We’re so excited to be hosting our second annual East Coast Generous Space Retreat once again in St. Stephen, New Brunswick! The GS Retreat is a safe place for LGBTQ+ Christians (along with their straight/cisgender parents, pastors, and friends) to be authentic, to share, to worship, to learn and to grow. Come and encounter Christian community with a generous heart and a listening, humble posture. Come to experience God’s outrageous love and grace. Everyone is welcome to join us, no matter your sexuality, gender identity, convictions, interpretations of scripture, or theology.
Who is welcome?
LGBTQ+ people, parents, pastors, allies – everyone is welcome, whether you’ve had prior involvement in our Generous Space community or not. We welcome all ages – we are excited to be providing childcare (up to age 3) during main sessions and workshops. We have had participants join our retreats from as far away as Prince George, Calgary, Saskatoon, Wisconsin, Arizona, Texas and California!
Where is it?
We’re excited to be hosted again by our friends at St. Stephen’s University in Saint Stephen, NB, the smallest university in Canada! Several of our Generous Space community members are alumni. This is a historic and beautiful venue, overlooking the St. Croix River close to the Bay of Fundy. The closest airports are in Saint John, Fredericton, and Bangor, Maine. It’s a long day’s drive from several cities in Ontario. Find more information about carpooling and ride-sharing on the FAQ page.
Retreaters will stay in Park Hall campus residence rooms. Our base rate assumes that you will share a room with one other person, but for a slightly higher rate, you can choose to room on your own. We’ll enjoy the delicious campus food and excellent meeting rooms.
KEYNOTE SPEAKERS: LA HENRY & CARLY MURPHY
Our keynote presentation this year will be a partnership between LA and Carly, who will be further exploring an idea that came up at last year’s retreat about coming out and being “backstage.”
Carly Murphy is all about transformational magic. She’s turned feels into fanfiction, horrible move-ins into free rent, random snippets of paper into branding campaigns, and incoherent notes into university papers on three hours notice. She lives in Halifax, NS and is a member of the Halifax Generous Space Group.
Participants from some of our other Generous Space Retreats said…
“How can I fully explain the deep peace, healing, and hope that can occur when you finally find your people? When you tap into a community bursting forth with joy, love, courage, and affirmation? I found that community among my 2SLGBTQ+ siblings and our allies at the East Coast Generous Space Retreat. This weekend has become a profound moment in my life, one that will stick with me for a long time to come. If you’re on the fence about this retreat, just take a chance. Come and see what can happen in the space where humility, hospitality, mutuality, and justice come together. I’m so glad I did, and I’m sure you will be as well.”
“Being surrounded by so many LGBTQ+ folks who understand the struggle and the joy was so helpful. As soon as I arrived at the retreat I felt like I could breathe again. I could breathe a sigh of “yes, they get it,” and I didn’t have to explain or justify myself but simply be loved fully by those around me.”
“The retreat is a place to be seen and welcomed as you are. Words can’t describe the space that is given by the leaders, and then–the space that is opened in your heart. Oh, my! I’ll never be the same. It was an honor to be there as a parent, and be surprised at how much it meant to others for me to be there.”
Some of our contributors this year…
What else can I expect?
Community Groups… a chance to connect, dialogue, and journey with a small group of diverse people in facilitated times throughout the weekend.
Worship… drawing from the traditions of different denominations.
Main Sessions… These will include scriptural reflections, panel discussions, interviews, and times of communal input, as well as guest speakers – stay tuned for announcements about our speakers!
Workshops… we are excited to offer two workshop sessions during which you can learn from your peers on a variety of topics. Get in touch with Beth [email@example.com] if you have an idea for a workshop!
Free time… for rest, processing, conversation, taking walks along the beautiful riverside, or playing games!
How much does it cost?
$200 CAD – Shared room
$220 CAD – Private room
$150 CAD – for those staying offsite
Registration includes 2 overnights & 6 meals.
Can’t come for the whole time? Contact Becca to arrange partial registration (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Can’t afford it? We don’t want finances to be a barrier. We have limited scholarships for first-time attendees, as well as financial assistance for anyone who needs it – please fill out this form before May 31st if you would like to apply for additional funding.
Note: If you are from the U.S.A., and the Canadian dollar is still relatively low… consider the bargain you’ll get with the exchange rate!