mission statement in order to answer the questions “who are we” and “what is our mission”. This brought new perspective and deeper understanding. From these discoveries we can now create a new Charter that builds on our Identity & Mission statement, and expresses the spirit that unites us.
Who will write the new Charter?
The Charter Process Team will write the new Charter. This Team includes the Charter Process Leader and Assistant Leader, and three other members of L’Arche coming from different parts of the Federation. The International Leaders will be present and fully participate in the meetings of the discernment process.
Who will approve the new Charter?
The Federation Assembly will approve the new Charter. A final draft will be brought to the Assembly in 2022.
Why are we having the process now, and why are we starting in May?
The Federation named the development of a new Charter as a priority in this Mandate 2017 – 2022. Three years are needed for the process, especially with the breadth and diversity of our Federation. We start in June because our communities in the southern hemisphere are entering into winter, a time to embark on a process such as this.
Who should be involved in the Charter Process?
Each setting in the Federation (Communities, Regions, Countries and International) is invited to participate in the Charter Process. Each person in the Federation is invited to share with others about their experiences.
We want to be attentive to the marginal experiences in the Federation, such as geographic, cultural, generational, role-related (people with and without disabilities), spiritual, etc. And sometimes you may think of old friends and neighbours who can help you understand why L’Arche matters.
Can a person participate in different groups?
Yes. Many people will participate in the process in several groups. A person may be in several groups within a Community, Region, Country or International. As we reflect together with others, we will be given different insights in the different groups we are part of.
What if it is difficult for some members to participate?
There may be some individuals who have difficulty participating. There may be some people who are part of our community who are not in regular gatherings or meetings.
We are not looking for a perfect process. What is important is that we pay attention to including everyone, and look for the ways to help each person enter into the process. As we do this, we will grow and learn new things.
What if a Community, Region or Country has difficulty to participate in the process?
The process is designed to be integrated into our existing ways of gathering and meeting in Communities, Regions, Countries and International. Our hope is that living the process will help all of us in the Federation deepen in our understanding of our Identity & Mission and in our commitment to living it. We hope the process will strengthen our whole Federation.
We come from very diverse cultures and ways of reflecting on things that matter. The process has been designed to be adapted to these diverse cultures and ways of reflecting. Leaders and Resource People will look to find the best ways to do this in each setting.
In some places it may not be the right time to plan the process as much as we’d like to. We can still look for simple ways to adapt the process to what we are living, and to pay attention to what we can learn through our current experiences.