New L’Arche Rainbow Workshop Opens in Arlington

By Shannon Scruby Henderson

On Sunday, Nov. 2, friends and supporters of L’Arche Harbor House gathered to celebrate the official opening and blessing of a new L’Arche Rainbow Workshop.

Photo by Don Burk

Photo by Don Burk

Officiants for the gala event included Bishop Emeritus John Snyder, a founder and long-time board member, Father Tom Poth, the community’s pastoral guide, and Rev. Kate Moorehead, dean of St. John Episcopal Cathedral.

Located just across Arlington Road from L’Arche Harbor House in Jacksonville, a live-in community for adults with intellectual disabilities, the building replaces an outdated and much smaller facility several miles away. It will house the very successful Rainbow arts and crafts workshop as well as therapeutic and recreational activities to keep older members of L’Arche Harbor House engaged and enriched. The larger building will also enable the Rainbow program to accept a limited number of adults from outside the community.

Photo by Don Burk

“Today, a dream of the community is coming true,” observed Community Leader Amy Finn-Schultz. She thanked Warren and Joanne Powers and their children Nancy, Tom, Patrick and Jane for their love and commitment to the mission and vision of L’Arche, an international movement founded by Jean Vanier where people with and without intellectual disabilities live in mutual love and respect, learning from each other. L’Arche is now active in 36 countries. L’Arche Harbor House is the only L’Arche community in Florida.

The L’Arche Rainbow Workshop is dedicated to the Powers family matriarch. Her daughter Nancy explained that Joanne Powers has been a champion for L’Arche since her first introduction to the community and was pivotal in the Powers Family Foundation’s decision to supply the land and building for the much-needed Rainbow Workshop replacement. L’Arche Harbor House will rely on donations to equip and furnish the facility. Naming opportunities for rooms are available. For information or to donate, please contact Lori Rush at lori@larchejacksonville.org or call (904) 721-5992 or visit www.larchejacksonville.org and click on Donate.

L’Arche Rainbow Workshop relies on volunteer helpers. A loving heart (but no special training) is required. Call (904) 721-5992 for information.