The Reverend Jessica Schaap
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“The weekend was life changing”

"I came to the retreat hoping to deepen my spiritual experience with the Holy Spirit. From the first moments of the weekend to the final ringing of the bell, I felt safe, welcome and enriched…

“[I received] better insights into quieting my soul before God, to meditate on His love… I feel better equipped to continue this walk and bring God’s love to the world around me.”  

“[It] presented the depth and width of prayer – many options to explore – a life long journey.

The Background

People from twenty six parishes in the diocese over the last two years participated in a pilot program for a new spiritual formation retreat. Aimed at renewing prayer in daily life and inspiring mission for the life of our communities, the program was named, “Pro Vita Mundi” (For the Life of the World). The pilots saw increasing attendance, each one with more attendees than the last, and people left strengthened and inspired in their daily lives. The thoughtful evaluations after each retreat also helped the project leaders refine and edit the retreat to increase its impact.

Generously funded by the Anglican Foundation and the Anglican Initiatives Fund of the diocese, the pilot program has come to an end and the retreat program is ready for a full launch into the life of the diocese. The program is now called “The Vita Retreat: Prayer that Makes us Whole” and the first one is scheduled for March 22-24 at the nearby retreat centre Loon Lake Lodge, just outside of Maple Ridge, B.C. This might be a great way to enter more fully the season of Lent. The weekend explores many and creative ways to encounter the Holy Spirit, through the arts, nature, silence, conversation in small groups, and a regular pattern of Anglican prayer and worship together.

The Retreat Concept

The overarching concept of the retreat is an expanded understanding of the spiritual practice of lectio divina. Lectio divina (holy reading) is an ancient, meditative, and devotional way to read scripture. The retreat takes the basic form of lectio and applies it to many things such as art, being in nature, music, cooking, daily tasks, relationships, and conversation – the stuff of daily life. Participants come away with a sense that prayer can be a continual activity in all aspects of their lives. Life can be lived as a prayer, and God is the one who prays within us. And the depth of conversation and community that grows is remarkable.

The Location and Registration

Loon Lake and the other retreat location, Camp Elphinstone in Gibsons, are immersed in West Coast beauty, and foster a contemplative yet refreshing experience of prayer and community. Participants reported feeling trusted and valued. If you are not able to make it in the Spring, another retreat is scheduled for the Fall too, October 4-6, 2019. There are also bursaries available to cover 50% of the registration fee. Simply email [email protected] to receive the bursary form, apply, and register for the weekend.

Register here: https://conta.cc/2EhjsnI

Registration deadline: March 7, 2019