Dinner outside at Nehalem House
"Home life is at the heart of a L’Arche community. The different members of a community are called to be one body. They live, work, pray and celebrate together, sharing their joys and their sufferings and forgiving each other, as in a family. They have a simple lifestyle which gives priority to relationships." - the Charter of the Communities of L’Arche
L'Arche Portland is, first and foremost, a place to call home. The various daily life members of our community create home day in and day out at Nehalem House and Neahkahnie House. They do this through the normal tasks of everyday life and, especially, through building and nurturing mutual relationships in which people treat each other as of equal value. To learn more about what a typical day in one of our homes might look like, check out A Day in the Life.
From the beginning of our communal life, cooperation has been an essential ingredient in our work of creating home and building community. Our founding director, Paul Lipscomb, brought with him a set of guidelines for cooperative living. He adapted and expanded these from the book Scripts People Live by Claude Steiner. From his observations of the dynamics at work in healthy marriages, Steiner culled these “rules of cooperation” which he felt were responsible for the strength of the marriages he had witnessed.
L’Arche Portland has incorporated these guidelines to facilitate our life together in community since our founding in 1987. We have also shared them with other L’Arche communities around the country, many of whom have found them to be invaluable tools. Intrigued? Read an overview of the Rules of Cooperation.