What's it all about?
LGBTQ2S+ Christian experiences are best understood through listening to the journeys of LGBTQ2S+ followers of Jesus. Pastor's Day @ the Retreat takes place during our Ontario Generous Space Retreat, and provides the chance to worship, learn, and reflect alongside over 100 LGBTQ2S+ Christians.
For many ministry leaders, this is a rare opportunity and one that illumines God moving at the intersection of faith, gender, and sexuality in a way that our best hermeneutics and exegesis cannot.
In addition to learning with our LGBTQ2S+ siblings in Christ, pastors will also have sessions with other pastors to share best practices and lessons learned in navigating these matters in our congregations.
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.
What can I expect?
Worship... we will enter into corporate worship through music, litany, and prayer, led by LGBTQ2S+ Christians.
Main Session... may include scriptural reflections, panel discussions, interviews, and times of communal input, as well as amazing guest speakers!
Opening Gathering with Wendy... where you can meet other pastors whose churches may be on similar journeys with this conversation, learn more about the posture of Generous Space, and ask questions to our ED, Wendy VanderWal Gritter. You'll also hear from a panel of LGBTQ2S+ staff members.
Workshops... you will have the opportunity to choose from among several different workshops about hermeneutics, ethics, and LGBTQ2S+ experiences.
Debriefing... at the end of the day, pastors and leaders will have the opportunity to reflect together on their learning, take-aways for their community, and next steps in nurturing Generous Space in their own contexts.
9:15 am - Registration
9:30 am – Main Session: Worship & Keynote Speaker
11:30 am – Pastors' Gathering with Wendy
12:30 pm – Lunch
1:30 pm – Workshop
2:45 pm – Q&A with LGBTQ2S+ Generous Space staff
3:30 pm – Pastors' Debrief with Wendy
5:00 pm – End
Who is welcome?
If you are actively reflecting on how the Christian community can faithfully enfold LGBTQ+ people into the life of the church, you are welcome. Generous Space is committed to extending respect and dignity to all people, honouring people's convictions and conscience. It is, therefore, a community where there are different interpretive conclusions on matters related to the discipleship journey of LGBTQ+ people. We see this difference not as a problem to fix, but as an opportunity for growth in learning to love well.
We invite our guests for Pastor's Day @ the Retreat to adopt a learner's posture and to practice active listening as they engage other retreat participants. Many of our LGBTQ2S+ siblings in Christ have been hurt within the Christian community. They are extending a gift of hospitality to the pastors and leaders who come. Across our differences, and throughout the weekend, we reinforce a dialogical posture where we seek to understand each other rather than debate with or persuade one another. It is our expectation that visiting pastors will honour this commitment.
"They were courageous to invite a bunch of (mainly conservative) pastors into their retreat, especially after many had hurtful experiences in the church. It was a true honour to spend time listening to their stories and coming to a greater understanding of their experience."
"In all my devotion to cultivating communities of belonging, I have not been more welcomed by another group. Thank you for your hospitality, GS... It's clear you're all deeply committed to the life and ministry of Jesus. This shared commonality is greater than any difference."
How much does it cost?
Registration includes the full day of programming with lunch provided.
Registration space is limited on a first-come-first-served basis, so register now!
If you have further questions, please email our Executive Director, and your host for the day, Dr. Wendy VanderWal Gritter: wendy(at)generousspace.ca.