Leadership Spring Trainings take off

Mary Bee’s experience

“I set off at 5:30 a.m., so the five of us could get out of London on time. Jos, Sandra and I were ambitious, and wanted to take 2 of our newer assistants to Pickering for the 0-1 formation ‘on the way’ to Sudbury. It was great to be together, and to deliver Emma and Dominque to Manresa… not so great to discover, however, that we had to go through the Toronto traffic twice, in rush hour! We had good road trip energy, and it was worth it, though we were a bit stressed that we’d disappoint and be late for the Servant Leadership training. Amy had told us to expect an intense week with little wiggle room, so being on time was expected! We called ahead to say we would probably be late, then we put the pedal down, enjoyed the ride and good catch-up time, and happily arrived 20 minutes early!

The set-up for the training was curious for this old-timer. I’m certain this was the first regional gathering of its kind – 30+ people around one giant tables-in-a-circle set-up, and each one of us plugged in to our own personal computer. I wondered if it would just feel like MORE, more to learn and do, on top of an already-overwhelming Servant Leadership to-do list and action plan. Yet from the beginning of the training right through to the end, it was clear that it would be supportive of what we’re already trying to do. We learned where to find what we needed in the new online training modules. We saw how the new materials fit and gave us more depth and access. We told stories of what we all are doing with the leadership training program in our communities – sharing our learning and creativity, and the challenges we’ve faced. And of course, there were skits to help us integrate the learning and keep us laughing. I loved the puppet show about engaging our neighbours, and “the doughnut incident.” Our L’Arche Sudbury hosts brought doughnuts from a local bakery one day. Someone (I won’t ‘out’ her here) had more than her share… the tease lasted a few days, and of course was featured in a skit!

Mary Bee (right) and VictoriaIt was special to be in Sudbury. The setting at Long Lake was simply beautiful and we were treated to some magnificent sunrises and sunsets. After our day-long working sessions, we had time to catch up with old friends and meet new people. I finally had the chance to connect with Amy, whom I’ve known for years but never had the chance to spend time with. There were walks along the river, and trips into town, the community and the famous Big Nickel. At night, we played games, and shared drinks and munchees and stories.  

I believe in servant leadership! And I am so encouraged by the investment to go deeper and bring it even more to life. There’s nothing like being together, away from our normal routine, learning with others in L’Arche.” 

Other testimonies

The leadership training team is collecting the input of all who attend the training so that they can learn and continuously improve. Overall the program has been received positively as major step in giving leaders the tools they need. Some comments:

  • I'm so excited about these tools and how they will benefit our communities!”
  • “It helped me to have a different perspective regarding my role, my house and my community. It gave me new tools to do a better job. It gave me ideas to to be more practical and efficient.”
  • “I enjoyed the atmosphere, the content covered – which was quite extensive, but all of it important, and… having open conversations about how communities can implement and create action plans around the content covered…”

Debbie Dew from Daybreak summed it up this way: “The training was great! It was intense, full days, but really put the meat on the bones of Servant Leadership. It brought it into the practical realm, which in my opinion, was missing. The dedicated time to review the documents, talk about how they would be useful, and time to create a personal and community action plan was essential. The mix of new and long-term assistants was also beneficial. Seeing the long-term folks engage and embrace this as positive change gave it legs for me.  It was clear that we were all striving for the same goal. The informal time gave us all time to connect, always good!”

Group in Hamilton

Measuring the Impact of Federal Legislation to Promote Inclusion

On December 3, the International Day of Person with Disabilities, L’Arche Canada participated in the 9th annual Federal Policy Forum on Inclusion hosted by the Canadian Association of Community Living and People First of Canada.

Canada accedes to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Accession to the Optional Protocol means that Canadians will have additional recourse to make a complaint to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, if they believe their rights under the Convention have been violated.

I Believe in You

“This book brings something new and surprising (...) I hope each reader can discover in a new way what it means to be human.” – Jean Vanier, from the foreword

Accessible Canada Act passed third reading

L’Arche Canada has joined the Federal Accessibility Legislation Alliance (FALA) and supports its recommended changes.

Le Sacrement de la Tendresse (the Sacrament of Tenderness) a new film about Jean Vanier

One of the film’s assets is the enthusiasm of the director, whose strength of conviction is real.

Letter from Jean, October 2018

“90 years old! My God, I can scarcely believe it. I have such a desire to shout out my thanks!”

Louis Pilotte, new National Leader

“From my very first days in L’Arche, I was convinced that I was living an experience that was part of a project for society, part of a vision of the world.”

