In our efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic responsibly, we have made the difficult decision to CANCEL the Ontario Generous Space Retreat for 2020, We share in your disappointment but are committed to the safety of everyone in our community and beyond.
While the retreat is no longer happening this year, Generous Space will continue to foster connections through various online venues and events in the coming months.
For more information, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
*Cancelled* 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+ folks, both those who identify as Christian and those part of a Triple A (atheist, agnostic, and ambiguous about faith) reality, can be fully themselves without compartmentalizing their spirituality, sexuality, gender identity, or other facets of their identity. GS Retreats are a place to find others who understand and relate your journey as well as connecting with and learning from those who have very different experiences than you do.
It’s also a place where straight & cisgender family members and friends can deepen their commitment to practicing ally-ship and experience the joy of shared community.
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.
Video footage from past retreats!
What do you do at the retreat?
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, different spiritual practices, and a nature option with quiet, personal meditation.
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.
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 practice 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…