What an honor to join L’Arche Frederick in this monumental stage of our growth! Our Board of Directors and community of supporters have long carried a vision of a community where people with and without disabilities share the daily joys of life in friendship, celebration and trust. A place that welcomes people across differences and celebrates the unique value of each individual. I am humbled to walk alongside you in bringing this vision to life in Frederick.
My journey in L’Arche began in 2007 when I moved into a home in the L’Arche Greater Washington, DC community. With a year of living in an intentional community as a Jesuit Volunteer and a degree in special education in hand, L’Arche sounded like an ideal layover. Sharing life with adults with intellectual disabilities would be a life giving way to spend a year.
You know where this is going, right?
Like so many, L’Arche quickly imprinted on my heart and, thirteen years later, building inclusive communities in L’Arche remains my vocation. L’Arche creates homes where people with disabilities are valued as they are and called to lead with their gifts. We eat together, celebrate together, laugh and cry together, and pray together. We take the time to get to know one another in a way that is authentic and cultivates a true sense of belonging. We prioritize relationships and believe that mutual relationships, where both parties value and celebrate one another, can transform lives.
As of this writing, our global reality is one of uncertainty and isolation, the latter of which may be most acutely felt by people with intellectual disabilities. Routines have been upended and opportunities for community engagement have been curtailed in order to meet necessary health and safety requirements. Amid these challenges, the 153 L’Arche communities in 38 countries worldwide have been beacons of hope and inclusion. Every day, I hear of creative ways that L’Arche members bridge distances to connect and uplift their communities. Here in Frederick, we moved our monthly Friday Night Gathering online with great success and will soon hold a Prayer Night online, an opportunity for everyone to engage in the spirituality of L’Arche. We remain committed to new ways of gathering and are well on our way to fostering a vibrant, inclusive community.
In the months ahead, I wish you continued good health and peace. Thank you for partnering in L’Arche Frederick’s mission and for remembering us in your prayers. We look forward to the journey ahead as we deepen our roots in Frederick.
Community Leader | Executive Director