In July of 2020, and much to the joy of Sorrento Centre staff, board and guests, the Centre was opened for a gradual roster of Summer weekly bookings with reduced programming. The Centre was closed from March through June due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Centre's executive director, the Rev. Michael Shapcott, office manager Darlene Jabbour and all of the staff worked diligently to ensure a safe and healthy opening for a reduced amount of guests this Summer. To quote a line from a song often sung during worship at the Centre, "Many the gifts, many the works..."! (One bread, One Body)
On the evening of July 20, an informative welcome and orientation session was given to all in attendance. The key purpose of the session was to alert those in attendance to the health, distancing, safety and hygiene protocols in place at the Centre, from food services, housekeeping, operations and programming. Physical distancing signs and various COVID-19 posters were placed in high visibility areas throughout the property, from the main entrance off the highway to the waterfront.
Kevin Zakresky, music director at Vancouver's St. Matthias and St. Luke Anglican Church was Sorrento Centre's summer musician in residence. He coordinated and led the morning worship services and evening compline services, as well as leading the morning "Making Music" sessions throughout the summer. The sessions consisted primarily of physically distanced music leadership and collaboration featuring percussion and rhythm instruments.
Acupuncturist Michael Cruikshanks and psychologist Dr Vibeke Vaerum led a series of meditation-themed sessions in the lounge of Spes Bona, the Centre's administration building.
The children in attendance were able to enjoy many of the usual Sorrento Centre summer activities (although done differently due to COVID-19) including Water Fun on the Centre's big field, and a tour to the Centre's farm with the Centre’s farmer, Gwen Dell'Anno. Various evening activity options were offered to guests including a campfire at the beach, and a storytelling evening with Secwepemc storyteller Kenthen Thomas.
Christ Church Cathedral, Vancouver's new rector, the Reverend Christopher Pappas enjoyed the week along with his family who are long time Sorrento Centre participants and supporters.
Dinner on the Friday was a delicious (and distanced) outdoor banquet which followed the closing worship gathering, as is customary for Friday's during summer programming in non-COVID times.
During the week the shone brightly (as it always does in the summer) at Shuswap Lake, and people on site were filled with joy to be present at their beloved Sorrento Centre during these unprecedented times, and to be spending time with friends and familiar faces, although much less of them, and much further away from each other!
Check out Sorrento Centre's website, sorrentocentre.ca, to learn more about upcoming programming, special events and more. And please consider sending the Centre a financial gift to help support this important ministry that suffered a substantial loss of revenue.
PHOTOS submitted by Jane Dittrich