“[Nourishment of community] comes in the moments when together we discover that we make up a single body, that we belong to each other and that God has called us to be together as a source of life for each other and for the world. These times of wonder and awe become celebration. They are a gift, a message of God in the community which awakens the heart, stimulates the intelligence and gives back hope.

A community should be alert to welcome or encourage these times of grace...When something unexpected happens during a celebration-as it often does- we become conscious of a moment of grace for the community, a momentary presence of God, a deeper silence; our hearts are touched. We have to know how to make these moments last, savour them and let them deepen us and our unity, and renew our hearts.” Jean Vanier, Community and Growth

Housemate joy!

Housemate joy!

In our homes here in Chicagoland, we encounter many of these moments of grace that Jean describes. They bring us joy and this joy sustains and nourishes our lives in L’Arche. Shared life can sometimes be difficult. When you have more than one person living and working together, there are bound to be moments of disagreement. And there are moments like the ones that Jean describes, moments of wonder and awe and joy, where our hearts are touched.  If you have joined us for dinner or community night or have encountered us at church or at the Avenue, it is quite likely your heart has been touched too. (And if you haven’t and would like to, just let us know larchechicago.org/contact-us)

It can sometimes feel difficult to describe this kind of joy. But we are going to try. For the next couple of weeks, assistants and core members are going share photos that capture the spirit of L’Arche Chicago. They are going to share the impact that life in L’Arche has on their hearts and they are going to try to describe L’Arche in one word.

We hope these photos and brief descriptions offer a window into our shared life here at L’Arche Chicago.

Farmers' Market joy!

Farmers' Market joy!

And we would love for you to participate! If you have a photo that you think captures the joy of L’Arche, please send it to me with a caption (sarah.ruszkowski@larchechicago.org)!

And fill in these blanks:

One of the things about L’Arche that brings me joy is…

If I had to describe L’Arche Chicago in one word, I would say...