All are welcome to join us for our EIGHTH annual
Ontario Generous Space Retreat!
May 28-31, 2020
Thursday afternoon to Sunday afternoon
What's it all about?
The Generous Space Retreat is a place where LGBTQ2S+ Christians don’t have to choose between expressing their faith OR expressing their sexuality/ gender identity – they can be fully themselves and find others who understand and relate to their journey.
It’s also a place where straight & cisgender family members and friends can join them in listening, worshiping, and learning.
Last year, we had 140 people attend from Ontario, other Canadian provinces, and even some from the USA. This year, we’d love for you to join us too! Everyone is welcome to join us, no matter your sexuality, your gender identity, your convictions, interpretations of scripture, or theology. Come and encounter a Christ-centered community with a generous heart and a listening, humble posture. As one of our participants said, “I never expected going somewhere for the first time would feel like coming home after the longest day.”
Where is it?
For the third year in a row, we’re hosted by the fine folks at Trent University in Peterborough, ON, a beautiful venue overlooking the Otonabee River.
It’s a 1.5 hours' drive east of downtown Toronto, and there is GO transit available from Union station directly to Trent.
(More info about transit, carpooling and ride-sharing found on the FAQ page.)
We'll be staying in Trent’s newest residence building, Gzowski College. The rooms are accessible by elevator and include one double bed and semi-private bathroom (shared with the adjoining room). We will also enjoy the spacious dining rooms and meeting spaces at Trent.
Your registration fee includes all your meals, which we’ll eat together in the Gzowski dining room. We’ll enjoy worship, keynote speakers and workshops in nearby rooms. If the weather permits, there are wonderful hiking trails along the river and outdoor activities on the grounds.
What will we do?
For those who like to keep busy with things to do, we’ll have plenty of activities, opportunities to learn, and chances to get to know people. For those who need to rest and actually “retreat,” there is plenty of permission to opt in or opt out of any of the scheduled events according to your own needs, energy levels, and comfort levels with spiritual practices and conversations. Here are some things we are planning that you can choose to participate in…
Community Groups… a chance to connect regularly with the same small, diverse group of people in facilitated conversation times throughout the weekend.
Speakers, Panels & Interviews… where you can hear and learn from people across the LGBTQ2S+ spectrum who have different intersecting identities, and broaden your experience of our community.
Worship… reflecting multiple worship styles and different spiritual practices.
Workshops… where you can contribute to discussions on a variety of topics related to faith, sexuality, gender, creativity, community, and healing. If you'd like to facilitate a workshop, find an application form here!
Affinity Meals… where you can choose to eat and chat with people who share similar journeys, interests, and questions to yours.
Evening Hangout Times… for catching up with old friends and meeting new ones… organized activities include a campfire, a dance party (DJ WhySoSerious will be BACK!) and a fishbowl conversation.
Free Time… to reconnect with God, take a nap, hang out with new and old friends, process what you’re learning, play games, visit the Peterborough Zoo, or walk along the beautiful river.
…see a provisional schedule here!
We laughed and cried together, sang together, shared some great meals, and spent time out in nature, all the while catching some incredible workshops, and opportunities for worship. As I try and describe it to my friends, I keep explaining, words don't really do it justice-- you just have to experience it for yourself.
I didn't have to worry about my mental health issues or ambiguity about my own faith making me feel separated from others. I met people who shared my frustrations with church and traditional christian circles. For the first time in a long time, maybe the first time ever, I felt really connected and part of the community I was worshiping with.
How much does it cost?
Here are two possibilities:
1. We offer the option to pay in installments, with a payment schedule that works for you.
2. For those requiring subsidies, we invite you to apply to our Equity & Access Fund here.
For those who have extra to give, we welcome you to contribute to the Equity & Access Fund and help us live out our values of justice and hospitality. Donate here.
The early bird price (available until Mar. 31) is $350 per person
for three nights in either a private or a shared room, including 9 meals.
This cost reflects the lowest fee we can charge without taking a loss. Still, the cost may be a barrier to some, and we want to do whatever we can to allow everyone to attend.
“What’s all this “generous space” stuff all about?”
“What about rides?”
“What if I’m not fully “out” yet?”
“What if I’m straight/cisgender – am I welcome?”
“Is it okay to come if I’m not sure how I feel about church or faith?”
If your question isn’t covered there, feel free to email Becca at becca[at]generousspace.ca.
Do you have any further questions about the retreat, like…