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50 Weeks of L’Arche Erie! – Week 16

Let’s talk more L’Arche Lingo! This week we will learn about Accompaniment in L’Arche.

Accompaniment: This term refers to “walking with” a person or community in the different facets of community life by listening, caring, clarifying, affirming, mentoring, and challenging.

Functional Accompaniment/Role Accompaniment: A synonym for this in the working world is “supervision.” Functional accompaniment should be provided on a scheduled ongoing basis for all members with a functional role in the community. A person’s role description indicates to whom the person reports, and that person is the one to provide functional accompaniment, consisting of training and support for the role, regular assessment of performance, strengths and potential and encouragement for ongoing development.

Spiritual Accompaniment: This is also individual accompaniment where a member is offered support in exploring their spiritual life or faith life via regular (often monthly) conversations with someone trained and experienced to offer such support. The spiritual accompanier is often outside the community but may sometimes be the person in the community that holds the pastoral/spiritual accompaniment role for the community. Leaders and long- term members of the community are often helpful in locating a spiritual accompanier for a member seeking this type of support.

Core member/employee accompaniment: Many communities also pair a core member with a particular employee in an accompaniment relationship. This facilitates a deepening of their relationship as they walk together in daily life, often including special attention by the accompanying employee (with support from others on the team) to the core member’s health, finances, family

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