Above: Lieutenant Governor Brenda Murphy and Stéphane smile for a photo after decorating the Christmas tree at Government House.
It’s not everyday that you get a personal rendition of the song “happy birthday” from the Lieutenant Governor.
But that’s exactly what Stéphane, one of our core members, got to experience earlier this month while at Government House.
L’Arche Saint John and Fredericton were invited to Government House to decorate the Christmas tree with handmade ornaments, an event that has been a true highlight over the past few years.
The day happened to fall on Stéphane’s birthday. With Patrick, one of our core members and an exceptional musician, at the grand piano and Her Honour singing the tune, it was a moment of joy – one of many in the past month.
Later that same day, April, a member of L’Arche Connects, joined me on stage at the Delta Hotel to present a five minute pitch to the group 100 Women Who Care. We left that event with a giant cheque for $26,000 to support our L’Arche Connects outreach program (learn more here).
This magnificent day came just a week after GivingTuesday, a global day of giving back to causes following Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Thanks to many of you, we surpassed our goal and raised over $11,000 for L’Arche Saint John.
On Dec. 13, we hosted our annual carol sing event at the Saint John Arts Centre, surrounded by beautiful art. We kept having to add more chairs to grow the circle wider thanks to the many neighbours, friends and family members that joined us to ring in the holiday season.
All these events – and many more – fill me with gratitude for the abundant support for the people, story and mission of L’Arche.
We conclude 2023 in the warm embrace of your friendship and support, and look to 2024 with confidence and optimism.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your support to L’Arche. Together, we’re building a world where everyone belongs. And I am so glad you’re on the journey with us.
Wishing you a safe and restful holiday season,
Rachel Vander Vennen
Community Leader & Executive Director