Nov. 8-11, 2018
Why should you come?
The Generous Space Retreat is a place where LGBTQ+ 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 a place where straight/cisgender family members, pastors, and friends can join them in listening, worshiping, and learning.
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, your gender identity, your convictions, interpretations of scripture, or theology. As one of our participants said last year, “I never expected going somewhere for the first time would feel like coming home after the longest day.”
Where is it?
We’ll be returning to Camp Squeah, located in beautiful Hope, BC, 170 km east of Vancouver and within two hours of almost anywhere in the Lower Mainland. We can help connect you with other attendees to try to arrange carpooling from nearby cities, airports and ferry terminals. (The closest airport is in Abbotsford.)
Retreat participants have the option of spending three nights in shared or private lodge rooms (furnished with queen or bunk beds and en suite bathrooms) or, for a discounted price, in shared cabins (with bunk beds, and bathrooms in a separate building).
Your registration fee includes all your meals, which we’ll eat together in the large dining room of the main lodge. We’ll enjoy worship, keynote speakers and panels in the auditorium space adjacent to the dining hall. If the weather permits, there are wonderful hiking trails and outdoor activities on the grounds.
New This Year!
- EXTRA DAY – We’re giving you more time together – your ticket price now includes not two, but THREE overnights, beginning Thursday evening and ending Sunday afternoon. (If you can only come for two days, or even just one, that’s fine – we have pricing options for you, too!)
- Bring-a-Friend Discount – If you bring someone with you who’s never attended a GS retreat, we’ll give you a $20 discount at registration!
- Pastors’ Day – On the Friday of the retreat, some pastors and ministry leaders will join us for their own programming and learn how to make their churches more welcoming spaces (check our FAQ or the Pastors’ Day page for more info.)
- Generous Space staff – We’re working on hopefully bringing all 5 of them to the retreat this year to share their knowledge and skills!
- Dance Party – DJ Why So Serious (aka Danice) will be bringing her turntables this time around… making last year’s impromptu dance party a bit more official!
KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Jamie Arpin-Ricci
Jamie Arpin-Ricci is a bisexual Christian author, pastor, and community leader who lives & serves at the intersection of faith, sexuality, and community renewal. He lives in inner-city Winnipeg with his Aussie wife, Kim, their Ethiopian son, Micah and their daughter, Finley. He is a pastoral leader at Little Flowers Community, a small Mennonite faith community in Winnipeg’s downtown West End. He is also the author of several books, including “Vulnerable Faith: Missional Living in the Radical Way of St. Patrick“, which includes a foreword by award winning author Jean Vanier, and “The Cost of Community: Jesus, St. Francis & Life in the Kingdom.” Jamie volunteers as one of the co-facilitators of our Winnipeg Generous Space Group.
Some of our other Contributors this year... check back as we add more!
Wendy VanderWal Gritter
Eric Van Giessen
What can I expect?
Generous Space retreats are really a cross between a retreat and a conference… they’re more intimate than a conference, but more scheduled than a 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 really need to rest and “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.
Panels & Interviews… where you can hear from people across the LGBTQ+ spectrum, as well as parents and allies, and broaden your knowledge of the community.
Worship… reflecting multiple worship styles and different spiritual practices.
Workshops… for participating in discussions on a variety of topics related to faith, sexuality, gender, creativity, community, and healing. A full list of workshops will be finalized by the end of September – if you’d like to facilitate (or co-facilitate) a workshop and become one of this year’s contributors, please apply to do so using this form!
Affinity Meals… where you can meet people with similar journeys, interests, or concerns as you.
Hangout Times… for catching up with old friends and meeting new ones.
Free Time… to reconnect with God, hang out with friends, process what you’re learning, play games, and/or enjoy the hiking trails and gym at Camp Squeah!
Participants from previous conferences said…
“The GS retreat is a place where I can fully exhale, and let my guard down. To laugh and cry and be inspired by people like me. I can be vulnerable and real without fear of judgement, and find courage as I listen to others who are facing the same challenges as me. I love being there!”
“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. The Generous Space 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. I’ll never be the same.”
“After years of avoiding Christian spaces, I was nervous entering a Christian space – there’s so much baggage there for me. And although I am not sure what or who I believe in, Generous Space through very intentional wording and actions graciously let me be where I am.”
“For the first time in my life I was in a place where I felt fully included, highly valued and heard. It was wonderful to have a repreive from the typical hiding I have to do. Courage is growing in this heart of mine!”
How much does it cost?
The cost for a shared room is $345 for three nights in the lodge, or $305 for three nights in a cabin (prices include 9 meals plus snacks). There are higher rates for private rooms should you require one.
If you require financial assistance to enable you to attend, we do have some scholarships available, including a few scholarships set aside for first-time attendees; don’t hesitate – please apply here ASAP.
Do you have any further questions about the retreat – like…
- “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 so, check our FAQ page!