New Community Leaders in Saint John and Wolfville

… and celebrating Homefires Community Leader Ingrid Blais

Second Reading for Accessible Canada Act

The Accessible Canada Act (ACA) legislation to ensure a barrier-free Canada

L’Arche Canada Foundation’s Fall 2018 Impact Bulletin

Top Story: Support for L’Arche Lithuania

Canada’s Medical Assistance in Dying Regulations Fall Short

September 6, 2018 – L’Arche Canada supports the Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL) and the Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) in urging the federal government to strengthen the system of monitoring Medical Assistance in Dying.

A new Community Leader for L’Arche Daybreak

L’Arche Canada and the Board of Directors present Trish Glennon, as the new Community Leader for L’Arche Daybreak

L’Arche Saskatoon’s 10th Anniversary video is amazing!

To celebrate their first ten years, L’Arche Saskatoon produced a wonderful 8-min video on “What is community?”

Third Interim Report on Medical Assistance in Dying in Canada

The Government of Canada has released the third Interim Report on Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) in Canada (July 1 to December 31, 2017)

Minister Duncan introduces the proposed Accessible Canada Act

June 20, 2018 – This historic legislation would enable the Government of Canada to take a proactive approach to end systemic discrimination of people with disabilities.

L’Arche Canada Newsletter Summer 2018

“Community is built as we become interdependent, humbly recognizing and welcoming our need of one another.”

Letter from Jean, May 2018

“Every day, I take a walk in my little garden, with my eyes looking down because I have to be careful where I walk: this means I notice the primroses.”

L’Arche Canada Foundation’s Spring 2018 Impact Bulletin

Top Story: L’Arche Toronto’s Trying It On For Size (TIFS) project for young people with intellectual disabilities

Summer in the Forest is coming to Canada

“Summer in the Forest is an extraordinarily tender documentary that asks what it means to be human. Here, even the most gentle scenes raise mighty questions.” (New York Times)

The Courage to Listen and Speak Out

As part of the campaign on fundamental values, the L’Arche Canada communications team recently published an online, illustrated account of a person who has lived through abuse. In very simple words, the account expresses a universal reality, the truth that not being heard is a source of immense suffering.

Jean Vanier Interview on CNN

Christiane Amanpour interviews Jean Vanier following the release of Summer in the Forest

First Nations – The Courage to Meet Face to Face

At L’Arche, we are all experimenting with what it means to find “the courage to truly meet difference.” We are on this journey whether we’re encountering a new person, or group, or any culture other than our own.

“Nineteen Paper Cranes”, a Film in Homage to the victims of Sagamihara, Japan

L’Arche International is launching the 9th film in its #AsIAm web series, filmed at L’Arche in Japan, in homage to the 19 victims of the Sagamihara massacre.

Growing as we Learn: The L’Arche Canada Growth Initiative

“A learning organization is an organization skilled at creating, acquiring, and transferring knowledge, and at modifying its behavior to reflect new knowledge and insights.” – Harvard Business Review

Leadership Spring Trainings take off

The L’Arche Canada leadership development has entered a major new phase. After years introducing a model based on the core values of L’Arche and tools for reviews and team building, a comprehensive formation and training program – through over 100 online training modules – is being delivered across the country.

Communicating the Work of Outreach and Communications

It has been a challenging year of transition in the L’Arche Canada Outreach and Communications team and its work. As we move forward, new initiatives and new partnerships are emerging that promise increased impact in this important work.

Contributing Our Voices

On February 8, members of L’Arche attended an “in person” session of the accessibility consultation, as several L’Arche folk from other communities had done in their cities.

Meeting with the Minister

On April 6, 2017, representatives of L’Arche Canada met with the Hon. Qualtrough, Minister of Sports and Persons with Disabilities, to share our hopes and concerns – and express our gratitude and support – for new federal, accessibility legislation.

Revelations of Abuse in Trosly, France

In a letter dated March 24, 2015, the Leaders of L’Arche International informed the communities of L’Arche around the world of the results of a canonical (Church) inquiry into accounts of sexual abuse by Père Thomas Philippe who was involved in the beginnings of the first community of L’Arche in Trosly. (Père Thomas died in 1993 so there was no trial.)

Love at Second Sight

AboutFace, an organization providing supports to individuals with facial differences and their families, as well as public awareness and education to increase understanding and acceptance, recently hosted the Toronto premiere of this powerful film that transforms attitudes about appearance and encourages students to accept themselves and others. It’s about difference and belonging, judgment and inclusion.

What does an Accessible Canada mean to you?

The Government of Canada has launched a consultation process that will be open until February 2017. Canadians are encouraged to participate in the consultation by visiting:

L’Arche Canada response to Bill C-14’s

In response to the Supreme Court’s ruling on Physician-Assisted Dying, and as the Federal Government works on drafting legislation on this issue, L’Arche in Canada has re-committed itself to providing the best possible supports for the people with intellectual disabilities in our communities, both in life and as they approach death.

Jean Vanier: Logician of the Heart

An excellent new book on Jean Vanier by Michael W. Higgins is available from Novalis.