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Letter from National Leader on COVID-19

L'Arche USA communtiy member holding a picture of a dog

Dear Friends,

Writing a letter to thousands of people usually implies a message that lands in thousands of realities, as your lives spin around unique delights and disquiets.  Today is different.  All of us, regardless of our personal priorities and urgencies, live one global reality, one common experience: COVID-19 and physical distancing impact all of us.

Health And Safety Of Members
The top priority for L’Arche is the health and safety of everyone in our communities. It is a sobering reality that many of our core members are among the most vulnerable in this pandemic. Across the nation and the world, communities are taking all necessary precautions to keep everyone safe and supported. Communities are practicing physical distancing, and most members are living in confinement, in line with local and state recommendations.

This is no easy endeavor. The incredible commitments being made within L’Arche at this time are a true testament to the dedication of our members, who share life 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Imagine our assistants, some just out of college, taking on new, deeper responsibilities to care for those they share life with. Imagine our core members building new routines and adjusting to incomprehensible changes. Imagine our community leaders making high-stake decisions about supplies and morale. I am proud of all those who are working hard to protect and care for our people.  Together, they are cultivating a spirit of joy and love in our homes.

Building And Living Community
Community life in these unique times is challenging.  I recognize the weight of isolation, the difficulty of restrictions, and the anxiety over scarce supplies.  And yet, this crisis does not stand in the way of celebrating mutual relationships.  Members all over the world are leaning into building and living community in new and creative ways, shining a warm light into our world:

[Two members in Chicago sing an original duet: “Coronavirus, go away.” Click on the image to view the video.]
[Three members of L’Arche Jacksonville (a baby doll included) smile together while wearing hats on a sunny day.]
[A member of L’Arche Portland smiles with an illustration of a small dog wearing a police costume.]



[Members of L’Arche Heartland prepare packed lunches for those in need.]
[Members of L’Arche all across the United States gather in a virtual video chat room (L’Arche Café) and introduce some of their pets. Check out the kittens in the lower right.]

L’Arche has always strived to be a “sign of hope.” As troublesome current events threaten us with the pandemic blues, we find peace in these moments and in our relationships with one another. May you too find hope in these stories.

Gratitude Amidst A Twofold Hardship
You wouldn’t be reading this letter if you weren’t a friend and a supporter of the L’Arche family and our mission. More than ever, we recognize the importance of our extended community. Our members have barely had time to process the findings of L’Arche International’s inquiry before sliding into this worldwide public health crisis. As we navigate this time of twofold hardship, we are so incredibly grateful for the love and friendship of people like you. It is your support that allows us to continuously celebrate the unique value of every person: a core value of L’Arche that becomes so poignant in times like these. Thank you!

Stay strong in health and heart,

Tina Bovermann
L’Arche USA’s National Leader and Executive Director


[For more COVID-19 resources, please visit this page.]

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