Finding Identity through Relationships
Our identity - who we are - as individuals is a reality that is profoundly relational. Not only are we generated through our parents, nurtured by loving relationships, and sustained by elements that come from outside, but most fundamentally we are God's beloved ones.
Often, however, we speak of identity in individualistic tones, focusing solely on specific traits our person might have. This is limiting.
Our identity as L'Arche is relational too. As communities of belonging, we enter into relationship with each other, celebrating each other's value and recognizing that -in life- we can't do it alone; we need others.
Yes, who would we be without others and without God? We wouldn't be.
Living relationships in Community
Our core members at the heart of our community and our great team of assistants continue sharing life in the homes, walking the road of growth through the normal joys and challenges of life together. Old live-in assistants and potential new ones have visited us, remaining and becoming part of our lives respectively. Recently, our friendly neighbors of Peace House (Rose, John and Jacque) have visited us, bringing fresh strawberries and the sound of harmonica, but mostly their presence. Joining us on board, three new volunteers (Matt, Lizzy and Jesuit in formation Steve) that wanted to commit to a weekly presence in the homes and three University of Illinois med students (Nathan, George, and Ariana) who will help support healthy living in the homes. Also, people in the area with previous community life experience (Giampiero from the Focolare movement, Levi and Lisa from L'Arche Kansas, Carlo from L'Arche Canberra/Australia) have joined our team of accompaniers, supporting and walking with individual assistants and core members in their community journey. Our newly formed Spiritual Life Committee, composed of assistants and core members, has begun to meet to support the spiritual life of our community.
We are thankful for these relationships; we are thankful for who we are.