“I like to play the piano, it’s fun!” says Cory with a big smile. Cory, who has called L’Arche home since 2000, has also been a member of St. Peter’s Anglican Church in Comox for many years. He enjoys the time he spends in church; he loves the people, and he finds joy in the music. And he loves playing the piano.
A Great Friendship
Sulin Milne is the pastor at St. Peter’s. She moved from Wales to the Comox Valley with her family back in 2019. “I knew about L’Arche before I moved to Canada,” says Sulin. “L’Arche is international and there’s a L’Arche in Brecon, Wales. Unfortunately, it was too far away from our home to allow me to be an active part of the community. So, I am overjoyed to be able to partner with L’Arche Comox Valley. It’s part of the reason that I accepted the position as incumbent in the Valley.”
Meeting Challenges Head On
We all know there are challenges in life, but even more so when you live with an intellectual disability and mobility issues like Cory, but he faces his challenges head on.
Cory finds it difficult to go up and down stairs and maneuver around objects on the ground, so when he was invited by one of the St. Peter’s music teams to play onstage during Sunday service, there were challenges he had to face.
“When you’re on stage, there are electrical cords everywhere,” says Lisa Taylor, a member of St. Peter’s and one of the church’s musical teams. “Cory had to not only climb stairs, but get around a number of cords and a couple of musical instruments to make his way to and from the keyboard.” The music team respected Cory’s challenges and supported him as he made his way to and from the stage.
“Cory is very musical,” says Lisa, who sings and plays the piano herself. “He plays by ear, and he understands how to take musical cues and perform with other musicians.” Cory selected two songs that he knows and loves, and the music team performed them together during Sunday service.
“We thank Cory for moving beyond his comfort zone so he could play with us,” says Lisa. “It was special for not only Cory, but everyone on stage, and the congregation. We look forward to performing with him again.”
Partners in Mission
St Peter’s supports several not-for-profit organizations in the Comox Valley through their program, “Partners in Mission” which creates awareness and donations for organizations in need. During November L’Arche was invited to talk about The Anchorage – a capital fundraising campaign focused on building more affordable housing for adults with diverse abilities. L’Arche also took part in the church’s “Winter FunRaiser Auction”, contributing artwork created by core people. And in December, some of L’Arche’s core residents are participating in the church’s advent services.
You are welcome to join L’Arche events and activities that happen throughout the year. Find out about all the ways you can be a part of the L’Arche community and/or show your support.